All about Cannabis

Cannabis is a group of different plants that possess psychoactive properties. Three main species of the plant are Cannabis sativa Indica and ruderalis. The plant contains different phytonutrients and more than a hundred cannabinoids, each having a different effect on the human body.

 The flowers of the Cannabis plant are harvested and dried up so that they can be used for recreational or medicinal purposes. Weed pot or marijuana has been legalized in some parts of the world for recreational use, and many countries have permitted the use of this drug for its therapeutic properties. Cannabis is a potent drug, and it can have both positive and negative effects depending on the dosage that has been consumed.

Compounds of Cannabis

 The Cannabis plant is made up of more than 120 compounds, including exogenous cannabinoids and phytonutrients such as flavonoids and terpenes. 

The two most famous cannabinoids extracted from marijuana are CBD or cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol for THC.

CBD(Cannabidiol)

 CBD is the primary non-psychoactive cannabinoid that does not possess any euphoric aur intoxicating properties, which means that it cannot get you high. Its therapeutic properties are perfect for reducing inflammation and pain perception. Research has shown that CBD can also help in reducing the symptoms of migraine nausea, anxiety and epileptic seizures. Food and drug administration approved the first CBD based medicines for different kinds of epilepsy. 

Extensive research is being carried out to know more about the therapeutic benefits of CBD.

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

 Tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary psychoactive compound of Cannabis, which is responsible for the euphoric effect caused by higher doses of marijuana. However, controlled doses of THC offers several health benefits, such as altering pain perception and reducing muscle spasticity.

CBN (CBN is actually an oxidation product of THC)

 Cannabinol is another crucial chemical compound extracted from the Cannabis plant. THC undergoes degradation to produce CBN when it is exposed to sunlight or higher temperatures. CBN is usually extracted from aged Cannabis. CBN possesses antibacterial properties which can help in fighting the harmful bacteria. It is also known for its mild appetite-stimulating properties.

CBG (Cannabigerol)

Cannabigerol is another non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is used for treating several health conditions and illnesses. Cbg worked perfectly against inflammation, nausea and pain. 

Research has shown that it can also reduce the proliferation of cancer cells. Not only this, but it is also helpful for the patients of glaucoma as it can reduce the intraocular eye pressure.

CBC (Cannabichromene)

Cannabichromene possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it can be used to reduce swelling and inflammation in the intestinal tract. Interestingly it works without activating the endogenous cannabinoid receptors of the human body.

Terpenes

 Terpenes are the aromatic compounds that are found in almost all plants and give them their characteristic smell and flavor. Terpenes can also interact with the human body and produce therapeutic effects, which is why their presence in full spectrum Cannabis oil is is preferred by the users. The most common Cannabis terpenes are myrcene, pinene, Caryophyllene, limonene and terpinolene.

How do cannabinoids work?

The human body comprises of an endocannabinoid system that is responsible for the significant cell signaling activity. The endocannabinoid system is made up of receptors and endogenous cannabinoids and enzymes that help in the production and degradation of these cannabinoids.

ECS is responsible for carrying out several physiological functions such as concentration, movement, coordination, memory, cognitive function, pain perception etc.

Just like these endogenous cannabinoids, the cannabinoids extracted from Cannabis can also interact with the ECS and help it perform its daily life functions.

Short term effects of Cannabis

 Cannabis use is associated with positive and negative effects depending upon the weight used and the consumed quantity. Some of the most desirable short term effects produced by the compounds of Cannabis plants are:

  • Relaxation
  • Creativity
  • Focus
  • Increased appetite
  • Giddiness

 However, if the Cannabis plant contains a high quantity of THC, it can also cause specific Side Effects, including:

  • Coordination issues
  • Delayed reaction time
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy
  • Anxiety
  • Increased heart rate
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Paranoia

 The short term effects of Cannabis are usually based on the delivery method. For example, if you prefer to smoke Cannabis, you will feel the effects quickly, but they will fade off very soon. On the other hand, if you ingest Cannabis orally, the dose may take a few hours to show its effect, but it will stay there for a long time.

Long term effects of Cannabis

 Extensive research is being carried out to find out the long term effects of Cannabis usage. Here are a few findings of researches carried out till now.

Brain Development

 Studies have shown that Cannabis can potentially impact the development of our brain and central nervous system if used during adolescence. Studies show that teenagers who use Cannabis have more problems related to learning and memory; however, we still need to research and find out if these effects are permanent or not.

Dependence

 Cannabis dosage that contains a higher quantity of THC may also lead to dependence. Withdrawal symptoms experienced by most people who discontinue using Cannabis are low appetite, mood swings and irritability.

Respiratory issues

 Smoking Cannabis can have similar Side Effects as that of smoking tobacco. Inflammation and irritation in the alveoli of the lungs are one of the most common side effects. People who are already suffering from some breathing problems or suffocation should avoid smoking Cannabis and go for other delivery methods such as sprays, topicals and edibles.

Delivery methods of Cannabis

 Cannabis has been around for centuries, and people use several methods to intake the drug for recreational and medicinal use. Here are the most common ways to intake Cannabis or its related products.

Inhalation delivery method

Smoking and vaporization are two main methods used to inhale Cannabis, where the dose enters the lungs before it gets absorbed into the bloodstream. People use hand pipes, water bongs, joints and e-cigarettes to smoke Cannabis.

Oral delivery methods

 Cannabis is taken orally in the form of teachers’ infused drinks and in ingestible oils. Oral delivery methods are slope at their effective means for quite a long time. It is especially helpful when you are consuming Cannabis for its medicinal and therapeutic properties. Another quick way to consume Cannabis is in the form of thinkers. Sublingual doses enter the bloodstream quickly and produce its effect within minutes. 

You can also use cannabis oil in the form of capsules. Cannabis-infused edibles are also becoming increasingly famous as they do not taste like typical with and are more delicious and convenient to be used in everyday life.

The legal status of Cannabis

 Cannabis legalization has led to removing criminal penalties on the production distribution position and purchase and sale of Cannabis-related products.

 In the United States, Cannabis is still illegal on the federal level for any purpose b8 medicinal or recreational. Food and drug administration has listed Cannabis as a schedule 1 controlled substance, which means that it has a high potential for abuse.

Even though marijuana is illegal on the federal level, many states have legalized its medicinal use for adults suffering from chronic health issues. However, US citizens need to acquire a Cannabis card before they can claim their daily dose of medical marijuana.

Wrap Up

Cannabis is a beneficial drug which can be used for its recreational and therapeutic properties. However, make sure to consult your health care practitioner if you are using cannabis to treat the symptoms of chronic health issues.