The Effects of Cannabis

Cannabis achieves its numerous effects through varying quantities and variations of cannabinoids. Simply put, a cannabinoid is a chemical substance that connects the brain and the body. The chemicals are used for recreational and medicinal purposes and are sometimes synthetic in nature, meaning they are manufactured to mimic the effects of cannabis.

The two most popular types of cannabinoids: Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) interact with a high concentration of receptors found in the human brain (CB1 receptors). THC interacts with these receptors to obtain a psychoactive effect (a high) while CBD does not connect with the brain’s receptors in the same way as THC, and therefore does not cause a “high”.

What We Know

Now that we have some general knowledge about marijuana, the many strains associated with the plants that marijuana originates from, and an understanding that there are different effects associated with each strain, it is time to look at some of the effects produced by a nearly endless sea of tailored strains and learn a little bit about how the process happens.

Each cannabis plant produces up to 100 cannabinoids and over 300 non-cannabinoid chemicals. No wonder there are so many strains of cannabis, each offering a unique compounding adaptation with a multitude of benefits!

Some of the desired effects of cannabis are: relaxation, happiness, euphoria, sleep enhancement, diet aid, calming effects, relief from anxiety, energy-boosting, and the list goes on.

Depending on the product, the levels of THC can be more or less potent. An average “dose” of THC contains between 18% and 20% of the active agent. Some strains go beyond 30% while oil-based products can reach up to 70% – 90% of THC.

While CBD is non-psychoactive, it has its own benefits and effects. It can counteract the effects of THC, as mentioned earlier, by mixing the energy effects of THC with the anxiety-reducing effects of CBD. The science behind each blend is tedious and sometimes takes years to develop.BD has the unique ability to treat chronic pain, inflammation of the joints, relax the muscles, calm anxiety, and subdue seizures. It is a top agent in the medical and wellness industry.

Scientifically speaking, it is the plant’s chemically psychoactive properties (cannabinoid compounds) that give us the desired feeling of intoxication by interacting directly with our body’s endocannabinoid system. With that said, it is important to note that cannabis is only sometimes used for recreation. While it makes its debut into the legally acceptable spectrum of society, we will see that its benefits and effects do so much more.

"I have seen many patients with chronic pain, muscle spasms, nausea, anorexia, and other unpleasant symptoms obtain significant -- often remarkable -- relief from cannabis medicines, well beyond what had been provided by traditional (usually opiate-based) pain relievers."

-David Hadorn, MD, PhD, Medical Consultant for GW Pharmaceuticals, Ltd.

Some negative effects of cannabis use can be found in the Signs and Symptoms section of our website. Long term cannabis users may suffer negative symptoms if they decide to stop using the drug. Irritability and anxiety may lead them back to “using”. The result of mood-altering may interfere with personal and family responsibilities such as school, work, activities and more.

Lung cancer is rare, relatively speaking, but is possible as blunts may retain nicotine residual from the tobacco leaves. Unfiltered marijuana smoke arguably emits more carcinogens than cigarettes.

Furthermore, THC quickly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream and then carries chemicals to the brain. As mentioned earlier, THC binds to the receptors in the brain as it searches for the denser areas that often influence pleasure. The same part of the brain that influences pleasure also influences memory, physical coordination, and sensory perception. The theory is, therefore, explained that by altering the brain receptors in the pleasure center, those things relating to the same area may be affected.

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