What is cannabis? (marijuana, pot, weed, etc…)
“What is THC?” “What is CBD?”
“Will CBD get me “high?” “I don’t want to feel “high…”
“What if I don’t want to smoke cannabis?”
“Is Cannabis addictive?”
Should I consult my physician before trying cannabis?
The biggest and most pressing question of all… Will cannabis help with my ______? Let me clear some of this up for you right here, right now, and in quick, concise terms: Cannabis is a flowering plant. The buds or flowers hold nearly 500 compounds, consisting of at least 65 “cannabinoids.” (The term “marijuana” is slang and has its own history, but for our purposes, cannabis is the correct term) These cannabinoids are molecules, each possessing its own positive influence on the human body’s endocannabinoid system. Briefly, the endo-cannabinoid system is a biological system composed of endo-cannabinoids, tiny versions of cannabinoids. This system regulates a variety of physiological and cognitive processes including pain, hunger, mood and even memory. Two of the more commonly recognized and known cannabinoids are THC and CBD.
THCa, THCv, CBDa, CBDv, CBN, CBG, CBC are among others that are currently being used and explored in the industry and in research. We’re just going to take a snapshot of the first two. THC is the all familiar molecule that will produce a psychoactive effect, euphoria type “high.” And – only THC gets you “high.” All of the other cannabinoids, including THCa, THCv, CBD, etc… are non-psychoactive. You see, the flower or “bud” holding all of these molecules actually contains only nominal amounts of THC, the molecule that gets you “high.” Only by a process called, decarboxylation (a fancy way to say, “heated up”) is THC created. This can be done instantly by lighting a “joint,” or a process used for baking as with edibles, etc… THC has been reported to help with a wide variety of ailments and symptoms. Here’s a short list of the more common symptoms that THC is used for – Pain, glaucoma, low appetite, muscle spasticity, nausea and insomnia.
Due to the psycho active effects of THC, it is also used recreationally. An arguably safe and healthier avenue of mind-altering recreational use. BUT – THC is not for everyone or for every symptom or ailment. It’s important to understand THC’s sober sister, CBD.
CBD may be where it’s at for many folks. The medicinal possibilities of this molecule are vast and growing… plus it does not produce any psycho active effects making it more attractive to some people, or even allowable. CBD is often reported to relieve convulsions (seizures), inflammation, and therefore pain… migraines, depression, anxiety, nausea, and much more. Both CBD and THC can be consumed in a variety of ways in today’s legal and more educated market. You don’t have to smoke it. You don’t have to smoke cannabis. You can enjoy its benefits via:
Topicals – rubs, lotions, balms, creams, salves, body oils, patches, bath soaks are reported to provide inflammation reduction, pain relief, relief from symptoms of psoriasis and more… Relief is usually found within 10 to 30 minutes. They effects may last hours.
Tinctures – are what many people are referring to as “the oils,” or “the drops.” These products are oils that come in a dropper and are taken under the tongue, or sublingually. When held under the tongue for 60 to 90 seconds for absorption, effects are typically felt within 15 to 45 minutes. They will last up to a few of hours.
Edibles – can take from 40 minutes and up to 2 hours to take effect. This delayed effect is not often the best option for those needing more immediate relief. However, in combination with other products, edibles can provide some people with great relief as the effects can last 6 to 8 hours.
Capsules and Pills – typically take up to 90 minutes to take effect, but can last longer periods of time like edibles.
Vaporizing – Vape pens are similar to smoking in that relief should be instantaneous, but short-lived. However, vape pens are controversial at this time, and further research needs to be pursued.
Combinations of CBD and THC are very popular as they seem to provide various levels of relief, as well. There are many different ratios of CBD to THC depending on what one is looking to relieve. Cannabis is not addictive and you may start and stop using it at will. This is a relief to many as they have read about or otherwise experienced the opioid crisis. It is always recommended that you consult your Doctor regarding the use of Cannabis especially as it may pertain to other medications you are taking. Research has shown that if you are using CBD and taking (some) other pharmaceutical medications, the CBD could interfere with the liver’s processing of other medications. The CBD should be taken at least two hours apart from other medications, or at the opposite end of the day, etc. And, last but not least – “will cannabis help my _____?”
My answer to you is… it just might. And, maybe more important, it will cause no harm. But being appropriately informed can make all the difference in your health, and your overall enjoyment of life!