When people normally think about cannabis or marijuana, they think of an age-old drug that people smoke to get high. But the use of this herb is not limited to just that. In fact, to understand the medical benefits of it and its byproduct CBD, you have to understand more about the cannabis itself. Otherwise, your knowledge will be quite incomplete.
In this article, you’re going to learn everything you need to know about cannabis so you can dig deeper to fully understand its benefits.
What Is Cannabis?
When we generally talk about cannabis, we’re talking about a set of three different plants. Those plants are Cannabis sativa, Cannabis ruderalis, and Cannabis sativa. When these plants have flowers, we harvest them, make them dry to produce one of the most ancient drugs of this entire world. And this is marijuana which often referred by people as weed or pot.
As more and more state is making marijuana legal, we’re starting to call the weed with a different name. Today, we know this weed as cannabis. Nowadays, many people like call weed that name while others still consider it illegal. For some people, it’s still nothing more than a drug.
However, it can be used in more ways than just drugs that get you high. After many clinical studies of the effect of marijuana on the human body, we know that cannabis has a lot of potentials to cure more than 40 different kinds of disease including cancer.
Many doctors also approve the use of marijuana for lung health, heart health, living a healthy life, and cure mental disorders. The CBD inside the marijuana fixes mood swings, reduce stress, anxiety, and improves appetite.
What Are Cannabis Made Of?
Cannabis or marijuana has more than 120 different chemical compounds and all of them are generally called cannabinoids. While experts still don’t know the functions of all the cannabinoids, they do know about two very specific cannabinoids. And those two cannabinoids are cannabidiol or CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
While each of the products has a lot of similarities with each other, there are significant differences in the way each of them works. Below is a very brief explanation of both of the cannabinoids:
- CBD: CBD is one of the most well-known cannabinoids and one that experts have done a lot of research on. Unlike what most people believe, CBD doesn’t get you high or have any psychoactive effects on our bodies. It has many medical properties including anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety properties, and stress-busting effects. People are using this to treat insomnia, migraine, nausea, and different chronic mental conditions. However, we still have a long way to go before fully understand how it affects our bodies.
- THC: This is the one and the only cannabinoid found in marijuana and hemp that causes all the psychoactive effects. This is the reason why people get high when they smoke weed or consume it in some way.
Nowadays, you can easily find marijuana products that will have just CBD and no THC at all. Also, some might have both CBD and THC. If you consume dried marijuana flowers directly, then you’ll be exposed to both and get high too. On the other hand, hemp plants have a lot of CBD but little to no THC in them. In most hemp plants, the THC content is less than 0.3% of the total cannabinoids.
How Cannabis Affects Us?
If you use cannabis or marijuana, then you’ll experience a lot of different effects on your body. Some effects are short-term and vanish after a few hours. Meanwhile, the others are rather long-term which you’ll notice after using marijuana a few days or weeks or months in a row.
Let’s see what are some of the short and long-term effects of using marijuana:
If you use marijuana, you’ll experience a lot of different short-term effects. While some effects might benefit you, others might be bad news for you.
Here are some of the short-term effects that can be beneficial for you:
- A feeling of relaxation.
- An alteration of the perception of time and place.
- Your senses will be heightened. For example, you’ll sense everything more intensely.
- Your appetite will improve.
However, you have to ensure that cannabis you use has a greater amount of CBD than THC. On the other hand, using marijuana has quite a few bad short-term effects too.
These short term side effects include:
- Issues with identifying exact coordination.
- Loss of bodily balance.
- A decrease in blood pressure.
- Reaction time delay.
- And more.
Again, you can reduce the intensity of the side effects if the product you use has more CBD and a lot less THC. Moreover, the way you consume the product plays a big role in the effectiveness of these short-term effects. If you literally smoke weed, you will feel the effects almost instantly within a few minutes. On the other hand, if you take them as a capsule or in edible form, it might take hours before the first effect kicks in.
Just like its short-term effects, consuming marijuana has a host of long-term effects too. And although we know about some of the long-term effects quite well, experts believe there is yet a lot to discover about the long-term effects of marijuana on our body.
Moreover, experts found that many results conflict with each other. On the other hand, most of the tests have been conducted on animals. So, we don’t exactly know if the effects of marijuana on animal also applies to us. Therefore, we still need to conduct a lot of long-term studies to figure out the exact effects of cannabis on our bodies.
Below are some of the long-term effects of consuming CBD products that you need to know about.
Here we go…
Development Of Our Brain
According to a 2014 study, people who consumed a lot of cannabis during their adolescence suffered from various brain developmental issues. People who consumed an excess amount of marijuana or cannabis during their teen years suffers from various learning problems. In fact, they suffered from memory problems too. However, we still don’t know if those problems or the long-term effects are permanent or not.
Also, teens who smoked weed excessively might have mental health problems in the future such as schizophrenia. But the link between marijuana consumption and this mental disorder is not that clear yet.
People who extensively use cannabis, especially from a very young age are more likely to form some dependence on it. In fact, in several cases, people have shown signs of withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms commonly include low appetite, anxiety, stress, mood swings, and more.
Moreover, if people below the age of 18 starts using cannabis, they’re more likely to form some kind of cannabis-related disorder than those people who started using weed a lot later. In fact, the cannabis users under the age of 18 have up to 7 times more possibility of developing a dependence on weed.
So, make sure you don’t use marijuana before the age of 18. Otherwise, you might suffer from serious consequences.
There are many ways someone can use marijuana. But one of the most popular ways of doing this is smoking. But there is bad news for the people who smoke weed. Smoking weed has the same kinds of side effects as smoking tobacco. These people might suffer from severe respiratory disorders and other lung diseases.
People who smoke marijuana too much suffer from airway inflammation. Here are some of the common health problem that may be caused by smoking marijuana:
- The damage of the lungs.
- Risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Gum disease.
- And last but not least, lung cancer.
Is It Even Legal?
Using or growing marijuana is still illegal in many places and countries. However, due to the recent research of its benefit, more and more places are legalizing it.
For example, the UK has legalized the medicinal use of CBD, one of the cannabis extracts. In the US, some of the states now have now made marijuana legal for different medical and other recreational use. On the other hand, other states just gave the medicinal use of marijuana a legal status. However, if you take the federal law of the US into account, then marijuana is still illegal.
There are different laws regarding marijuana in different countries. Some countries only made CBD legal. While in other countries, anything related to cannabis is seen as taboo and they banned any form of marijuana in their countries.
That’s why make sure to know about your local laws regarding marijuana. It’s always better to inquire first than facing the consequences later.
In The End
Cannabis is becoming increasingly popular all around the world and some of its products are helping people to lead a safe and healthy life. However, the direct use of marijuana comes with its own different effects. Although some of those effects might be beneficial for you, others can be quite harmful to your health.
Regardless of its effect on the human body, you must check if it’s legal in your country and state or not. Even if it’s legal, make sure you contact your doctor and discuss cannabis with him. As marijuana may interact with your current medications, the doctor’s consultation is absolutely necessary.
So, talk to your doctor, assess the pros and cons, and then make your final decision.
Disclaimer: The information above should not be considered a medical recommendation. The content is written to enrich the reader’s knowledge. Any use of materials and content mentioned in this article should be first consulted about by a physician.