Cannabis 101, also known as marijuana, has long been a source of confusion for those who are new to the substance and its various uses. Within Cannabis 101, we'll look at What is it? Why use it? What are the different forms? And what are the benefits?
In this beginner's guide to cannabis 101, we'll answer these questions and more – giving you all the information you need to start your journey with this natural plant.
In particular, we'll look at:
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Introduction to Cannabis 101
Cannabis is a plant that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. The main, active ingredient in marijuana is THC (short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), which is known to provide relief from pain, inflammation, anxiety, and other medical conditions as well as boost creativity, energy and mood enhancers.
Cannabis is called by many other names, including marijuana, pot, grass, hashish, joint and weed.
It can be consumed in various forms, including smoking, vaporizing, edibles, and topicals. The benefits of cannabis are well-documented, and it is now legal in many states across in the USA.
How does THC affect the brain?
THC causes brain cells to release dopamine, a chemical involved in mood and thinking. Dopamine is called the feel-good brain chemical. Using cannabis may cause pleasurable effects such as:
- High (pleasant sensations) or very relaxed (marijuana intoxication)
- An increased appetite (“the munchies”)
- Enhanced senses of sight, hearing, and taste
However, the end effect really depends on how you use it for example when smoked the effects are normally felt within minutes, whereas with edibles it can take up to an hour.
If it's so good, why does it have a stigma?
As good as cannabis can be, it also has a lot of stigmas. This is mainly due to its associated illegal activities, crime and violence. It is also seen by some as a drug that is not safe and can be harmful to people's health and the list can keep continuing……. In fact, although it's legal in some countries, you could go to prison in others if you have cannabis on you.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a plant that contains psychoactive compounds known as cannabinoids. These compounds can produce mind-altering effects when consumed. It refers to three plants with psychoactive properties, known as Cannabis sativa, Cannabis Indica and Cannabis ruderalis. When these plants are dried, the drug we all know “cannabis” is born.
Cannabis can be used in a variety of ways. The most common is smoking or vaporizing the flower buds or leaves of the plant. These methods release THC into the body, where it binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and produces the plant's signature high. Other ways to consume cannabis include eating cannabis-infused edibles or using cannabis extracts like oils and tinctures. These methods allow users to get all the benefits of cannabis without having to smoke it.
There are many different benefits associated with using cannabis. Some of these include reducing anxiety and stress, relieving pain, improving sleep quality, and stimulating appetite. Cannabis has also been shown to help treat various medical conditions like epilepsy, Crohn's disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Different Forms of Cannabis
The Cannabis plant contains psychoactive compounds. These psychoactive compounds can produce different effects in the body, depending on the person's individual physiology and how the cannabis is consumed.
There are three primary types of cannabis plants: Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid. Let’s explore what they are and the differences between them.
Whether you’re using marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, you need to know about the strain type and the possible effects as they are different.
Whenever considerating cannabis you should (1) know your ideal end objective and (2) speak to a medical practitioner before trying anything.
Cannabis has more than 120 components, these are what we call cannabinoids. Scientists and professionals are still researching all these components, however, they do have a good understanding of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Put simply, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not produce the “high” associated with marijuana use whereas THC has the psychoactive effect that will make your “high”.
There is a growing body of scientific evidence to support the use of CBD for various health conditions. Some studies have shown that CBD can help to relieve anxiety and improve sleep quality. Other studies have shown that CBD may help to reduce inflammation and pain. While more research is needed to confirm these findings, CBD shows promise as a natural remedy for a wide range of conditions.
It is estimated the Cannabidiol Market will be worth $22.05 billion by 2030, which shows this industry is booming!
Why Use Cannabis?
There are many reasons why people use cannabis. Some people use it for medical purposes, while others use it for recreation. Cannabis has a number of different benefits, including the ability to relieve pain, relax the mind and body, and improve appetite in addition to boosting creativity, relaxation, inspiration and socialising.
No matter what your reason is for using cannabis, it is important to research thoroughly and speak to a medical professional before doing so.
Health Benefits of Cannabis
The health benefits of cannabis are now being recognized by the medical community and more people are using it to treat a variety of conditions.
Cannabis has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of medical conditions, including:
-Loss of appetite
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the active ingredients in cannabis. CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. CBD can be taken in various forms, including oils, tinctures, capsules, and topical creams.
Side Effects of Using Cannabis
Cannabis is a versatile plant with many different uses and benefits. However, like any substance, it also has the potential for side effects. Some of the most common side effects of using cannabis include:
-Elevated heart rate
-Anxiety or paranoia
-Impaired coordination and balance
While these side effects are typically mild and temporary, they can be more severe in some people. It's important to start with small amounts and increase gradually to avoid any negative reactions. If you do experience any adverse effects, stop using cannabis and consult your doctor.
How to Consume Cannabis Responsibly?
Cannabis is a versatile plant with many different uses, and it’s important to consume it responsibly to get the most out of it. Here are some tips on how to do just that:
- Start with a low dose and go slow. With cannabis, less is often more. It’s best to start with a small dose and see how you feel before consuming more.
- Be aware of your surroundings and who you’re with. Cannabis can alter your perception of reality, so it’s important to be in a safe and comfortable environment when using it. Make sure you’re with people you trust and who will respect your boundaries.
- Don’t mix cannabis with other drugs or alcohol. Combining substances can amplify their effects and lead to unwanted side effects. Stick to cannabis alone if possible.
- Be mindful of how long the effects last. Depending on the strain, cannabis can stay in your system for up to 24 hours or more.
- Pay attention to your body and mind. Cannabis affects everyone differently, so take some time to notice how it makes you feel both physically and mentally before making any decisions while under its influence.
Legal Considerations for Using Cannabis
When it comes to cannabis, there are a lot of legal considerations to take into account. In some states, cannabis is completely legal, while in others it is only legal for medical use, in some states, it is still illegal as well as many countries. Before using cannabis, it is important to educate yourself better on the laws.
If you are caught with cannabis in a state where it is illegal, you could face serious penalties, including jail time. So, before using cannabis, make sure you know the risks and are willing to accept them.
There are also some legal considerations to take into account if you want to start a business selling cannabis products. For example, you will need to get a license from the state in which you plan to operate. You will also need to comply with all local and state regulations regarding the sale of cannabis products.
Cannabis 101: The bottom line
With this beginner's guide to cannabis, we hope you now have a better understanding of the many facets of this plant and its potential medical benefits. While it still remains illegal in some places, the legalization of cannabis has opened up opportunities for individuals to explore the different forms, strains and applications that can be used medicinally or recreationally. Whether you choose to use it for pain relief or relaxation purposes, always remember to stay safe and be mindful of your surroundings before enjoying any form of cannabis.
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