A GREEN COLD hard Hazard and Fact in Safety for Canada to consider. It is true that some chemicals in marijuana/cannabis may have some medicinal purposes, but there is not much controlled research. And identifying and extracting those potentially helpful chemicals and putting them in a safe form are the jobs of medical researchers, in order to protect the public. The main difference between THC and CBD, both of which are very popular cannabinoids, is in their psychoactive effects. THC elicits strong cerebral euphoria, while CBD lacks psychoactive affects altogether. This basically comes down to the fact that THC activates CB1 receptors in our brain while CBD does not. CBD’s subtle effects are primarily felt in pain, inflammation, and anxiety relief, as well as other medicinal benefits.
Most people know that THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical compound in cannabis responsible for a euphoric high. But what more is there to know about cannabis’ primary psychoactive component? Whether the question comes as a newbie to the cannabis world or an experienced consumer who would like to know a bit more about the most famous of cannabinoids, THC has likely been synonymous with cannabis in your mind for as long as you’ve known about the plant. Like nicotine, kicking the marijuana habit can be difficult, with similar withdrawal symptoms including irritability, sleeping difficulties, cravings, anxiety and increased aggression. And out of all the people in treatment for drug abuse, 1 in 4 is being treated for marijuana.
The first step to understanding THC is to understand cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that interact with receptors in the brain and body to create various effects. There exist dozens, and potentially more than 100, cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, but THC is most widely known among these due to its abundance and psychoactive attributes. Even if some day there are safe and effective medicines extracted from the plant, that still wouldn’t mean using them to get high is safe anymore than abusing other medications is safe. Using marijuana in the forms available today is not safe. Marijuana is known to impair one’s ability to think, remember and reason. In the classroom, users may struggle to concentrate and recall information.
Because humans (and many other animals) have receptor systems that THC binds to, we can also reap the benefits of cannabinoids for both health and enjoyment. This system, called the endocannabinoid system (or ECS), is a group of specialized signaling chemicals (think “keys”), their receptors (think “locks”), and the metabolic enzymes that produce and break them down. These endocannabinoid chemical signals act on some of the same brain and immune cell receptors (CB1 and CB2) that plant cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) act on. Marijuana impacts decision-making and changes the way people behave. It also impairs coordination and balance, which leads to a greater risk for accident, injury and death. And contrary to popular belief, marijuana can increase heart rate and cause panic and anxiety in some users, especially with new high-potency forms of marijuana.
On average, in the 1970s, a marijuana “joint” contained less than 1% THC (the chemical in marijuana that produces a high). In comparison, that same size joint today would contain, on average, about 13% THC. Before envisioning a symbiotic relationship between cannabis and humans, it’s important to be introduced to “endogenous cannabinoids” such as anandamide and 2AG – the human body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids. You may be familiar with anandamide if you’re, say, a runner and have experienced the wave of euphoria after a successful jog, commonly known as “runner’s high.” And that’s not all; today there are even higher potency forms of marijuana, where THC is extracted using heat; producing forms referred to as “budder,” “shatter,” “dabs,” and “wax.” In these new forms, THC levels can be as high as 80 – 90% (not even in the same ballpark as 1970’s stuff).
Some short-term effects of THC include:
· Pain relief
· Memory impairment
· Increased heart rate
· Dry mouth
· Red eyes
· Slowed perception of time
· “Couch-lock,” or feeling heavy
How does Cannabis Affect your MEMORY
Psychosis: Only truly a concern for those predisposed to certain psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia and other such disorders, research has found the onset of symptoms may develop an average of three years earlier with regular cannabis use.
Tolerance: The body naturally builds up a tolerance for THC with extended, long-term use. The downside to this is that increased levels of consumption will be required to achieve the desired effects.
While some may find that THC elicits strong feelings of calm and peace, others may notice an increase in their anxiety levels. The difference can be as simple as one’s own body chemistry, but certain strains and varying concentrations of THC can also create different outcomes in how one feels. This extremely potent marijuana is also now commonly vaporized and breathed into the lungs using e-cigarette devices. And the old home-baked marijuana brownies have now morphed into an endless list of “marijuana edibles” including a variety of baked goods, candies and sodas, available for purchase in stores (in some states) and online plus soon in Canada if Legislation is passed.