What is Cannabis?

Cannabis is a flowering herb from Asia. But it can be grown anywhere under the right conditions. There are several species of cannabis. Those that contain high levels of the psychoactive chemical THC are commonly known as “marijuana” and used in medicinal marijuana. Those with low levels of THC are harvested commercially worldwide as “hemp” for a variety of products, including rope, paper, and clothing.

There are more than 475 chemical compounds in marijuana, including over 80 medicinal cannabinoids. The two most well-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD.

 

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

THC is the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. It’s the one that gives marijuana its mind-altering reputation. However, it also offers numerous medicinal benefits. THC blocks pain signals from the brain, making it a highly effective pain reliever, especially for nerve-related pain.

 

CBD (Cannabidiol)

The best way to describe CBD is to say it’s the opposite of THC. And it is. That’s because CBD is an anti-psychoactive chemical. It counteracts the mind-altering properties of THC and provides balance. This is one of the reasons why the different forms of medicinal marijuana are so effective.

As if that wasn’t enough, CBD is also a highly beneficial chemical. It reduces nausea and suppresses epileptic seizures. Arthritis patients gain measurable relief from its anti-inflammatory properties. CBD slows tumor and cancer cell growth in cancer patients, and it has proven to be effective in treatments for anxiety and depression.

 

Methods of Consumption

Vaporizing

A vaporizer heats medicinal marijuana at a controlled temperature, allowing the cannabinoids to be ingested as vapor rather than smoke. Vaporizers are extremely efficient. If you use a vaporizer, you’ll need less medicine to achieve the desired effect. The THC is absorbed quickly, making this method of consumption ideal for patients who require immediate relief. Because a vaporizer doesn’t produce smoke, there’s no burning sensation in the back of the throat.

 

Tinctures

Tinctures are a highly concentrated form and contain the most potent levels of THC. They’re usually mixed with alcohol, like most herbal tinctures. However, glycerin tinctures are available if you’re avoiding alcohol. Tinctures are an oral method of consumption. Just place a few drops under your tongue or stir into a glass of water.

 

Oils

Extracted cannabinoids in oil are also very potent. These extracts can be mixed with butters or cooking oils and cooked or baked into food. Cannabis oils provide the desired therapeutic results without the mind-altering properties of THC. The medicinal effects from oils often last several hours longer than smoking or vaporizing.

 

Topicals

Topical solutions combined with cannabinoids are applied directly to the skin. Topicals are available in a variety of forms, including lotions, salves, balms, sprays, and creams. They’re extremely effective for skin conditions and joint diseases, especially when mixed with analgesics and anti-inflammatories.

 

Smoking

Although the medicinal effects are felt immediately, smoking the raw product or leaves is considered an inferior method of delivery. Not only do the benefits from smoking diminish rapidly but research has also shown smoking cannabis can produce harmful byproducts. For this reason, more effective methods of consumption are usually suggested.

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