When we think of “Cannabis”, we usually think of a substance that is used for recreational purposes –a plant used to get people high and away from their everyday struggle. Lately, we have been hearing about cannabis more and more every day. Talking about cannabis is not as much of a taboo as it was 30 years ago.
The reasons for this development are plentiful. Overall, Cannabis is quite popular all around the world due to its many medical benefits and its effects on patients with different illnesses. Nowadays, many doctors are calling for the right to be able to administer cannabis to their patients as the main medicine or as a side medicine. Such medical use of cannabis is now legal and common in many countries.
Undoubtedly, Cannabis is the most popular illicit drug in the world. Some people use it to treat chronic pain, anorexia, muscle spasticity, sleep disturbances, and other issues. Medical cannabis can either refer to specific ingredients of cannabis, like cannabidiol (CBD) or it can refer to the cannabis plant as a whole.
Depending on the rate and dosage of cannabinoids ingested, they will have a different effect on one’s body.
What is a cannabinoid?
Cannabinoids are mixtures that make up both the hemp and the Cannabis plant. Of the approximately 500 natural compounds in the Cannabis plant, at least 113 are cannabinoids. Due to their high number and variety, cannabinoids have become popular because of the different health effects each of them can have.
Cannabinoids create feelings of relaxation and euphoria as well as a temporary lack of attention and memory, although not all of them have psychoactive effects. Lately, cannabinoids have been becoming legal in more and more countries, where new shops specialized in selling cannabis-related products are opening up every day.
In the United States alone, there are currently 30 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized the use of Cannabis for medical purposes. Moreover, countries in Europe like the Netherlands and Switzerland have long made Cannabinoids legal, though they enforce strict rules for cannabinoid sales and purchases.
Three main types of cannabinoids
There are more than 113 types of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. However, we will only cover the three most commonly used ones:
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
- Cannabidiol (CBD)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
Each of these cannabinoids has different purposes and effects. However, they do also have similarities. For instance, all three of them can be used for medical purposes.
CBD attenuates some of the negative effects of THC, like anxiety or fear, and the presence of CBN produces a gently soothing high that may be beneficial for people wanting to use cannabis for better sleep.
We shall now explain how each of these cannabinoids works and what it is mainly used for.
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THC is one of the oldest known psychoactive drugs. There have been studies indicating that THC can have beneficial qualities for people with nausea and vomiting. However, its adverse effects may limit the benefits of using it. THC is generally thought to be better for daytime or social use.
THC can also have antiemetic qualities that can be quite helpful for those who are undergoing chemotherapy.
Many people have also admitted that THC has helped them control their anxiety and different forms of depression. THC is a gentle analgesic or painkiller, and cellular research has shown that it has antioxidant properties, which is why it is effective for people who have mental health issues.
CBD is the second most popular cannabinoid extracted from cannabis. It has the opposite effect of THC, as it calms the user down rather than taking them to an emotionally elevated place.
It is generally thought to be better for nighttime use, because it tends to blunt the effect of THC, thereby allowing users to adjust their activity by adding more CBD. CBD is effective against nausea, stimulates appetite, and allows for analgesic, muscular and mental relaxation. It also contains anti-inflammatory qualities.
CBD can also have an effect on the body in other ways due to the many receptors in one’s body and brain that respond to CBD. Non-psychoactive CBD has been used by several brands for make-up and hygiene products, including mascaras and moisturizers.
CBN is created by an oxidization process, which involves THC. Cannabinol helps the user lower his or her anxiety and it can even lower the pressure behind one’s eyes. CBN comes from cannabigerol acid.
By linking CBN with THC, some users experience less anxiety that they feel when consuming products with high THC levels. CBN may also help you attain a deeper level of sleep than usual.
CBN also has sedative-like effects that are said to relieve muscle spasms. It is usually very little to no CBN in a new cannabis plant. The degradation of THC into CBN is often described as creating a sedative effect.
Legalization of cannabinoid in the world
Only a few countries have legalized cannabinoid up to now, but more countries are starting to use it for medicine and many other benefits.
Uruguay was one of the first counties to legalize recreational cannabis in 2013. In the following paragraph, we will mention some countries that have allowed the use of Cannabis subject to certain regulations, specifying how much one is allowed to purchase and/or carry.
The Netherlands is probably the country most known for its legal use of cannabis, although the drug is technically still illegal there. Peru allows citizens to possess Cannabis as long as it is for personal use. Spain has also given its citizens the rights to grow and consume cannabis privately.
In Costa Rica, people can possess a small amount of cannabis without running into legal trouble. In the US, nine states and the District of Colombia have legalized Cannabis for recreational use by adults. Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug globally and is classified as a schedule one controlled substance.
According to a 2017 Gallup poll, 64 percent of respondents said that they fully support legalizing cannabis. This total represents a 4 percent rise in comparison with the previous year. The support for legal weed has steadily grown since 2012.