What Are Cannabinoids And How Do They Work?
Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that produce the varying effects of cannabis consumption. There are 104 different cannabinoids that can be isolated from the cannabis plant, but the two most common cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC is the cannabinoid that is primarily responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects. For medical patients, the use of THC can help treat insomnia, anxiety, and other mood disorders.
How is cannabis different from hemp? Hemp is defined as a cannabis plant containing less than 0.3 percent THC. It does not induce psychoactive effects. Hemp has been used historically for centuries for making cloth, pottery, and building materials.
The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a cell-signaling system within your body that plays a part in regulating a variety of functions and processes such as sleep, mood, appetite, and memory. The ECS is active within your body, even if you are not a cannabis consumer.
When cannabinoids like CBD or THC enter the body, they attach themselves to cannabinoid receptors within your central and peripheral nervous systems. There are two kinds of cannabinoid receptors within your body: CB1 receptors, which are most commonly found in the central nervous system, and CB2 receptors, found in the peripheral nervous system.
Where Is Marijuana Legal?
Marijuana consumption is approved for recreational and medical use in the state of Nevada. Recreational use permits anyone over the age of 21 to purchase cannabis products without medical need or registration.
Each individual state has its own rules and regulations regarding marijuana consumption, so it is important to do your own research if you plan on accessing cannabis products outside the state of Nevada.
Who Is Eligible To Be A Medical Marijuana Patient?
You are qualified to register as a medical marijuana patient in the state of Nevada if your doctor has diagnosed you with one or more of the following conditions:
- Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Cachexia (general physical wasting and malnutrition from chronic disease)
- Persistent muscle spasms (including multiple sclerosis)
- Seizures (including epilepsy)
- Severe nausea
- Severe pain
- Additional conditions, subject to approval
Strains of Marijuana
Throughout history, cannabis growers have selectively bred their plants to suit their needs and the needs of their communities. The results of this selective breeding are various different strains of marijuana.
Different strains of marijuana possess certain defining characteristics that can induce different effects.
Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid Strains
You may have seen these terms before, as indica, sativa, and hybrid are the three general categories of cannabis strains. Each type of strain has a set of effects associated with it, but it’s important to note that most strains are hybrid at this point, and the present terpenes are what really drive the effect of the strain. Sativa and indica are still helpful terms in identifying plants by leaves if anything, but they aren’t hard and fast classifications that you should follow.
Indica strains typically induce a relaxing body high that is beneficial as a pain reliever and sleep aid. Sativa strains typically induce a head high that can feel euphoric and uplifting and may make you feel more alert, creative, and energetic.
Hybrid strains are the best of both worlds: a combination of an indica strain and a sativa strain. Most cannabis on the market today is a hybrid strain, so the specific terpenes present within the strain is really what determines individualized effects.
Methods of Marijuana Consumption
There is a wide variety of different ways to consume cannabis, and each consumption method can provide a different experience. If you are new to the world of cannabis, you may want to explore various consumption methods to find which one best suits your needs.
Flower is the dry form of marijuana, and it is consumed by smoking. Flower can be smoked in glass pipes, bongs, and hand-rolled cigarettes called joints.
Cannabis concentrates are made when flower is pressed at super-high pressures, and the concentrated elements within the plant are extracted. The result of this process is cannabis concentrates. Concentrates are consumed through vaporization.
- Oil is a thick, sticky liquid containing varying levels of THC
- Shatter is a smooth, solid, and transparent concentrate that is typically higher in THC
- Wax is an opaque, soft extract that is typically lower in THC than other concentrates
- Budder is a creamy, butter-like concentrate that is typically higher in THC
- Resin is a dark, gooey concentrate that is typically higher in THC than other concentrates
Oral forms of marijuana can come in capsules, tinctures, and edibles and are ideal for those looking to consume conveniently and discreetly.
Tinctures are a liquid form of marijuana and are applied under the tongue with an eyedropper or syringe. Tinctures can also be made to spray directly onto the tongue.
Edibles are food products infused with marijuana. As the name suggests, edibles are consumed through eating! Cannabis can be infused into a plethora of different food products, but edibles typically come in the form of cookies, chocolates, and gummies.
Topical forms of marijuana are applied directly to the skin and are used primarily for medical purposes to treat localized chronic pain. Topic medical marijuana can come in various forms: creams and lotions, balms and salves, and patches.
Other Factors That May Affect Your Cannabis Experience
Amount and Tolerance
If your cannabinoid receptors in your nervous systems frequently come into contact with cannabinoids like THC, your brain will start to reduce the activity of your CB1 receptors. Over time, your body may not respond to the same levels of cannabinoids you are used to and may require a larger amount to feel the same effect.
How To Store Cannabis Products
Cannabis products should be properly stored when not in use in order to maintain its quality. In order to keep your products at their best quality and highest potency, you should:
- Avoid direct sunlight. Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun can dry out and degrade organic materials if left exposed for extended periods of time. Always store your cannabis products away from direct sunlight.
- Control the temperature. Ideally, cannabis products should be stored at room temperature. Storing cannabis products in an area that is too hot will result in mold and mildew growth, which can be dangerous to your health if you are exposed to it. High temperatures can also destroy the terpenes in your bud and give it a harsher taste. Low temperatures can lower the potency of your product.
- Limit oxygen exposure. Cannabinoids and terpenes will oxidize if exposed to oxygen for a long period of time. This oxidation will affect your product’s potency. It is always a good idea to store cannabis in an air-tight container.