Cannabis, also known as marijuana, weed, or pot, is a psychoactive drug made from the Cannabis plant. The plant contains over 100 different chemical compounds called cannabinoids, the most well-known of which is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is responsible for the plant’s mind-altering effects and is the primary reason why cannabis is used recreationally. However, cannabis also contains another cannabinoid called cannabidiol (CBD), which is not psychoactive and is known to have medicinal properties.
- 1 Three Types of Cannabis Plant
- 2 Medical Cannabis Benefits
- 3 How Does Cannabis Affect Your Body
- 4 How to become a Medical Marijuana Patient
- 5 Difference between Cannabis And Hemp
Three Types of Cannabis Plant
There are three main types of Cannabis plants: Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. Each type of cannabis plant has its own unique characteristics and effects.
Cannabis Sativa is a tall, thin plant that is native to tropical regions. It has a high THC content and is known for its energizing and uplifting effects. Sativa strains are often used during the daytime and can help increase creativity, productivity, and focus. Some of the most popular Sativa strains include Green Crack, Jack Herer, and Jack The Ripper.
Cannabis Indica, on the other hand, is a shorter and bushier plant that is native to colder climates. It has a higher CBD content and is known for its relaxing and sedative effects. Indica strains are often used at night and can help reduce anxiety, relieve pain, and promote sleep. Some of the most popular Indica strains include Afghani Kush, Northern Lights, and Bubble Kush.
Cannabis Ruderalis is a lesser-known type of cannabis that is native to central and eastern Europe and Russia. It is a smaller and hardier plant that has a lower THC and CBD content. Ruderalis strains are often used for their auto-flowering properties, which means they can flower automatically without the need for a specific light schedule. They are often used for breeding purposes to create hybrid strains with specific characteristics.
It is important to note that the effects of cannabis can vary from person to person and depend on factors such as dosage, method of consumption, and individual tolerance. It is also important to use cannabis responsibly and to follow local laws and regulations regarding its use.
Cannabis is a complex plant that contains a variety of chemical compounds with unique effects. Understanding the differences between Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis can help individuals make informed decisions about which strains to use based on their desired effects. Remember to always use cannabis responsibly and to follow local laws and regulations.
Medical Cannabis Benefits
Medical cannabis, also known as medical marijuana, is the use of cannabis and its cannabinoids to treat medical conditions. The use of cannabis for medical purposes dates back thousands of years, and modern research has shown that cannabis can be effective in treating a wide range of medical conditions.
Here are some of the medical benefits of cannabis:
Pain Relief: Cannabis is often used to relieve pain, particularly chronic pain that is difficult to treat with traditional medication. Cannabinoids in cannabis, particularly THC and CBD, interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to reduce pain and inflammation.
Reduces Nausea and Vomiting: Medical cannabis is often used to treat the side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea and vomiting. Studies have shown that cannabis can be effective in reducing these symptoms and improving the overall quality of life for cancer patients.
Muscle Spasm Control: Medical cannabis can be effective in reducing muscle spasms in conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and spinal cord injuries. The cannabinoids in cannabis can help relax the muscles and reduce spasticity.
Epilepsy: Medical cannabis has been shown to be effective in reducing seizures in patients with epilepsy. The CBD in cannabis has been particularly effective in treating childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Anxiety and Depression: Cannabis can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, particularly in low doses. THC can help increase levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, while CBD can reduce anxiety and improve overall well-being.
Glaucoma: Medical cannabis can be effective in reducing intraocular pressure in patients with glaucoma, a condition that can lead to blindness if left untreated. The cannabinoids in cannabis can help reduce pressure in the eyes and protect the optic nerve from damage.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Cannabis can be effective in treating inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The cannabinoids in cannabis can help reduce inflammation in the gut and improve overall gastrointestinal health.
Neurodegenerative Diseases: Medical cannabis has been shown to be effective in treating symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. The cannabinoids in cannabis can help reduce inflammation in the brain and improve cognitive function.
Insomnia: Cannabis can help improve sleep in patients with insomnia. THC can help promote sleep by reducing the time it takes to fall asleep and increasing overall sleep duration, while CBD can help reduce anxiety and improve overall sleep quality.
Addiction: Medical cannabis can be effective in treating addiction to drugs such as opioids and alcohol. Cannabis can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, and can be used as a substitute for other addictive substances.
Medical cannabis has a wide range of potential benefits for treating various medical conditions. While more research is needed to fully understand the medical benefits of cannabis, current research shows that cannabis can be effective in treating pain, reducing nausea and vomiting, controlling muscle spasms, reducing seizures, improving mood, reducing inflammation, improving sleep, and treating addiction. It is important to work with a qualified healthcare provider when using medical cannabis to ensure that it is used safely and effectively.
How Does Cannabis Affect Your Body
Cannabis is a complex plant that can affect the body in different ways depending on various factors such as genetics, tolerance, general medical health, and the presence of specific endocannabinoid receptors in the body. The effects of cannabis consumption also vary depending on the method of consumption, whether it be smoking, vaping, ingestion, or other forms.
The active compounds in cannabis, known as phytocannabinoids, interact with our body’s systems in different ways. The two most common cannabinoids found in cannabis are THC and CBD, but there are many others such as CBG, CBC, CBL, and THCV, each with its unique effects. These phytocannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for regulating various physiological processes such as inflammation, pain, and emotional response.
Cannabinoids within cannabis can signal the body to create more endocannabinoids and build more receptors, leading to the manipulation of physiological processes such as inflammation, pain, and emotional response. This can have a wide range of psychological and physical benefits, including the promotion of immune response, healthy sleep patterns, the destruction of dangerous cells, and the mollification of emotional and behavioral abnormalities that lead to stress, anxiety, and mood disorders.
One of the most notable effects of cannabis consumption is the feeling of euphoria or “high” produced by THC. THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, producing the feeling of euphoria, while also impairing memory, concentration, and coordination. On the other hand, CBD does not produce a “high” but can help reduce anxiety and improve mood.
It is important to note that the effects of smoking cannabis can irritate the lungs and lead to respiratory problems such as chronic bronchitis and lung infections. To reduce the risk of respiratory problems, other methods of consumption such as edibles, tinctures, and vaporizers can be used.
Despite the potential benefits of cannabis, researchers are still in the early stages of understanding how our body interacts with cannabis and how it can be utilized to treat specific medical conditions. Therefore, it is crucial to consult a healthcare provider before using cannabis, particularly if you have a history of heart disease or other medical conditions.
Cannabis affects the body in various ways, including the brain, lungs, heart, digestive system, immune system, reproductive system, and endocannabinoid system. While cannabis can have potential benefits for treating various medical conditions, it is essential to understand the potential risks and use cannabis safely and responsibly. The use of cannabis as medicine requires further research, but with the increasing legalization and availability of cannabis, we can hope for more discoveries and advancements in this field.
How to become a Medical Marijuana Patient
Becoming a medical marijuana patient requires some research and understanding of the legal framework in your state. Each state that has legalized medical cannabis has its own set of qualifying conditions and guidelines for becoming a patient. It is important to know the requirements before beginning the application process.
The first step is to find a registered cannabis doctor who can evaluate you and recommend cannabis treatment. In most states, this evaluation is necessary before applying for a medical marijuana card. It’s important to note that you must apply for a card in the state where you permanently reside. Out-of-state medical marijuana cards are not accepted by most dispensaries.
The process of obtaining a medical cannabis card varies from state to state. Some states, like California and Washington, have adopted more lenient laws regarding medical cannabis. California, for instance, passed Proposition 215 in 1996, legalizing medical cannabis and allowing patients to cultivate and possess their own medicine for personal use. The only requirement was that the patient had a doctor’s recommendation.
In states that permit telehealth, patients can now obtain a medical cannabis card online without having to go to a physical doctor’s office. This has made the application process much simpler and more convenient for patients who may not have easy access to a registered cannabis doctor.
However, in states that have not adopted telehealth, the process is more conventional and requires a physical evaluation from a registered cannabis doctor. This evaluation typically includes a medical history and a discussion of your current symptoms and conditions. If the doctor determines that medical cannabis may benefit you, they will provide you with a recommendation and a written certification that you can use to apply for a medical marijuana card.
After receiving your doctor’s recommendation, you can submit your application to your state’s medical marijuana program. This usually includes a fee and some personal information, such as your name, address, and date of birth. Once your application is approved, you will receive a medical marijuana card that you can use to purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries.
In conclusion, becoming a medical marijuana patient requires some effort and research, but it is a relatively simple process in states that have adopted more lenient laws or permit telehealth evaluations. It’s important to know the requirements in your state and find a registered cannabis doctor who can evaluate you and provide a recommendation for treatment. With a medical marijuana card, you can legally purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries and access the many potential benefits of medical cannabis.
Difference between Cannabis And Hemp
Cannabis and hemp are two plants that are often used interchangeably, but they are actually quite different. While they come from the same family of plants (Cannabaceae), they have different properties and uses.
The Basics: Cannabis vs Hemp
Cannabis and hemp both contain the chemical compound called cannabidiol (CBD), which has become popular for its various health benefits. However, cannabis contains high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana use. Hemp, on the other hand, contains very low levels of THC and is mainly used for industrial purposes.
Cannabis and hemp plants differ in appearance. Cannabis plants are typically shorter and bushier, with wider leaves and dense buds. In contrast, hemp plants are taller and have skinnier leaves. They also have a more fibrous and stalky appearance.
Uses of Cannabis
Cannabis has been used for both recreational and medicinal purposes for thousands of years. It is typically smoked, vaped, or ingested through edibles. Recreational use of cannabis can result in feelings of euphoria, increased appetite, and altered perception of time. Medicinally, cannabis is used to treat various conditions such as chronic pain, nausea, and muscle spasms.
Uses of Hemp
Hemp is mainly used for industrial purposes, such as the production of textiles, paper, and building materials. It is also commonly used in the production of CBD oil, which has become increasingly popular for its health benefits. Hemp is a sustainable crop and is often used in environmentally friendly products.
|Recreational and Medicinal
|Industrial and Commercial
|High (up to 30%)
|Low (less than 0.3%)
|Varies, can be high
|Bushy and Short
|Tall and Thin
|Leaves and Flowers
|Buds with many resin glands and wider leaves
|Fewer resin glands and narrower leaves
|Recreational drug, medicine, pain relief, anxiety relief, relaxation, appetite stimulation, sleep aid
|Food, fuel, paper, textiles, building materials, bioplastics, personal care products, CBD products
While cannabis and hemp are related plants, they have distinct differences in terms of appearance, chemical makeup, and uses. Cannabis is mainly used for recreational and medicinal purposes, while hemp is mainly used for industrial purposes and the production of CBD oil. It is important to understand these differences when deciding which plant to use for specific purposes.