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Cannabis 101

What You Need to Know About Cannabis

Daniel King

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Cannabis Facts

According to some reports, around 182 million people across the globe consume marijuana, however, the United Nation’s World Drug Report estimates the number to be closer to 238 million. With North American countries, such as the United States and Canada, showing leniency in the production, use, and distribution of this plant, many people might be curious to know what the hype is all about.

Here are some essential things you need to know about cannabis, the so-called ‘miracle plant’.

The Basics About Cannabis

When people hear the word ‘marijuana,’ a lot of them think about the negative connotations associated with this naturally-occurring plant. This is why it’s important to go back to the most basic question: what is cannabis? Cannabis is a plant that grows naturally in various climates, especially tropical and temperate areas. In fact, it is so easy to grow that it can even be cultivated indoors.

What makes this crop different is its chemical contents. It has compounds (also called cannabinoids) such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabinol (CBN). These compounds induce different effects on the human body, depending on the amount ingested or applied.

The marijuana plant has three primary species, namely Cannabis sativa, indica, and ruderalis. Sativa is known to give a ‘head’ high, which gets the creative juices flowing. It also gives an energy boost and enhances focus, making it perfect for use during the day. These effects are due to its balance of THC and CBD content.

Indica produces a ‘body’ high, which contains considerable amounts of THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. It has sedative properties, allowing for effective pain relief and insomnia treatment. Meanwhile, ruderalis has low amounts of THC, but what makes it special for many budtenders is its auto-flowering attributes, making it easier to grow. Many growers are cross-breeding these different species to create hybrid strains that have the desired amount of cannabinoid and growth.

Medical Marijuana Through the Ages

You might be thinking that the medicinal use of marijuana is a modern-day discovery. In truth, the medical application of this crop can be traced way, way back to ancient times. Research shows that as early as 2737 BC, the ancient Chinese used this herb as a treatment for a wide variety of conditions such as rheumatism and gout. There is also evidence of cannabis being used to cure medical conditions in ancient Egypt. One of the oldest medical textbooks, The Ebers Papyrus, written circa 1550 BC, details how hemp was used to treat depression, glaucoma, hemorrhoids and even cancer.

The cannabis plant is valued by other cultures too for its religious, recreational and even spiritual significance. These cultures include ancient Japan and India. Even in the Medieval Ages, marijuana was incorporated into folk medicine, especially for treating ailments and illnesses like coughs and tumors.

Today, modern research is only beginning to recognize hemp for its valuable potential in medicine. Marijuana is now helping care for and treat a wide range of both minor and severe conditions, including epilepsy and cancer. In fact, CBD oil is found to be effective in minimizing extreme conditions in people suffering from a rare form of epilepsy. Moreover, it shows promise in reducing nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. It also aids in regaining lost weight brought on by cachexia, a cancer-related wasting disease similar to anorexia.

Other conditions that marijuana and its cannabinoids can help with include multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, and many other debilitating diseases and symptoms.

Other Uses of Cannabis

Aside from using hemp to treat minor and major medical conditions, this plant also has huge potential in sexual health and skin health. According to research, this herb increases sexual desire in women by up to 20%. THC is said to activate a part of a woman’s brain that deals with sexual arousal, increasing the libido and creating a healthier sex life. Moreover, it is found to reduce discomfort during sex, making the experience a more pleasurable one for women.

CBD also exhibits the most potential for skin care in that it can address many issues encountered by many people, including acne attacks, oily skin, dehydration, aging, and itching. It has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that can prevent swelling and pimples, as well as treat acne and even bug bites. CBD has two working effects in the skin:  it can moisturize skin or regulate oil production, when needed.

Of course, no list is complete without mentioning the recreational use of marijuana. Whether to uplift your mood or to energize yourself, this plant can definitely improve your disposition. Aside from treating mood and mental disorders, it is used to relieve stress and induce relaxation.

Legalization of Cannabis Across the Globe

With more and more studies being conducted on this so-called miracle plant, many countries around the world are allowing the medical and even recreational use of cannabis. As of today, 30 countries permit the use of medical hemp. Check out the status of marijuana legalization across the globe:

  • Uruguay

When it comes to marijuana laws, Uruguay is most noteworthy. This South American country was the first to legalize cannabis fully way back in 2013. The reason for the legalization was to facilitate efficient treatments for patients. With the production and distribution of cannabis being legalized, and thus regulated by the government, Uruguay anticipated lower drug-related crime statistics.

  • Canada

Canada

Canada was the second country to legalize the medical and recreational use of cannabis countrywide. Regulation is also the reason why this plant was legalised in Canada. Because it is regulated, the government can prevent minors from using it, while increasing tax revenues and preventing criminal organizations from profiting.

  • United States

The midterm elections held in November 2018 resulted in further legalizing medical marijuana throughout the United States to include Utah and Missouri, the two most recent states that allow the use of this herb for medicinal purposes. Out of the 33 US states that have legalized marijuana to date, ten of them, including Washington, DC, also permit the recreational use. However, marijuana remains illegal on a federal level.

  • Others

Europe is seen as the most progressive region when it comes to therapeutic hemp. European countries like The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Norway, and Germany have allowed patients easier access to this plant and its compounds. Nations such as France and Spain allow using cannabis-derived medicine only for specific conditions.

Regarding African countries, Zimbabwe is a trailblazer when it comes to allowing this plant for medical use. Patients seeking to use this herb should have the appropriate permits.

Marijuana Products You Can Use

  • Cigarettes and Vapes

Smoking marijuana in rolled, cigarette-form is one of the most popular ways to consume it. In states in which marijuana is legal, for recreational and medical uses, you can purchase dried buds and joints in accredited dispensaries. If you want to avoid the negative effects of smoking, inhaling vapors might be your best option. These dispensaries are also likely to carry vape liquids infused with cannabinoids.

  • Cannabis Edibles

Should you prefer a more discreet option, you might want to get edibles. These are food products and drinkables infused with cannabis. You can get these in candy form such as gummies, chocolates, and suckers. Have a liking for baked goods? You are in for a treat as you can get cakes, brownies, and cookies mixed with hemp, as well!

  • Topicals

If you choose not to consume hemp orally, topical products are perfect for you. You can get these in the form of tinctures, creams, balms, and ointments. These are great for relieving muscle and joint pains as you can directly apply them to targeted sites. Moreover, using topicals allows for the fairly discreet consumption of cannabis. You can also orally ingest tinctures by simply placing a few drops under your tongue.

  • Other Cannabis Products

Cannabis-based products are not only good for your skin, but also your hair. This is why there are shampoos infused with cannabinoids. Other products you can buy include capsules, lotions and essential oils.

When getting these products, make sure that you have a good grip on the marijuana laws in your state, and then find a licensed dispensary. Take note of the dosage, as well as the cannabinoid content and percentages. This way, you can get the dosage you need and want. Keep in mind that you can purchase products mixed with cannabis with high amounts of CBD but without THC. This means that it will not get you high but still give you the benefits of consuming cannabis.

Final Words

From the medical, religious and recreational uses of marijuana in ancient times to the recent modern-day developments, it cannot be denied that this plant is gaining ground in many parts of the world. These developments have helped many patients and recreational users to get easier and safer access to this naturally-occurring substance. With the increasing amount of support given to, and research into, studying and legalizing cannabis, more people can take advantage of what cannabis has to offer.

Cannabis 101

How to Use CBD Crystals – Beginners Guide

Carissa Stevens

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cbd crystals

Ever heard of CBD Crystals? Learn more about this interesting CBD product and how to use it.

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Cannabis 101

Cannabis Is In A Situation Of Change

Carissa Stevens

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Cannabis is in a situation of change. Although the recreational use of marijuana is still far from being well seen but more are preparing joints over a weed rolling tray and, even more, legalized, in most societies around the world the use of medicinal cannabis to fight different diseases and ailments is increasingly accepted; and there are already many countries that have legalized marijuana for this type of use. Even so, as it is a new paradigm, the number of studies on cannabis is still small, and research is needed to guarantee its use and convenience depending on each case.

The CBD Craze

At this point, the medicinal properties of CBD (cannabidiol), the second main component of cannabis after THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), is already well known. This substance is used to stabilize the endocannabinoid system of the body, combat stress, facilitate sleep, alleviate muscle and joint pain. Despite many of CBD properties seem indicated for the classic symptoms during this period, it seems that there are unknown consequences on its use.

CBD for nausea, pains and sleep problems

First of all, to consume marijuana to fight nausea, pains and sleep problems, you have to make sure it is without THC. There are many cannabis derivatives in the market with concentrated CBD that, in small doses, could help to cope better with the upbringing of a baby, but the few studies carried out in this regard discourage exposing the fetus to new substances to which it may not be prepared.

It is possible that in the future consuming CBD is completely safe and helps to alleviate the side effects of it, but for now the lack of studies invites to avoid cannabis use during this phase of life. However, in cases of extremely complicated issues, CBD oils or other derivatives could be more effective and natural than any other pill. In any case, it is a personal decision.

Recommendation

Be that as it may, there are a number of recommendations for consuming CBD. It is crucial to ensure that it comes from organic crops, without the use of pesticides or other chemicals. Also, that the product has been tested by a trusted laboratory. The consumption of THC and the pulmonary route is totally inadvisable, although vaporizers are not a bad option.

The THC Hype

If you are a cannabis smoker or if you have ever consumed it, it is likely that you have experienced a temporary memory loss or have felt more forgetful. There is a scientific reason that explains this phenomenon, and is directly related to the different types of memory of the human being.

There is a single neurotransmitter that intervenes in all types of memory, from short-term memory, through verbal or spatial memory. It is acetylcholine, which intervenes, for example, in diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, or others related to memory loss.

THC for memory

All memory problems are related to the number of acetylcholines. Whether it is higher or lower than optimal levels, it can lead to memory problems such as those mentioned above. To maintain these levels stable there is an enzyme, acetyltransferase.

Cannabis THC inhibits acetyltransferases, interfering in its work as stabilizers and causing an increase in the number of acetylcholines. This is positive in the cases of those people who need an increase of these neurotransmitters, but harmful if you do not need more. That’s why THC can affect negatively in the short-term memory, specifically.

However, no study so far has concluded that THC consumption has an impact on long-term memory. That is, you will only experience a small loss of memory while you are high, not after. This is due to CBD, which counteracts the effects of THC and stabilizes the level of acetylcholine.

Side Notes

A research was conducted and has analyzed the brains of mice that began to administer THC chronically during the considered critical period for the development of their brain, which in people corresponds to adolescence. In the study of the cerebral cortex of these mice, researchers have detected alterations in the serotonin 2A receptor, the main responsible for the hallucinations characteristic of psychosis and schizophrenia. In particular, researchers have found that this receptor increases its functionality after chronic treatment with cannabis products.

The researchers have discovered the alterations that occur in the neurons of the cerebral cortex of mice treated chronically with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This study opens ways to generate prevention strategies, as well as the design of drugs and therapies to improve the lives of people with schizophrenia.

The final aim of the study is to identify the existence of similar molecular changes in people who use cannabis to be able to relate them to the development of psychosis or schizophrenia. On the other hand, this research opens the way to the creation of new drugs that improve the symptomatology of patients with schizophrenia.

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Cannabis 101

What is Kratom: A Quick & Dirty Guide

Stacey Wellington

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what is kratom - guide

More and more individuals are looking for healthy and natural alternatives to medications. While this does not mean that such options will replace medicines, the presence of naturally occurring substitutes can benefit patients. Just look at the impact of cannabis is the medical community, which is now being studied as a safer and less addictive replacement to opioids.

Kratom is one of the naturally occurring options to some medications. Those who are in search of healthy and safe alternatives but are not familiar with this plant should take a look at the guide below:

Introducing the Plant

Kratom or Mitragyna speciosa, is a tropical tree found in parts of Southeast Asia such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. It belongs to the botanical family Rubiaceae. There are three varieties of this tree such as those with white, red and green leaf veins. Each type contains varying levels of chemical compounds that gives it psychoactive effects.

Those with green leaf veins are known to give uplifting effects, which offers a boost of energy. Meanwhile, those with red veins are known for is sedating property. In some Southeast Asian cultures, this plant Is consumed as an intoxicant or as medicine. It can be consumed fresh or dried. Its leaves can be chewed fresh or it can be brewed into teas. It also comes in pill or tablet form.

Aside from its activating and sedative effects, these leaves are also known for being an analgesic and mood enhancers. When used for its medical properties, it can help in relieving pain and addressing sleep issues.

Kratom and other Similar Plants

Now that you know what this plant is and its effects, you might be wondering how it compares with other plants such as cannabis. Like cannabis, kratom is known for its psychoactive properties. Both are also used in folk medicine in various cultures because of their pain-relieving, uplifting and sedative effects. They also come from a family of flowering plants, and they have varieties that are valued for their respective medicinal and recreational effects.

However, they share some differences. The most obvious is that cannabis is becoming more mainstream and is even incorporated in federal and state legislations. Moreover, cannabis comes from the family cannabaceae, while kratom belongs in the family rubiaceae.

Speaker of families, did you know that kratom and coffee are related? They both belong in the family rubiaceae. They both have energy boosting and mood-enhancing attributes. Both are also rich in anti-oxidants. Kratom, however, has a sedative property. It also has a pain-relieving attribute, which coffee also has but to a limited extent.

Legislation Regarding Kratom

We all know that cannabis is federally a Schedule I drug as per the Controlled Substances Act. It has also been legalized for medical use in more than 30 states and for recreational use in 11 of those, including DC.

Kratom is legal in almost all states except Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin. In some states, it is fully legal, but in some prohibit it in some counties and cities. However, some are proposing that it should be included in the list of Schedule I drugs.

Internationally speaking, the legality of this plant varies. Some countries such as Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Russia and Poland do not allow the consumption of this plant.

Conclusion

Kratom can be the next big thing when it comes to naturally occurring alternatives. While no significant researches have been conducted, unlike in the case of cannabis, it might be worth considering, especially for scientists and those who are looking for natural options.

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