Cannabis as Medicine
Documents dating as far back as 2900 B.C. tell us cannabis has lived alongside humans for thousands of years and has been cultivated for medicinal purposes for just as long. Cannabis’ impact on the human body can be credited, in large part, to what are called Cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds secreted by the plant’s trichomes that offer a wide array of therapeutic benefits. The two most well know cannabinoids are THC and CBD. Cannabinoids bind to receptor sites in the brain and body – this system of receptors is referred to as the Endocannabinoid System.
The science behind cannabinoids as medicine is strong; so much so that certain cannabinoids have actually been synthesized (artificially made) and received FDA approval for treatment of illnesses like MS (Sativex, Marinol and others). The two cannabinoids mentioned, THC and CBD, have been shown to help patients suffering from pain, nausea, sleep and stress disorders, as well as stress relief, anxiety, inflammation and epilepsy. Cannabis contains at least 85 different cannabinoids and more research becomes available every day detailing how cannabinoids can be used to treat a wide range of ailments. However, recent studies have also shown a possible connection between early cannabis use and a negative impact on brain development. Without question, additional research into cannabis’ impact on the human body is needed and appropriate.
One of the best things to understand about cannabis as a modern medicine is that you no longer have to smoke cannabis or ingest a food/liquid that contains an unknown or random amount of active ingredient. Like traditional modern medicine, cannabis can be precisely dosed. Recent advancements in processing techniques have lead to the ability to have pills, gelcaps, tablets and the like created that contain exact amounts of active ingredient; i.e. 5 mg of THC and 10 mg of CBD — this is a significant advancement in the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
The Cannabis Plant
Cannabis is a flowering plant with many utilitarian purposes: cannabis seeds can be used for food; its stalks can be used for paper, clothing, rope and building materials; and its leaves, flowers and roots can be used for medicinal purposes.
On the flowers, or buds, you will notice trichomes which are originally developed to protect the plant against predators and the elements, these very small clear mushroom-shaped glands ooze very fragrant oils called Terpenes as well as the therapeutic cannabinoids like THC and CBD.
The Effects of Edibles
The effects of consuming edibles are different and stronger than the effects of smoking marijuana, especially for first time users.
Product Strength and Type
The type and strength of product, your tolerance, body chemistry and what you’ve had to eat all have impact effects.
Take it Slow!
Edibles may take up to 2 hours to produce effects and last as long as 4 to 8 hours.
Age & Health
People over 50 years of age and/or those with a pre-existing medical condition are at greater risk of experiencing undesirable health effects from marijuana.
Other Drugs or Alcohol
Take caution if consuming alcohol or other drugs when using marijuana. It is not recommended to mix marijuana use with other drugs and/or alcohol.
Do not store your edibles with other food and snacks to avoid unintentional consumption by pets or children.
If you experience undesirable effects from edibles, try to remain calm and relax in a quiet place. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.