How Does Medical Cannabis work?

Scientists have learned a great deal about how THC acts in the brain to produce its many effects. When someone smokes marijuana, THC rapidly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries the element to the brain and other organs throughout the body.

THC acts upon specific sites in the brain, called cannabinoid receptors, kicking off a series of cellular reactions that ultimately lead to the “high” that users experience when they smoke marijuana. Some brain areas have many cannabinoid receptors; others have few or none. The highest density of cannabinoid receptors are found in parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thoughts, concentration, sensory, time perception, and coordinated movement.

What Is THC?

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is a highly lipid soluble molecule which is found throughout the male and female parts of the cannabis plant. The highest concentration of THC is present in the sticky resin that is produced by the flowering portion of the female plant. The THC content of marijuana varies depending on the section of the plant that is used.

A number of studies show that THC provides medical benefits for cancer and AIDS patients by increasing appetite and decreasing nausea. It has also been shown to assist some glaucoma patients by reducing pressure within the eye, and is used in the form of cannabis by a number of multiple sclerosis patients, who use it to alleviate neuropathic pain and spasticity.

What are the effects of medical Cannabis?

Marijuana is one of the oldest natural herbs known to human beings. It is also one of the safest.  It is impossible to consume enough to produce a toxic effect in the body. However, if you are unfamiliar with it, there are some effects which you should be aware of so that you can use it more effectively:

Many people become hungry after using marijuana, and those who need their appetite stimulated use marijuana for this very reason. If you are not using it for this purpose, drink water or juice. If you do wish to eat, eat good nourishing food rather than sweets.
Marijuana often makes people feel thirsty. Because of this, it helps those who need it to re-hydrate themselves. Drink water and fruit juices, they are better than coffee, tea, or soft drinks.
Red eyes will not hurt you. You do not need to use any of the commercial preparations that "get the red out" for cosmetic reasons. If you must go out in public and are concerned about others' reaction to the redness, wear sunglasses.
Cannabis can provide at least two essential roles in safe, effective pain management.  It can bestow relief from the pain itself (either alone or in combination with other analgesics), and it can control the nausea associated with taking opioid drugs, as well as the nausea, vomiting and dizziness that often accompany severe, prolonged pain.
Some people find that marijuana makes them sleepy. If you can, and wish to go ahead and take a nap. As with all medicines that can produce drowsiness, don't drive or operate heavy machinery.
Many people seem to find things that normally would not seem funny become quite amusing when they medicate with marijuana. Most people enjoy this effect. A good laugh helps the healing power of your body and mind. If you must go to the bank or deal with other situations where humor would be inappropriate in your judgment, schedule your time so that you don't have to deal with them when you are taking your medicine. Don't worry… this will pass.

What type of Cannabis is right for me?

Indica and Sativa are the two main core types of the cannabis plant used as medicine. There are strains that are crosses of those two varieties. Within each of those varieties and crosses there are a vast number of individual strains, each with a unique cannabinoid profile and effect. According to studies, the Indica strains are a relaxant.  Among other symptoms, Indicas treat

Anxiety
Pain
Nausea
Appetite Stimulation
Sleep
Muscle Spasms and Tremors

The Sativa strains are more of a stimulant, effective in

Appetite Stimulation
Relieving Depression
Migraines
Pain and Nausea

Indica: Indica originally come from the hash producing countries of the world like Afghanistan, Tibet and Morocco. Indica flowers will be thick and dense, with flavors and aromas ranging from pungent skunk to spicy and fruity. Indica generally create a body high that is relaxing and medicinal. Indica have higher CBD than THC count, which equals a much heavier sleepy type of high that is good for a variety of medical problems.

Sativa: Sativa originally come from Mexico, Colombia, Thailand and Southeast Asia. They have flavors that range from earthy to sweet and fruity. Sativa have a higher THC than CBD count, which equals a more cerebral, soaring type of high. Sativa have an energetic high, which can stimulate brain activity and may even produce hallucinations. They can be very beneficial for people with depression and anxiety.

Hybrid: Hybrids are created to retain certain desired characteristics from Indica and Sativa plants. By altering the ratio of indica and sativa influences, growers can breed hybrids for a particular high, flavor, and aroma. Most marijuana varieties available today are hybrids as they bring together the best of both Indica and Sativa marijuana characteristics.


What is a Tincture?

Tinctures are currently one of the most under utilized versions of marijuana. Their ease of use, portability, and discretion make them a wonderful alternative for users and patients that don’t feel comfortable or don’t enjoy smoking. The most important thing to remember is to hydrate when ingesting a Tincture.  The drops can be taken under the tongue or the preferred method is putting the drops in a bottle of water or other liquid. 


What is the difference between smoking Medical Cannabis and ingesting it?

Smoking delivers more THC to your neuron’s synapse quicker, by direct contact to your lungs alveoli, as a result blocking dopamine quicker. Ingesting it causes the THC to be put into the bloodstream via digestion; therefore, delivering smaller doses in a longer span of time. That’s why smoking it lasts 1-2 hours but eating it can last up to 8 hours.

Ingesting marijuana has many benefits over smoking it, the most important of which is the bypass of unsafe chemicals entering the respiratory system. Carcinogens and tars are mostly left behind in the preparation for eating and are not released into the lungs. Eating marijuana-infused preparations usually leads to a longer, stronger, and much more physical high than smoking alone. Although eating is a perfectly viable way of absorbing marijuana into the bloodstream, higher amounts of the drug must be used in a cooking preparation in order to make the product effective.

What is Vaporization?

Cannabis Vaporization is a technology for delivering inhaled THC and other cannabinoids while reducing toxic byproducts of smoked cannabis primarily caused by combustion. The trichomes are found on the surface of cannabis flowers and leaves. By heating cannabis to a temperature between 180°C and 200°C, it is possible to vaporize the cannabinoids that reside on the trichomes while simultaneously avoiding combustion (which occurs at 230°C and above) and attendant smoke toxins.  Vaporization is a relatively new technology.  The feasibility of vaporization of THC has been demonstrated in a series of laboratory studies involving different vaporizer designs.  An electric vaporizer was shown to release substantially more amounts of the THC while producing no measurable amounts of the benzene, toluene, and naphthalene, which are generated when marijuana is smoked.  Reductions in carbon monoxide (CO) and tar generation were also observed under vaporization compared to smoking.How Does Medical Cannabis work?

Scientists have learned a great deal about how THC acts in the brain to produce its many effects. When someone smokes marijuana, THC rapidly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries the element to the brain and other organs throughout the body.

THC acts upon specific sites in the brain, called cannabinoid receptors, kicking off a series of cellular reactions that ultimately lead to the “high” that users experience when they smoke marijuana. Some brain areas have many cannabinoid receptors; others have few or none. The highest density of cannabinoid receptors are found in parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thoughts, concentration, sensory, time perception, and coordinated movement.


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Questions About Medical Marijuana