Cannabis, once a symbol of counter culture and the target of smear campaigns, is now widely accepted for both its medical and recreational purposes. In October of 2018, the Pew Research Center reported that 62% of Americans support the legalization of cannabis. That’s quite a shift from the days of Reefer Madness and the “war” on drugs.
As cannabis grows in public favor, so do some of the myths surrounding it. People tend to fear what they don’t know, and it can be understandably difficult to break through decades of misinformation.
Let’s change that. Sit back, class, it’s time to learn a little something about everyone’s new favorite plant. Welcome to Cannabis 101.
Most people know that cannabis can get you “high.” There are countless songs, movies, books, and other pop culture references that illustrate the physical and mental experiences that come with recreational cannabis use. This “high” is created when your body responds to one of the main compounds found in the cannabis plant: tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC.
When THC is consumed, the molecules are absorbed into your endocannabinoid system, which is a complex series of receptors that helps regulate basic functions like hunger, memory, mood, and even your body’s response to pain. THC essentially modifies these receptors and changes the messages sent out to the body, creating a variety of physical and mental responses.
Everyone has a different chemical makeup, which means you might not have the same response as your friends or relatives. For most people, THC will produce a calm, euphoric, dream-like feeling in the mind and a relaxing sensation throughout the body.
Because of these properties, THC is used to ease nausea, soothe pain, and even treat mental conditions like anxiety or PTSD. It’s long been recommended by healers to help patients going through chemotherapy or other debilitating medical treatments, as well as to provide relief to people living with painful conditions like multiple sclerosis or ALS.
In recent studies, researchers found that THC might be a neuroprotectant, meaning it can protect and even stimulate brain cells – which is incredibly promising for future treatments of degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
And for a healthy person living in a state that allows recreational use, THC can be a great alternative to alcohol or simply another way to unwind or connect with friends.
The most common side effects, aside from the physical and mental relaxations, are mild drowsiness, dry-mouth, and hunger known as “the munchies.” In some cases, people will experience increased anxiety or paranoia. Whether you’re using cannabis for recreational or medical purposes, it’s important to “start low and go slow” until you’re comfortable with the way your body reacts.
It’s an exciting time in the cannabis world. New discoveries are being made about the therapeutic benefits of THC and cannabis, and the tides of public opinion are shifting in favor of this once-scandalous plant.
If you think you could benefit from THC, we encourage you to talk to a doctor who understands cannabinoids before you begin. A doctor will look at your unique health needs, how THC might benefit you, and can even recommend products for you
Visit surterra.com to learn more about THC, CBD, and the wild and wonderful world of cannabis.