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Medical Marijuana Basics Part 1

May 18, 2020

The Basics

One of the major issues that face patients in Ohio that are interested in utilizing medical marijuana is attempting to decipher good information from bad.  This will be the first post in a series that’s goal is to help patients create a healthy understanding of marijuana basics.

Medical cannabis comes in three distinct categories.  Cannabis sativa is usually quite tall and lanky with pointy, long leaves.  It’s flowers tend to be fluffy and often have a fruity scent.  Consumers of sativa strains report feelings of uplifting euphoria as well as an overall cerebral boost best used during the daytime.  One caution, patients that have a history of anxiety may want to stay clear of sativas as they may exacerbate that condition.  Cannabis indica is not as long as its sativa cousin.  Low and dense, it is most often found with wide, rounded leaves and a tighter structure than sativas.  As opposed to the more caffeinated feelings associated with sativa strains indicas tend to deliver a more cozy, sedating, relaxing effect.  Finally, cannabis ruderalis is far less vigorous than either sativa or indica.  Usually it grows only marginally as large as either sativa or indica strains and is not often consumed because of its low percentage of THC.

Chemical compounds known as cannabinoids are found in the cannabis plant.  These compounds, found in 1988, contain resin glands, also known as trichomes, that plug into the cannabinoid receptors found in the human brain.  These plant based chemicals that are created by our brains when under stress, a carbon copy of cannabinoids found in breast milk, deliver powerful antioxidants and are capable of shifting neurological and physiological patterns.

The most famous cannabinoid found in cannabis is delta-9-terehydrocannabinol, also known as THC.  THC triggers CB1 receptors, which are mediated by anandamide, the first human cannabinoid which was discovered in 1992 by Raphael Mechoulam.  CB1 receptors are responsible for so much in the human body.  They determine how we see, smell, listen, as well as feel hunger, pleasure, and even pain.  This accounts for why patients see things as beautiful, food tastes better than usual and jokes are funnier than they may have been otherwise after having consumed cannabis.  THC will also activate CB2 receptors that are found in the human liver, heart, kidneys, blood vessels, endocrine glands, and lymph cells.  While it can be helpful to these areas, the psychoactive properties of cannabis are the main draw.  Some various strains may have levels of THC as high as 30%, however on average cannabis usually only has a percentage of less than 10% THC.  Specifics aside, most cannabis today has a significantly greater amount of THC than it did decades ago.  While this may be viewed as a positive from the perspective of the consumer, more THC per plant means fewer purchases that need to be made, patients are advised to be extra careful, especially if it has been decades since they last used cannabis.  While there is no recorded death as a result of cannabis, it is always good to go slow, especially if a patient is unfamiliar with the effects of cannabis consumption.

The following information is presented for educational purposes only. Summit Releaf distributes this information to provide an understanding of the potential benefits of medical marijuana for patients living with one of the approved Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program qualifying conditions for an Ohio marijuana card. Links to third party websites do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations by Summit Releaf and none should be inferred.

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