Humans have been consuming cannabis for thousands of years. With evidence of everything from recreational, religious, burial, and medical use, cannabis has been integral in society for as long as we’ve been recording history. With so many different applications and uses, Tennesseans might find themselves wondering what cannabis actually does, and in this article Tennessee Marijuana Card will cover the ABC’s of cannabis!
Tennessee Marijuana Card Guide: The Basics of Cannabis
Nearly everyone familiar with cannabis will be familiar with smoking it. Smoking is the go-to way to consume cannabis and has been for a long time. In fact, we know people were smoking cannabis at least as early as 2,500 years ago, most likely as part of a burial ritual in China.
Cannabis use has been documented earlier than that, though not all documented cases include smoking the plant, the earliest written record being approximately 4,700 years ago. Cannabis is a versatile plant with many different uses in society, culture, and medicine. As such, the plant has been used for different purposes throughout time.
But what actually is cannabis?
Cannabis is the term for a genus of flowering plants in the cannabaceae family. The three main species of the cannabaceae family are notably cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis.
Those more familiar with cannabis terminology will understand cannabis sativa and cannabis indica as two particular types of the plant that produce the two main umbrella effects; indica being a more sedative high, and sativa being a more energetic high.
In truth they are terms for the plant types of cannabis, cannabis sativa is a tall slender plant that also includes hemp, and cannabis indica is a shorter, thicker plant that does not include hemp in its family.
Cannabis ruderalis is not typically used in medical or recreational uses due to its low production of THC.
The word cannabis is typically synonymous with its subtypes as an overall reference to the plant that is used medicinally and recreationally.
The cannabis plant grows naturally in Asia and survives in nearly any climate that doesn’t get too hot or too cold. In fact, the cannabis plant has made its way around the world nearly twice over, likely existing in some form or another in almost every continent (except for Antarctica, naturally).
The cannabis plant has migrated from India and China throughout the world over a period of thousands of years and is now essentially accessible or being grown nearly everywhere.
The plant has several different components, including the stalks, leaves and flowers among others. Typically, the flowers contain the majority of compounds desirable for consumption and are primarily used therein, although the leaves and stalks can be prepared for many medical and recreational uses as well.
Tennessee Marijuana Card Answers: What Does Cannabis Do?
Cannabis is a complex plant with an innumerable number of compounds that do many different things. For our overview, we will be focusing on the flowers of the plant.
Flowers grow from the stalks of cannabis and are called colas. These colas are surrounded by small sugar leaves, and larger fan leaves that are usually trimmed from the plant before it is prepared for consumption.
On the colas and sugar leaves are small resin glands called trichomes that contain terpenes and cannabinoids like THC and CBD.
These compounds all work together or independently by binding to receptors through the endocannabinoid system in your body to produce a wide range of effects and therapies.
The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system works as a communication network across different parts of your body including the brain and nervous system to regulate and maintain many different functions required for a healthy system.
Disturbances or malfunctions in the endocannabinoid system can result in an extremely long list of problems for your body.
Headaches, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, strokes, obesity, depression, cancer, glaucoma, and arthritis are all only a few of the things that the endocannabinoid system helps regulate or suppress.
Because of the complex nature of how the endocannabinoid system interacts with such a large variety of ailments and disorders, introducing cannabinoids from the cannabis plant into your body can result in a large variety of potential effects.
With psychoactive compounds in the plant like THC and CBN, effects can range from euphoric to sedative, with altered perceptions of time, increased relaxation and heightened sensory perception as well as increased appetite and pain management to name a few.
With non-psychoactive compounds in the plant like CBD, CBG, and CBC, effects can range from anti-inflammatory, reduced stress, decrease in anxiety, seizure & nausea mitigation, and pain management to name a few. Some of these compounds even work to suppress unwanted effects from the psychoactive compounds in the plant, CBD can help reduce the potential effect of anxiety from over consumption of THC for example.
There are estimated to be over 400 different compounds in cannabis. Research is ongoing to study all of the compounds found in cannabis, but the legal system in the United States makes this a very difficult task.
Combined with the intricacy of understanding our own biological systems, this makes it extra tough to know all there is about consuming cannabis.
Everyone is different, and using cannabis can be an especially subjective experience, but there are a few general things we know cannabis can do.
Effects of Cannabis
While the effects of cannabis will depend on your genetics, predispositions, and state of mind, there are a few commonalities many people experience with cannabis use. These effects will all depend on the person, type of cannabis, and consumption method.
Cannabis used by consuming the dried flower of the plant, containing both psychoactive and non-psychoactive organic compounds can commonly produce effects like:
· Increased euphoria
· Decreased stress & increased relaxation
· Increase in appetite
· Anti-inflammatory effects
· An increase in heart rate at onset
· Decreased blood pressure and vasodilation
· Impaired short-term memory
· Changes in perception
· Delayed motor function
· Improved mood
There are many potential effects of cannabis both medically and cognitively. Many are positive, and some may be negative. For example, delayed motor function would not be appropriate while operating machinery, but impaired short-term memory may contribute to the effects PTSD patients benefit from when using cannabis.
Positive and negative effects can both be altered by tolerance as well, those with a history of cannabis use and a higher tolerance may not experience as much impaired motor function or increased euphoria as someone who has never used cannabis before for example.
Overconsumption of cannabis can lead to unpleasant side effects like increased anxiety, paranoia, and cold sweats, but fortunately no one has ever died from over consuming cannabis alone, and the effects will subside with some time (typically 30 minutes to 2 hours).
Cannabis can pose potential risks for certain individuals, namely teens and adolescents, and those at risk of developing schizoaffective disorder.
Because cannabis use alters brain function, it is not recommended that those with developing brains use cannabis unless the medical function of cannabis use warrants disregarding these risks, such as those with epilepsy or forms of cancer for example.
For those predisposed to schizoaffective disorder, it can be increasingly complicated, as cannabis use is suggested to pronounce symptoms of the disorder earlier, which could worsen psychosis. Commonly, schizoaffective disorder presents itself in the late teens to early twenties, but it is possible that cannabis use may excite the symptoms to arrive earlier than that.
There is currently no concrete evidence that suggests cannabis use causes schizoaffective disorder or psychosis, however the relationship between them is continuing to be studied.
Cannabis use can be safe and medically beneficial under the appropriate circumstances. The worst possible outcome is often an afternoon of excited thoughts and running out of ice cream.
Medical Cannabis in Tennessee
Cannabis is an ancient and historical plant. There are many ways to consume cannabis, and Tennessee cannabis patients have exclusive access to low-THC oils.
Being a Tennessee cannabis patient allows you the freedom to take your medication the right way for you.
We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way, feel free to give us a call at (833) 781-5611 and we can answer your questions about getting a medical cannabis card in Tennessee.
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
At Tennessee Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (833) 781-5611, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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