WHAT IS CANNABIS
Let’s start with what cannabis is not, it is not a drug. It is a plant.
WHAT ARE CANNABINOIDS?
Cannabinoids are compounds in the cannabis plant that interact with the endocannabinoid system in our bodies.
The highly sought-after molecule in cannabis that produces a euphoric feeling. THC can range in cannabis from: low (>10%), medium (10-20%) and high (20%+). Legally in Canada, cannabis products cannot contain more than 30% THC.
CBD is the second most popular cannabis compound, which elicits no euphoric effect and is often touted for its myriad of other benefits.
Bringing a whole new meaning to crew love. The entourage effect is a phenomenon in which trace amounts of cannabinoids will act together to enhance the effects of the dominant cannabinoids. There are dozens of cannabinoids other than THC and CBD that can facilitate this.
Flowers, oils and capsules will display a ratio 1:1, 2:1 etc. to show the respective CBD/THC content.
HOW IS CANNABIS CONSUMED?
Cannabis can be inhaled through smoking it, which has a faster onset effect. Five to ten minutes after smoking cannabis, users will start to feel the effects and they can last for four to six hours.
Cannabis can be heated during vaporizing, which reduces the risks involved with smoking the plant. Vaporizers cause the plant to be heated but not burnt, which means there is an absence of benzopyrene. When users vaporize, they will feel the effects within five to ten minutes and they can last for four to six hours.
When cannabis is ingested orally whether in capsule, oil or into infused foods, it creates an increased potency effect for the user. When users ingest cannabis, it can take 30 to 60 minutes to feel the effects and they can last for six to eight hours.
SIDE EFFECTS OF THC
One important thing to note with THC is that it is not water soluble, it is stored in our body fat and slowly released. What this means, is that even if THC has metabolized and you no longer feel the effects of it, the presence of THC can stay in your body for days, weeks or even months depending on the person. However, cannabis presence does not necessarily imply impairment. This is one of the many reasons that comprehensive cannabis education is imperative for legalization, for citizens, parents and employers. There are some side effects of using THC products that users should be aware of, and they include:
DRY MOUTH | BLOODSHOT EYES | IMPROVED SLEEP INDUCTION
SIDE EFFECTS OF CBD
While CBD is non-euphoric and does not impair you, it can cause reactions in the body that users should be aware of:
ACUTE REDUCTION IN BLOOD PRESSURE | MUSCLE RELAXATION | DECREASE IN INFLAMMATION
PLANT SPECIES AND ASSOCIATED EFFECTS
This subspecies has a relaxing effect, making consumption ideal for evenings or periods of rest. However, effects will range dependent on the individual.
Defining characteristics: Dense, darker buds produced on bushy, shorter plants.
This subspecies has an uplifting effect, making it an ideal daytime strain.
Defining characteristics: Wispy, lighter, loose buds produced on tall, thin plants.
Hybrid strains contain a mix of Indica and Sativa qualities and can elicit a range of effects, which vary greatly dependent on user and strain qualities.
Terpenes are isoprene derived chemicals which can add to the smell, taste and effects of cannabis products. Learn more about terpenes here.
Decarboxylation is the process in which THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is converted to the well-known compound – Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Or alternatively, CBDA to CBD. This conversion occurs by applying heat to cannabis.
HEMP vs MARIJUANA
Hemp is the same species as marijuana (C. Sativa. L). It’s all the same plant, however, hemp is grown for its industrial, food and textile purposes and cultivated for its fibres, oil and pulp. Marijuana is the female flowering body that has been cultivated to produce THC, CBD and other chemicals. The buds are dried and consumed by smoking or creating products to ingest. A little fun fact for you to “bust” out at your next sesh.
Trichomes are sticky (icky), crystalline structures that cover the leaves and buds of your favorite strains. The contain cannabinoids like THC, CBD and CBN.
While it does make a beautiful bouquet, this isn’t to be confused with what you pick up from the florist. Flower consists of the dried cannabis, which can be whole buds or milled (ground) product.
Not to be confused with hash or concentrates (which are not legal BTW)! Oil is an extraction and suspension of cannabis compounds in a carrier oil. Oils can be CBD or THC specific or balanced 1:1 ratio.