Cannabis sativa is one of the most popular plants in the world. Cannabis sativa has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. There are many uses of cannabis including pain relief, muscle relaxation, anti-inflammatory effects, and much more. However, there are other types of marijuana that have not only medical benefits but also aesthetic ones such as hashish or potpourri (marijuana infused oils). These other varieties of marijuana include skunk, kush, and others.
The plant known as cannabis sativa has been cultivated since ancient times. It was first grown for its seeds which were then used to make rope and baskets. Later it became popular for its leaves which were used to make clothing and paper. Today, the plant is still widely cultivated because of its use in medicine and various forms of entertainment such as smoking or eating it.
Cannabis sativa is a member of the hemp family. Hemp is a variety of cannabis with high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and low levels of cannabidiol (CBD), which give it its psychoactive effects. The main difference between the two species is THC content, which makes up approximately 90% of the total weight while CBD accounts for less than 10%. As a result, a higher level of CBD results in a less psychoactive effect.
However, CBD is still responsible for most of the analgesic, or pain-relieving properties of the drug.
Cannabis as Medicine
The use of cannabis as medicine has been around for centuries. The earliest known reference to its medical use was by Chinese doctor Hua T’o in the year 90AD. He used it as an anaesthetic during surgery. In India, the medical uses of cannabis date back to 2000BC.
In medieval Europe it was used as a pain killer and disinfectant. It was not until the 1930s that it was classified as a drug in the US, which limited further research into its medical uses.In recent years, there has been a resurgence in interest in using cannabis as a medicine. It has been shown to be beneficial for people with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, depression, and many more conditions.
Cannabis Use Disorders
The most common use of cannabis is recreational, usually in the form of smoking. Cannabis can, however, be ingested or inhaled several other ways including vaporizing and edibles. Cannabis can also be made into hashish and hash oil. As well as THC, cannabis has over a hundred other cannabinoids and related chemicals; each with different properties and effects.
Cannabis has a very complex effect on the mind due to its combination of psychoactive and other properties. The most common recreational use of cannabis is for pleasure or to relax. It often provides a sense of well-being or euphoria, which is described as a feeling of heightened sensation. This is accompanied by an increase in appetite and sometimes a decrease in anxiety.
Prolonged use can lead to cannabis use disorder. One of the most common reasons for this is the heavy reliance on cannabis to relieve negative emotions or stress. This can lead to a person becoming withdrawn and isolated from their friends and families. At its worst, it can result in total preoccupation with cannabis to the extent that it dominates a person’s life.
Cannabis use disorder is the new diagnostic term for what was previously known as marijuana or cannabis dependence.
Mental health professionals use the term “cannabis use disorder” to refer to a clinically significant condition where a person becomes preoccupied with the drug to the point that it negatively affects their life. This usually consists of a strong desire or urge to use cannabis, difficulty in controlling its use, and problems in their relationships, school or work as a result of it.
It is likely that a person who smokes cannabis daily will develop a cannabis use disorder at some point in their life. Around 1 in 11 of these cases are severe enough to require treatment. Cannabis use disorder can be treated effectively with the same types of therapy used to treat alcohol dependence.
How Cannabis Affects the Body
Cannabis contains over a hundred different chemicals, referred to as cannabinoids. The main active chemical in cannabis is called THC, an abbreviation of Tetrahydrocannabinol. Marijuana can contain up to 30% THC, hash oil up to 60%, and hashish up to 85%.
When cannabis is smoked, THC enters the blood stream through the lungs and is quickly transferred to the brain. It acts upon specific sites in the brain called cannabinoid receptors. There are cannabinoid receptors all over the brain, especially in the areas related to memory, movement, pleasure, and concentration.
THC mimics the effect of a naturally occurring chemical in the brain called anandamide. Anandamide works by binding with cannabinoid receptors in the brain and has a role in regulating mood, appetite, and memory.
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