Components to Cannabinoids: THC & CBD

January 25, 2021

Learning about the newly legal cannabis industry can be hard – especially when we don’t entirely know what we’re consuming, how we should be going about using products and what the effects are from start to finish. In this article we briefly explain cannabis, and two of the main components most commonly associated with this versatile plant: THC and CBD.

Cannabis or (marijuana) is a versatile plant that’s been cultivated for centuries. It’s been smoked, ingested, applied topically as a skin remedy, to weave, build and so much more.

How does cannabis affect the body & brain?

When smoked or ingested, cannabis interacts with our bodies via the endocannabinoid system? This system allows cannabis to interact with the neurotransmitters in our brain and these neurotransmitters are chemicals responsible for relaying messages between cells.

How does THC interact with the body?

THC compound marijuanaOne of the components of cannabis that interacts with our bodies is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the main psychoactive feature of the plant. THC attaches to your CB1 receptors in the body, which produces a high or a sense of delight. To put it simply, your CB1 receptors are found within your brain and spine.

If you find yourself feeling a little ‘too’ high, perhaps overwhelmed by the experience – try using a CBD based product and you’ll find that uneasy feeling drifting away (much like your high).

How does CBD interact with the body?

Another component of the cannabis plant is CBD (cannabidiol) which has a different kind of psychoactive effect, and it’s felt more throughout the body. CBD attaches to your CB2 receptors – basically everything else in your body (minus the brain and spine).

Users who aren’t looking for that brain-fogging high might be tempted to lean towards products with more CBD compounds. But it’s not that simple. 

CBD - CannabidiolThe majority of products that contain CBD, have small amounts of THC as well. This can be a good thing for cannabis consumers and let me tell you why. In order for your CBD based product to work, it requires minimal amounts of THC to activate properly in the body. Now here’s the kicker, CBD blocks THC’s ability to bind with your CB1 receptors which significantly reduce your chances of becoming ‘high’. This means if you use a CBD product with THC, it’s highly unlikely you’ll experience a psychoactive high. Your body may react by being in a more ‘lax’ state of being, but rest assured you will not experience the same buzz that’s associated with THC products.

Ways to use cannabis

One of the most common forms of using cannabis is to smoke it.  When you smoke, it’s a near instantaneous effect, the blood-brain-barrier is penetrated by the smoke, attaching to either your CB1 or CB2 receptors. A smoke high can last approximately 1 to 3 hours depending on quantity or the particular strain smoked and with thousands of different cannabis strains, the types of highs experienced are endless. Some strains can induce upbeat feelings, while others can induce a lethargic experience.

How much cannabis should you smoke? How you use it will affect your overall reaction, but it’s recommended to start with a small amount first, whether that’s a new strain, new method of taking it in, or if it’s your first time. Smoke with a friend, and in a safe place. If you feel too high from the effects of THC, you should try smoking a little CBD to counteract those intense feelings. CBD products are available in many formations, such as oil, cannabis, capsules and more. Which one to use? It will vary on your preference, what will also vary is the delivery time. (From consumption to - I no longer feel the powerful effects of THC).  If you have no CBD available - Black peppercorns work too, simply chew on a few and within 15 minutes the high is less intensified.

Marijuana gummiesDon’t enjoy smoking? There are other ways of attaining the effects of cannabis and one of the more popular is to ingest it. There’s increased interest in edibles and there are many options including cannabis-laced soda, chocolate, or a crystalized powder that gives you the ability to add cannabis to foods and recipes. When you consume cannabis the effects don’t hit as quickly as they do when it’s smoked. Cannabis chocolate for example can take from 45 minutes to 3 hours until it takes effect. That’s because it needs to make its way through your digestive tract, to your liver where it metabolizes and is sent back through the bloodstream. Lollipops, and oils take effect faster because it’s absorbed under the tongue, or sublingually via your mucus membranes.

Edibles can create a deep high within the body, and last much longer, anywhere between six to eight hours. Consume small amounts and be patient.

Generally, a THC high can produce a multitude of effects and it starts with the method of which you’ve chosen to consume. Towards the end of your experience – you can feel the high slowly dissipate, as if it was never there.

When it comes to exploring cannabis, do your research, take your time, and don’t forget you can get trusted advice from Co-op Cannabis experts.

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