Cannabis refers to a group of three plants with psychoactive properties, known as Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.
You’re left with one of the most popular drugs in the world when the flowers of these plants are harvested and dried. Some call it marijuana, some call it pot, and some call it cannabis.
As marijuana in more places becomes legal, names are emerging for it. Today, the word cannabis is used by more and more people to refer to marijuana.
Some claim that this name is more accurate. Others believe that it a more neutral compared with terms such as which some people associate with its illegal use of weed or pot or Marijuana.
Also, the word “marijuana” is falling out of use because of it racist history. The exotic-sounding word for the prohibitionists of nearly a century ago stressed the foreignness of the drug to white Americans and appealed to the xenophobia of the time. A popular refrain, as with other racial memes, was that marijuana would lead to miscegenation.
The bureaucrat who led the prohibition campaign, Harry Anslinger, is credited as saying back then: “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers.
Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”
In general, cannabis is consumed because of its soothing and calming effects. It is also used to help with a number of medical problems in some US states, including chronic pain, glaucoma, and weak appetite.
Bear in mind that it can also have strong effects, both positive and negative, though cannabis comes from a plant and is considered natural.
Table of Contents
- What are the components of cannabis?
- What are the short-term effects of cannabis?
- What are the long-term effects of cannabis?
- Is cannabis legal?
- The bottom line
What are the components of cannabis?
More than 120 elements, which are known as cannabinoids, make up cannabis. Experts are still not sure what of cannabinoid does, but two of them, known as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), have a fairly clear understanding. one has its own implications and uses:
- Cannabidiol (CBD). This is a psychoactive cannabinoid, yet it’s non-intoxicating and non-euphoric, meaning you’re not going to get “high.” It’s also used to help relieve pain and inflammation. It can also relieve nausea, migraines, anxiety, and seizures. (Epidiolex is the first and only prescription drug to contain CBD and is licensed by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA. This drug is used to treat some cases of epilepsy.) Researchers are also trying to understand the efficacy of the medicinal use of CBD fully.
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is a psychoactive cannabinoid, yet it’s non-intoxicating and non-euphoric, meaning you’re not going to get “high.”
It’s also used to help relieve pain and inflammation. It can also relieve nausea, migraines, anxiety, and seizures. (Epidiolex is the first and only prescription drug to contain CBD and is licensed by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA.
This drug is used to treat some cases of epilepsy.) Researchers are also trying to understand the efficacy of the medicinal use of CBD fully.
What are the short-term effects of cannabis?
A variety of short-term effects can be accomplished by consuming cannabis. Some are supportive, but others are more worried about others.
Some short-term effects that are more beneficial include:
- Altered perception of time and events
- Focus and creativity
- Experiencing things around you, such as sights and sounds, more intensely
- Increased appetite
Compared with THC, these effects are mostly small in items containing very high levels of CBD. But for some individuals, cannabis may have some problematic side effects as well. Side effects can include:
- Coordination issues
- Delayed reaction time
- Increased heart rate
- Decreased blood pressure
Again, in products containing more CBD than THC, these effects are less frequent. Based on the method of consumption, the short-term effects of cannabis can also differ.
You will experience the symptoms within minutes if you smoke cannabis. However, if you take cannabis by mouth, such as in a tablet or in food, it can take several hours before you feel something.
But, as any recreational or medical marijuana user can tell you, not all cannabis is created equal. There are different strains of cannabis and they produce different effects and can be used for different reasons.
Cannabis also exists in various strains, such as Maui Wowie, white widow, Northern Lights, Golden Goat, Pineapple Express, etc. There are loose classifications that are used to indicate the effects of various cannabis products.
What are the long-term effects of cannabis?
Experts are also seeking to understand cannabis use’s long-term consequences fully. There is a lot of conflicting research on this topic, and many of the current studies have only looked at animals.
To fully understand the permanent effects of cannabis use, several more significant, long-term studies in humans are needed.
A study from 2014 highlights the possible effect of cannabis as used during puberty on brain growth. According to this study, people who start using cannabis in their teens appear to have more memory and learning difficulties than those who don’t use cannabis in their teens.
But if these results are lasting, it’s unclear. People who begin to use cannabis in their teens may also be at greater risk for mental wellbeing.
Some individuals may become dependent on cannabis, as well. Others also suffer withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability, low appetite, and mood swings, while not using cannabis.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people who begin using cannabis before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a cannabis use disorder than those who start using it later in life.
Cannabis smoking poses similar risks to tobacco smoking. Irritation and inflammation of the airways may be due to this. Cannabis has been related to bronchitis and may be a risk factor for chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD). However, recent research by Trusted source has shown no evidence of a link between cannabis use and lung cancer. In this field, further research is required.
Is cannabis legal?
In several countries, cannabis is illegal, but more and more regions are beginning to legalize it for both recreational and medicinal uses. For instance, many states have legalized recreational and medicinal cannabis in the United States.
Some have legalized it only for medical use. Yet, in the United States, cannabis remains illegal under federal law. The research supporting the use of CBD is positive for inflammation and pain. The use of Epidiolex, a CBD-based prescription drug, to alleviate some forms of seizures is well known.
Cannabis regulations vary from country to country, too. Some encourage the use of CBD-only items, while others consider any form of cannabis use a serious crime. If you’re curious about trying cannabis, be sure to first read up on your area’s rules.
The bottom line
Cannabis is a term used more and more to refer to cannabis or marijuana. Cannabis has a number of short- and long-term effects, regardless of what you call it, which can be both beneficial and damaging. Start by testing if it’s legal in your area if you’re curious about trying cannabis.
If it is, consider talking to a doctor or pharmacist in advance to make sure that it does not interfere with other medicines or supplements you are taking. A doctor may also assist you in weighing the possible health benefits and risks.