An Introduction to Your Endocannabinoid System

One of the most exciting things about the cannabis plant is the way that it interacts with our body’s internal systems. It turns out that as we learn more about the cannabinoids that live inside the cannabis plant’s trichomes (phytocannabinoids), we also learn more about our own bodily makeup, the cannabinoids that we create ourselves (endocannabinoids), and their functions.

Each of us comes with an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which does much more than simply express the way we experience the intoxicating or psychoactive properties of cannabis. The ECS keeps our bodies regulated, helping us to maintain balance, or homeostasis. When we achieve internal homeostasis, we’re at peak performance.

Because of the need for inner balance, the ECS plays an integral role in survival by maintaining homeostasis in fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals, including humans. Pain, stress, appetite, energy, cardiovascular function, reward perception, reproduction, and sleep are only a few of the processes in which the ECS is involved.

The ECS is made up of three main components: cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and the enzymes that break them down. This system is present throughout the entire body — it’s on immune cells in our bloodstream, all over our nervous systems, on the entire axis of the spinal cord, and in virtually every cell in the brain. There are even cannabinoid receptors in our skin.

The body naturally produces endocannabinoids, the two most prevalent being: anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Anandamide was discovered in the 1990s, so there is still much research to be done in order to fully understand it, but a good way to associate anandamide is that its root was taken from the Sanskrit word “ananda,” meaning eternal bliss or happiness.

VID 1153 Infographic Receptors in The Body V3 title 1024x576

Anandamide and 2-AG are made on demand and seek out the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors affect motor and cognitive function, whereas CB2 receptors play a more critical role in neuroprotection and neuroinflammation. Though these two receptors have been the most studied by scientists, there are others that cannabinoids can also bind to, like TRPV proteins, which are responsible for the body’s sensations of temperature. For instance, the flush experienced when eating chili peppers is a TRPV response.

Although the CB and TRPV receptors are the major players in the ECS, there are at least three other receptors that may eventually be considered cannabinoid receptors, once their functions are fully understood: GPR55, GPR18, and GPR119

CB1 receptors can be found largely in the central nervous system, where they regulate a wide variety of brain functions. In fact, they’re the most widely expressed protein of their kind in the brain. There, the receptors regulate the release of other neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate.

Think of the neurotransmitters as children at a crosswalk after school: The ECS acts as a crossing guard, allowing them to cross in tightly controlled intervals and numbers.

CB2 receptors are mostly found on immune cells, which circulate throughout the body and brain via the bloodstream. These receptors are also found on neurons in a few select brain regions and are involved in pain relief, inflammation reduction, and neuroprotection.

Because our bodies already use “in-house” endocannabinoids to regulate many functions, we come with lots of target sites where phytocannabinoids can also activate. Beyond the aforementioned known and potential cannabinoid receptors, phytocannabinoids bind to many other targets. For instance, cannabidiol (CBD) has at least 12 sites of action in the brain.

The genes that encode the CB1 and CB2 receptors are CNR1 and CNR2. These genes are of particular interest to scientists, as when mutated they can lead to different responses to the body’s endogenous cannabinoids, which can in turn influence health and disease states.

Some alterations of CNR1 have been linked to obesity and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and drug and alcohol addiction. It is thought that further study into these genetic variants could lead to the prevention and treatment of several diseases that are based on a dysfunction of the ECS. Much more research is needed in order to fully understand the role of ECS in health, and how genetic variability in this system contributes to disease.

Though there is much common ground between our ECSs, everybody’s is unique: the rates of anandamide and 2-AG production and break down can vary wildly, as can the levels of cannabinoid receptors in our bodies.

For instance, prolonged, daily use of cannabis causes the brain to reduce the number of CB1 receptors that are available for activation, however, using human brain imaging, we see that after only 48 hours of abstinence from cannabis, the ECS is reinstated and the level of CB1 receptors goes back to a comparable level of a non-cannabis user.

ECS knowledge helps us to understand more about ourselves and the way that we were seemingly built to partake in cannabis and its phytocannabinoids. Maintaining homeostasis becomes a dance between plant and being — one that calls for much more scientific research, but that in the meantime brings us great ananda.

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How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System?

What You’ll Learn in This Article

1503431390pot leaf png black While the active form of THC doesn’t remain in your bloodstream for an extended period of time, THC metabolites can still be found in the body several weeks after use.
1503431390pot leaf png black There are a variety of factors that might affect the amount of time that THC and its metabolites stay in your system.
1503431390pot leaf png black The overall duration and frequency of use by the consumer have a substantial influence on the length of time weed hangs around in the body.
1503431390pot leaf png black A body with higher metabolic functions can break down cannabinoids at a faster rate, shortening the length of time that THC and THC metabolites will remain detectable.

 When cannabis is consumed and introduced to the human body, it sparks an exhilarating interaction that leaves a lasting impression in both a literal and figurative sense. After smoking weed, cannabinoids and their byproducts remain detectable in the body, and in many cases remain well after the buzz wears off.

In order to address the question of how long weed stays in your system, we must first focus our attention on THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the intoxicating cannabinoid that creates euphoric and stoned effects. Cannabis drug tests often exclusively screen for THC and THC metabolites, which are byproducts that are produced when THC is broken down in the body.

How Does Cannabis Travel Through the Body?

To fully understand how long weed could stay in your system, it’s important to establish how THC travels through and interacts with the body.

When cannabis is smoked or vaporized, THC enters the bloodstream through the lungs. From there, THC is carried in the bloodstream directly to the heart and pumped throughout the body, binding to the CB1 receptors located in the brain, certain organs, and central nervous system, as well as the CB2 receptors in the spleen and immune system.

As blood circulates throughout the body, THC is continuously passed through the liver and broken down into metabolites. To detect the presence of cannabis in the body, most drug screening methods look for one metabolite called 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC, or THC-COOH.

 This inactive metabolite of THC, which is stored in the fat and gradually eliminated through urine and feces, remain in the body for far longer than active THC. That’s why so many marijuana detox drinks and kits claim to eliminate or mask the presence of THC metabolites.

The process is slightly different when weed enters the system in the form of an edible or capsule. When cannabis is ingested, THC enters the bloodstream through the walls of the stomach and intestine, traveling directly to the liver where a large amount is eliminated or metabolized. The remaining THC and THC metabolites are then circulated by the heart and sent to the brain.

Key Factors That Influence How Long Weed Stays in Your System

There are a variety of factors that might impact the amount of time that THC will stay in your system.

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Dosage

The higher the amount of THC that is consumed, the longer it will take the body to break down and work through the THC and its corresponding metabolites.

Frequency of use

The overall duration and frequency of use by the consumer have a substantial influence on the length of time that weed will stay in your system. Most research on cannabinoid detection demonstrates that THC stays in the system of chronic users for far longer than one time or even occasional users. Frequency of cannabis use is also a notable risk factor in developing cannabis withdrawal symptoms.

Genetics

Genetics also impacts the length of time that THC remains in the system. For instance, people inherit different variants of the cytochrome P450 superfamily of enzymes, which modify THC in the body resulting in its elimination through the urine.

Fat

The amount of fat in the body is also a significant factor. The metabolite THC-COOH is fat-soluble and binds to fat molecules, where they can be stored for a lengthy period of time. In the same vein, exercise can also impact the levels of detectable THC metabolites. When fat is burned, dormant THC from fat can be released into the blood and excreted from the body in urine or feces.

Metabolism

A body with higher metabolic functions can break down cannabinoids at a faster rate, shortening the length of time that THC and its metabolites will remain detectable in the body.

How Long Does Weed Stay in Your System?

There’s no universal standard for how long weed stays in the system because it depends on too many variables. THC and its metabolites can be detected in blood, urine, saliva, and hair. But existing research allows us to gain a better understanding and make a well-educated estimate.

How Long Does Weed Stay in Your Blood?

Upon inhalation, active THC can be found in the bloodstream within a matter of seconds and can be detected in plasma for several hours, depending on the frequency of use and dosage. According to a 2004 review, the plasma concentration of THC peaks just 3 to 8 minutes after inhalation and then decreases quickly with a half-life of about 30 minutes. The study claims that THC is detectable in blood for about 5 hours, but the THC metabolite THC-COOH has a detection time of up to 25 days.

In a 2009 study, researchers monitored cannabinoid concentrations in the blood of 25 frequent cannabis users. During seven days of abstinence from cannabis use, nine subjects, or 36%, had no measurable THC in their system, while the other 16 still had at least one positive THC test over the same timeframe. After the weeklong period ended, six of the subjects still had detectable THC concentrations and all subjects had measurable levels of the metabolite THC-COOH.

So, while the active form of THC doesn’t remain in your bloodstream for an extended period of time, THC metabolites can still be found in the body several weeks after use.

How Long Does Weed Stay in Your Urine?

Recognized as the preferred method for cannabis drug testing, urine screenings are often used as a benchmark to detect for cannabis use. Most urine drug tests utilize a specific sensitivity for the cutoff concentration of THC-COOH. The most common cutoff concentration point is 50 nanoggrams per milliliter (ng/mL), as suggested by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA).

In a 2005 review authored by Paul Cary, director of the Toxicology and Drug Monitoring Laboratory at the University of Missouri, Cary stated that THC detection times rarely exceeded 30 days, occurring in a select few cases. The study aims to provide “practical cannabinoid detection guidance,” despite the many factors that influence how long weed stays in the system.

Using the recommended cutoff concentration point of 50 ng/mL, the study suggests that a chronic cannabis user is unlikely to have detectable THC metabolites in their urine longer than 10 days after the more recent smoking episode. At the lower, more sensitive 20 ng/mL cutoff concentration point, however, the metabolites in chronic users could be detected for up to 21 days after consumption, and possibly longer in some rare instances. For one time users, however, the same study found that even with the most stringent 20 ng/mL cutoff concentration point, it would be unlikely for a drug screening to detect THC metabolites in urine after seven days.

According to a May 2017 review published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, weed can be detected in the system for up to three days in occasional users, five to seven days in moderate users, 10 to 15 days in daily users, and more than 30 days for chronic users who consume multiple times a day.

How Long Does Weed Stay in Your Saliva?

THC and its metabolites can also be detected in the saliva of occasional and chronic users. A 2014 study on cannabinoids in oral fluid found that THC metabolites were detectable in the saliva of occasional users for one to three days and chronic users for up to 29 days.

How Long Does Weed Stay in Your Hair?

There is mounting evidence that hair follicle drug testing methods are not able to accurately detect marijuana, as some research suggests that the presence of THC and THC metabolites can be transferred to the hair follicles of non-users through contact with hands, sweat, or exhaled smoke. For example, if someone smokes a joint and exhales near someone who doesn’t use cannabis, THC can be transferred to the non-smoker’s head or body hair. A 2015 study found that, after giving participants 50 milligrams of THCA every day for one month, no THC was found in the hair specimen samples, but THC-COOH was still detected. As for the detection period, the hair follicle drug test timeline is much broader than with urine and blood tests, sometimes detecting the presence of THC up to 90 days after use.

On the other hand, a 2017 study that analyzed hair samples collected from 136 subjects found detectable levels of THC in 77% of chronic users, 39% of light users, and zero in non-users, showcasing that

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How Your Genes Influence Your Response to Cannabis

Cannabis is able to produce a wide array of experiences in human beings. It can make us sleepy, enhance our relationships, change our perception of the world, and relieve the symptoms of debilitating diseases. And while different kinds of cannabis products produce different effects, what is even more interesting is that the same cannabis product can produce very different effects among individuals.

For instance, in passing a joint amongst a group of friends, some people may be completely unaffected while others experience intense intoxication of one variety or another. Why is that?

Cannabis exerts its effects through many targets and mechanisms within the brain and body, most notably the CB1 and CB2 receptor sites. These receptors are proteins that are made inside of our cells, and like all other proteins our bodies make, the “blueprints” for how to build them reside in our DNA. Although the human genome (the collection of all human genes) is strikingly similar across people, random or inherited edits (mutations) in these blueprints are extremely common. Genetic mutations can often be the source of inherited diseases, and they can also account for some of the differences in people’s reactions to cannabis.

people really hate the smell of weed in public

Mutations in the human CB1 receptor (the target for THC and main site of cannabis intoxication) were first observed more than a decade ago. So far, scientists have identified 15 variations of this gene in humans. When the blueprints for the protein are different, the function of the protein is almost always affected.

This means that right now, you’re walking around with one of at least 15 different versions of the CB1 receptor protein. In some cases, a CB1 mutation could make you more vulnerable to diseases like anorexia, Crohn’s, or addiction, but in others it could drastically alter your sensitivity to the molecules that bind to it (like THC). This could very well explain why an individual’s sensitivity to cannabis intoxication could be greater or lesser than the 14 other friends sharing the joint.

There are also at least 11 mutations in the human FAAH gene (an enzyme that breaks down our bodies’ naturally produced cannabinoid molecules), and at least seven mutations in the CB2 receptor. These mutations could have major health implications, and are the subject of intense ongoing research.

But genetic mutations that affect the cannabis experience aren’t restricted to the genes involved in our endogenous cannabinoid system. For example, some people have mutations in the Akt gene (Protein kinase B, not an endocannabinoid-specific gene). This gene can keep cells from dying and inhibit tissue growth and is associated with many types of cancer. People with this mutation are more prone to make errors in judgement and motor responses after consuming cannabis. That’s because the individual’s Akt mutation changes how cannabinoids affect them.

Another important variation outside of the endocannabinoid system is found in the liver. When cannabis is ingested orally (swallowed tincture, capsules, or edibles), it passes through the digestive system and liver before the cannabinoids can get into the bloodstream and brain. The liver contains many enzymes (again, proteins encoded by our DNA) that process many kinds of medications and substances. One of the more notable enzymes in the liver converts delta-9-THC into 11-hydroxy-THC, which is even more potent at activating the CB1 receptor and inducing intoxication. There are virtually countless individual differences in the efficiency and diversity of liver functions that could affect our experience with edible cannabis.

The genetic mutations that change our experiences of cannabis may be present from birth, but they can also occur as a result of day to day life. Genes get turned off and turned on almost constantly throughout our daily lives, in response to many stimuli (invading viruses, diet, stress, you name it). At some point in the near future, it might be possible to do a simple DNA test (swabbing the inside of your cheek) to determine what your genes look like, how to solve certain genetic diseases, and what you might be able to expect from using cannabis.

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Why Does Weed Make Your Eyes Red?

Among the most common effects of marijuana use (and telltale signs you’ve recently partaken) is red, bloodshot eyes. It’s to be expected, sure, but that doesn’t answer the mysterious question pondered by generations of stoners: why does weed make your eyes red?

For weed novices, the onset of bloodshot eyes could cause a panic-induced internet search asking “can smoking weed damage your eyes?” Thankfully, as those who regularly consume cannabis can tell new users, there are no serious health risks associated with your sudden red-eyed circumstance. You’re probably not experiencing an allergic reaction or some bigger complication. Some might poke fun or chastise you for sporting your so-called “weed eyes” in public, but otherwise, it’s a completely natural occurrence that transpires after smoking cannabis.

In fact, your eyes turning red has nothing to do with the act of smoking at all.

Under Pressure: Lower blood pressure and dilated capillaries

After consuming a cannabis-based product (flower, concentrate, edible, etc), users generally experience an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This is due to the plant’s cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds responsible for some of the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of cannabis, and their initial interaction with the body. This rise in blood pressure and heart rate is comparable to normal physical activities like exercise or sex.

It generally takes about five to ten minutes for users’ heart rates to return back to normal and for blood pressure to begin to decrease. As the blood pressure lowers, this leads to the dilation of blood vessels and capillaries, including ocular capillaries. The dilation of ocular capillaries causes increased blood flow to the eyes, which results in your eyes turning red in the process, and also reduces intraocular pressure.

It’s cannabis’ ability to relieve intraocular pressure in the eyes that makes it a potentially viable treatment for glaucoma, a group of eye disorders that causes damage to the optic nerves which can eventually lead to blindness. It also happens to explain why your eyes become bloodshot after smoking cannabis.

Evidence that the THC found in cannabis can lower intraocular pressure (IOP) is a major reason why many glaucoma patients have attempted to use medical marijuana to treat and relieve symptoms of the disease. It’s important to know that some studies have contradicted or added a caveat to the claim that cannabis is beneficial for glaucoma. For instance, a 2018 study conducted at Indiana University found that the cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in marijuana, could potentially worsen the condition by increasing eye pressure. More research into the use of cannabis for glaucoma treatment is needed.

Do Edibles Make Your Eyes Red?

Similar to smoking cannabis, ingesting edibles could also make your eyes turn red. Again, this depends on the amount of THC consumed. Remember, it’s not the smoke itself that makes your eyes red, but rather the ability that cannabinoids have to lower blood pressure, causing blood vessels and capillaries to dilate.

The Redder the Better?

The amount your blood pressure is lowered and how red your eyes become depends on the amount of THC you consume.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most common and well-known cannabinoid in the plant, is responsible for the intoxication associated with smoking cannabis. The greater the concentration of THC in a cannabis product, the stronger the effects and the redder your eyes become.

So red eyes can act as a sign that your cannabis has a high cannabinoid content (it’s potent). In other words, if your eyes are noticeably bloodshot after consumption, there’s a good chance you’ve landed yourself some highly potent weed.

Other than being a dead giveaway that you’ve recently consumed cannabis, you have no reason to be concerned about the redness of your eyes. Cannabis-induced eye redness will typically only last a few hours and can be easily dealt with if you have the right tools at your disposal.

It isn’t a bad idea to have eye drops (or some sunglasses) on hand. Look for eye drop brands that specifically designed to reduce eye redness. There are other methods that could potentially help combat cannabis-induced bloodshot eyes, including staying hydrated, washing your face and eyelids with cold water, or simply consuming cannabis products with lower THC levels.

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Why THC Gets You High and CBD Doesn’t

What You’ll Learn in This Article

1503431390pot leaf png black THC activates the Cannabinoid Type 1 (CB1) receptor, while CBD inhibits it.
1503431390pot leaf png black When THC binds to CB1 receptors in the brain’s reward system, cannabis produces feelings of euphoria and intoxication.
1503431390pot leaf png black CBD is often touted as “non-psychoactive,” however this statement is somewhat misleading.
1503431390pot leaf png black Things get really interesting when other cannabinoid and terpene molecules are consumed alongside THC and CBD.
Cannabis is one of the safest intoxicating substances on the planet. As with other intoxicating drugs, the precise mechanisms by which cannabis produces intoxication aren’t entirely known. We can, however, conclude a few important things about how different parts of the plant interact with the human brain.

The main intoxicating ingredient in cannabis is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The intoxicating properties of THC were first described in the 1940s, however our understanding of THC dramatically improved once the Israeli scientist Rafael Mechoulam synthesized this molecule in 1965. While federal laws in the United States, which still classify cannabis as a Schedule I substance, have historically stifled research into cannabis, adult-use and medical marijuana legalization has helped unearth more information on this complex plant.

THC is an agonist, or activator, of the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor. When cannabis is given to people who have had their CB1 receptors blocked (by a different drug, called an antagonist), cannabis cannot get them high. So, we know that the CB1 receptor must be the critical target in the brain that produces intoxication.

Brain imaging studies have shown increased blood flow to the prefrontal cortex region of the brain during THC intoxication. This region of the brain is responsible for decision-making, attention, and other executive functions, like motor skills. In short, THC intoxication can affect any of these functions to varying degrees depending on the person.

THC vs CBD Intoxication V3 waterMark 768x432Another important factor in cannabis intoxication involves the activation of the brain’s reward circuitry, which feeds our emotional and memory processes. Ultimately, the activity in these regions produces pleasurable sensations and emotions that encourage us to revisit that greasy burger place for a calorie-dense meal or ask a potential mate out on another date.

Cannabis activates the brain’s reward pathway, which makes us feel good, and increases our likelihood of partaking again in the future. THC binding to CB1 receptors in the brain’s reward system is a major factor in cannabis’ ability to produce feelings of euphoria.

But THC is far from the only ingredient in cannabis that has a direct impact on brain function. The most notable comparison is with cannabidiol (CBD), which is the second most abundant cannabinoid found in the plant. CBD is often touted as “non-psychoactive,” however this statement is somewhat misleading. Any substance that has a direct effect on the function of the brain is considered to be psychoactive. CBD most certainly creates psychoactive effects when it interacts with the brain and central nervous system, as it has very powerful anti-seizure and anti-anxiety properties.

CBD is indeed psychoactive; it’s just not intoxicating. In other words, the answer to the question ‘does CBD get you high?’ is no. The reason for this is that unlike THC, CBD is exceedingly bad at activating the CB1 receptor. In fact, evidence suggests that it actually interferes with the activity of the CB1 receptor, especially in the presence of THC. When THC and CBD work together to affect CB1 receptor activity, users tend to feel a more mellow, nuanced subjective high and have a much lower chance of experiencing paranoia compared to the effects felt when CBD is absent. That’s because THC activates the CB1 receptor, while CBD inhibits it. A February 2010 study found that THC and CBD can have opposite effects on regional brain function, which could help explain why CBD tends to inhibit the effects of THC. Taking a closer look at the CBD vs THC dichotomy and the effects of each on the body’s cannabinoid receptors, however, reveals a more complex picture of how the two interact. Despite the noted differences between CBD and THC, the presence of both cannabinoids appear to balance the effects.

For instance, CBD may protect against cognitive impairment associated with overexposure to THC. In a series of studies on the cognitive effects of heavy or daily cannabis use, participants who had smoked cannabis with higher levels of CBD exhibited better memory recall than those who had lower doses of CBD. A 2013 study administered THC to participants, and found that those who had been given CBD prior to THC administration showed less episodic memory impairment than patients who had been given a placebo — further indicating that CBD may curb THC-induced cognitive deficits.

CBD may also protect against THC-induced psychosis. Furthermore, two separate population-based studies conducted by the same team found that people who used THC alone were more prone to psychosis (or schizophrenia-like symptoms) than those who used THC and CBD. A more recent study, published in March 2018, found that, when used alongside antipsychotic medication, CBD helped reduce symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. More clinical data is needed to prove CBD’s anti-psychosis effects entirely, but its potential for reducing the risk of THC-induced psychosis symptoms is already substantial. There have also been conflicting findings about THC-induced psychosis, calling into question the widely purported link between cannabis and psychiatric issues. One May 2019 study conducted in Spain, for instance, found no direct association between cannabis use and psychosis in high school students.

Beyond CB1 receptors, phytocannabinoids (or cannabinoids native to the cannabis plant) like THC and CBD bind to several other targets. CBD, for example, has at least 12 sites of action in the brain. And where CBD may balance the effects of THC through inhibiting CB1 receptors, it may have other effects on THC metabolism at different sites of action.

As a result, CBD may not always inhibit or balance THC’s effects. It may also directly enhance THC’s positive effects. CBD does, for example, have the potential to synergize, and even enhance THC-induced pain relief. THC is both an anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective antioxidant, largely due to its activation of CB1 receptors in the pain-control area of the brain. A study from 2012 revealed that CBD targets alpha-3 (α3) glycine receptors, a crucial target for pain processing in the spine, to suppress chronic pain and inflammation. It’s an example of what’s called the “ensemble” or “entourage effect,” in which the combined effect of different cannabis compounds work together as a whole to produce a greater effect than if working separately. But even this interaction is not so cut and dry. In a February 2019 study, researchers found that low doses of CBD actually enhanced the intoxicating effects of THC, while high doses of CBD reduced the intoxicating effects of THC.

The “entourage effect” can be evoked by consuming cannabis products that contain both THC and CBD, and marijuana strains can offer specified levels of each of the two cannabinoids. High CBD marijuana strains, for instance, will have different, less intoxifying effects when consumed than strains with higher THC levels. Even some hemp-derived CBD oil contains small trace amounts of THC, but not at levels that would cause any intoxicating effects.

Things get particularly interesting when other cannabinoid and terpene molecules are consumed alongside THC and CBD. Although we are just beginning to understand the isolated effects of cannabinoids such as CBN, CBC, and CBG, their ability to bind to targets in the brain means they could potentially enhance, interfere with, prolong, or in some other way modulate the effects of THC. It’s entirely possible that some of cannabis’ most well-known side effects (such as couch lock) may have very little to do with THC itself, but rather, the relative contributions of these lesser-known molecules. Terpenes, which are the largest group of known phytochemicals in cannabis, have also proven to be a critical piece to this puzzling “entourage effect.” Not only do terpenes give cannabis a distinct flavor and aroma, but they also appear to support other cannabis molecules in producing physiological and cerebral effects.

Cannabis is a complex plant with relatively little available research into its effects and interactions with the human body — and we’re just beginning to learn the many ways cannabis compounds work together and interact with our cannabinoid receptors to change the way we feel.


 

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