Some call it the wonder weed and some call it marijuana but no matter what the name its effect remains the same. More than 158.8 million people use cannabis, making it one of the most consumed drugs in the whole world. Ayurveda considers it as one of the five sacred plants along with Holy basil and sandalwood.
It is also known as the miracle drug, but does it really cause miracles on using?
What is Cannabis?
Leaves and flowers of this plants are first harvested and let to dry. Dried product is then used as the drug either by ingesting or inhaling.
It is indigenous to India, but now it is cultivated in nearly all temperature and geographical regions of the world and is one of the oldest non-food crops known.
What are its components?
It contains more than 120 chemicals which are known as cannabinoids. Studies are still going on to understand what are the roles of each component, but there is a fairly evolved idea about cannabis two main active compound that is CBD and THC.
THC and CBD are widely known to people because of the effect they have on our body. Both compounds have similar chemical structure but their effects differs vastly from each other.
What is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol frequently known as THC is the compound that induces psychoactive property in cannabinoids and it’s effect is referred to as getting high or stoned. It is primarily consumed by smoking. It is also available in edible forms.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol frequently known as CBD is also a psychoactive compound like THC but their effects vary drastically. CBD helps in leasing the unwanted effects of THC. It is primarily consumed by smoking, injected in form of gummy and oil extracts are also available.
Effects Of Cannabis And It’s Uses
It is been used for hundred of year’s. It has a wide range of positive and negative effects varying from person to person depending on their genetics, brain chemistry and previous experiences.
Studies have shown that it helps reduce chronic pain and in fighting post traumatic stress and depression.
It is also helpful in treating nausea and vomiting post cancer chemotherapy. Nausea and vomiting are the common side effects of Cytotoxic used in chemotherapy. Cannabinoids present in it have been approved for the treatment of chemotherapy induced nausea. It also helps in the treatment of anorexia and weight loss which are one of the common side-effect of cancer.
CBD present in cannabis might help in limiting the growth of tumours and stimulus cell death in pancreatic cancer cells.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder where the patent experiences a chronic and frequent seizures. Cannabinoid present in cannabis especially THC and CBD can prevent seizers, although the research are still been conducted on this topic.
There is a list used in treatment of various disorders and have proven to be effective.
It may have been proven to work miracles in treating certain disorders. But don’t mistaken it to have no side effects. Like every other drug cannabis have side effects as well. Over usages can cause dependence, it also causes hallucination and delusion. Ill-effects related to the consumption of cannabinoids are incorporated with the altered levels of THC. Locally sold it is often altered levels of CBD and THC.
To increase the effect, vendors often intensify the levels of THC. This may have two effects :
Short Term Effects
Altered senses: Effects of cannabinoids varies depending on the individual. They may experience sound, smell and visions that might not experienced by others. The effect wears off as the blood concentration of cannabinoids decrease.
Impaired Mortar Skill: Cannabis has a direct effect on the mortar skill which is due linked to the levels of THC. Studies have found that there is a direct connection between THC levels in the blood and impaired mortar skill.
Long Term Effects
Lower dopamine release: A study have proven that extensive use of cannabis can cause low release of dopamine levels. Consumers of a younger age group tends to develop a dependence pattern and are completely relied on Smoking cannabis for dopamine realise.
Lung damage: If the lungs are exposed to long term smoking it can damage the bronchial passages in turn damaging the lungs. Long term cannabis smokers may develop symptoms like difficulty in breathing and excessive coughing. It has the a similar effect like of smoking tobacco.
Dependency: People are often dependent on cannabis as long term usages of it can compromise their rewards system or dopamine system in the brain. People often find themselves in a need of constant consumption of cannabis in order to stimulate dopamine.
Cannabis has many therapeutically uses. But on the flip side, it also has its ill effects. Studies are still going on, as cannabis and its effects are still not very well known to scientists.
In Hindu Vedas cannabis was first introduced to the people by Lord Shiva. And many devotee of Shiva tend to consume it as their way to express their deviation. But one should remember Shiva is competent and the only one who consumed the poison Halahal that otherwise could have wipe out the whole living existence. Can use of cannabis cause miracles? The answer is still uncertain.
-by Shivam Bhamre (Content writer Intern)