High, Do I Know You?: The Science Behind Marijuana

Consider The Following

You’re with your friends and you have a headache. You pull out a J and start toking. Someone looks at you with horror and says “You’re smoking POT? You do know weed melts your brain, right?”. You open your mouth to respond and realise

I have no idea what this does to me, other than

Happy
and
Hungry

Thus, you perpetuate the “dumb stoner” stereotype and everyone is disappointed in you.

The Healing Tree has your back. We don’t want you to be that guy, so we’re going to demystify marijuana for you so you can demystify it for everyone else.

Educate and disseminate. That is THT’s goal.

Leaves of 5, Let’s Get High.

Each cannabis plant contains 483 known chemical compounds that can be extracted from it. For pharmacological purposes, scientists and doctors have mainly researched two: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). There are many others, a small breakdown of which can be found in one of our previous blog posts

Tetrahydrocannabinol or “THC”, is a member of the cannabinoid chemical family. Cannabinoids are a class of diverse chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors on cells in the brain. Cannabinoid receptors are part of a system that is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain sensation, mood, and memory. Want a a sign that THC is a good thing? It’s even present in breast milk.

THC is specifically responsible for the psychological and physical side effects that occur as a result of medicating with MJ. Smoking bud can produce feelings of relaxation/lowered inhibitions, euphoria, fragmented thoughts, concentration issues, impaired memory, drowsiness, and even sudden panic/paranoia. It also effects the body, too; Tokers may experience physical effects like increased heart rate, red eyes, dry mouth, and increased appetite.

Cannabidiol is a less widely known compound of marijuana and it is completely non-psychoactive, although it does contribute to making patients feel calm and relaxed. Because it is much less researched than THC, scientists are still trying to figure out how to turn it into a pharmaceutical drug. Cannabidiol contains analgesic (pain relieving), anti-psychotic, anti-inflammatory properties. CBD has the potential to treat major, debilitating issues such as Parkinson’s Disease, Schizophrenia and even Cancer.

This Is Your Brain On Drugs

Rather than bore you with endless science jargon, take a look at this short video, which breaks down the actual process in your brain:

So Does It Melt My Brain?

The short answer is “no”. The long answer is that with any holistic/alternative medication, rigorous testing is needed as we research the benefits (alongside the potential risks) of medical marijuana. But in the last few years, studies have shown that marijuana does not have any long-term negative effects on global intelligence, as previously thought. In fact, cannabinoids contain antioxidants which are carried and shed within the brain as they enter the receptors, aiding in the protection of brain cells.

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