Why does cannabis affect us? This quick overview should answer some of your questions. Feel free to ask more specific ones in the comments, below!
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For the cannabis – and the cannabinoid compounds it contains – the first step is to enter your body. How quickly this happens depends on how you took it: if you smoke a joint or used a vape pen, the medicine reaches your body – or, more importantly, your bloodstream – very quickly – a matter of minutes. If you ate a brownie or used a butter in your supper dish, the cannabis doesn’t enter the bloodstream until your body has begun to metabolize the food.
Once the dose reaches your bloodstream, it is distributed throughout your body, to various organs and to the brain. On this journey, cannabinoids like THC and CBD begin to interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors.
The coolest part? Even though cannabis is a plant and we’re not, cannabinoids are perfectly formulated to connect with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our bodies, which are part of our natural Endocannabinoid system, and regularly bind with neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
Maybe you’re starting to get an idea of how cannabis can have such an effect on us?
Into the Brain
When cannabinoids interact with receptors throughout the body and within the brain, they start changing how our brains react. Depending on a variety of factors, cannabinoid bindings can replace neurotransmitters we don’t have enough of – and provoke reactions our body needs – or they can keep neurotransmitters we don’t want from binding – preventing crappy symptoms.
Here’s an example: the cannabinoid THC is a lot like a neurotransmitter called anandamide, which is known as the “bliss molecule.” Along with dopamine, anandamide evokes happy sensations, so when THC impersonates it, more dopamine is produced to match this influx, and you get a burst of elation or, as we like to call it in the cannabis world, euphoria!
Another example? The presence of these fresh cannabinoids in the brain result in a rush of blood to the right frontal lobe. This is the spot where we process and appreciate humor, and this might be one reason we can get a bit giggly after a few bites of cannabis cookie.
There are also many cannabinoid receptors in the hippocampus. This is where memory is stored, and the burst of excess cannabinoids here can over-stimulate the neurons, which interrupts the creation of short-term memory.
There are loads of other ways cannabis affects our bodies by interacting with our brains. Check out the link to our original article to learn more about this really cool collaboration.
The Body Results
In addition to these mental effects, cannabis provokes physical reactions, as well. For one thing, the increased blood flow we mentioned earlier can kick up your heart rate. Depending on your health, tolerance, and the strain you’re using, you heart might beat between 20 and 50 more times per minute! As long as you don’t have a heart condition, this is probably not dangerous, but it’s definitely something to be prepared for!
Then there’s the ever-popular side effect of “body stone” leading to lethargy and sleep. Research has suggested that one of the many superpowers of THC and CBD is their ability to impersonate endocannabinoids that regulate sleep. That’s why cannabis can be a great, natural choice if you have a hard time getting to the Land of Nod. (Just make sure you pick the right strain – some sativa varieties interact differently, and can actually make you feel energized rather than drowsy.)
Thanks for checking out our brief overview of cannabis’ effect on the body! We’d love to hear about how cannabis has helped you. Share your story below – it just might inspire someone new to try this amazing, natural medicine!
**Please Note: Growers Choice does not encourage the illegal or dangerous use of cannabis, nor the growing of cannabis seeds in regions where this is prohibited. Please find out the rules of your region before buying – we cannot be held responsible for legal issues.**
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