What is Cannabis & It's Effects? Should It be Legalized?
- by Vandan-Khambhata
- Nov 19, 2020 13:03
Cannabis refers to a group of three plants with psychoactive properties, known as Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. When the flowers of these plants are harvested and dried, you’re left with one of the most common drugs in the world, called weed, some call it pot, and others call it marijuana. As weed becomes legal in more areas, names for it are evolving. Today, more and more people are using the term cannabis to refer to weed.
Cannabis is usually consumed for its relaxing and calming effects. In some U.S. states, it’s also prescribed to help with a range of medical conditions, including chronic pain, glaucoma, and poor appetite. Keep in mind that while cannabis comes from a plant and is considered natural, it can still have strong effects, both positive and negative.
What are CBD and THC?
Cannabis is made up of more than 120 components, which are known as cannabinoids. Experts still aren’t sure what each cannabinoid does, but they have a pretty good understanding of two of them, known as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Each has its own effects and uses:
- CBD: This is a psychoactive cannabinoid, yet it’s non-intoxicating and non-euphoric, meaning it won’t get you “high.” It’s often used to help reduce inflammation and pain. It may also ease nausea, migraine, seizures, and anxiety. (Epidiolex is the first and only prescription medication to contain CBD and be approved by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA. This medication is used to treat certain kinds of epilepsy.) Researchers are still trying to fully understand the effectiveness of CBD’s medical use.
- THC: This is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. THC is responsible for the “high” that most people associate with cannabis.
Is CBD legal?
Hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are legal federally but still illegal under some state laws. Cannabis-derived CBD products, on the other hand, are illegal federally but legal under some state laws. Check local legislation, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved nonprescription CBD products, which may be inaccurately labeled.
There are different ways of using cannabis, and the method can determine the effects of the drug.
Smoking or inhaling: A sense of elation can start within minutes and peak after 10–30 minutes. The feeling will typically wear off after about 2 hours.
Ingesting: If a person consumes products containing cannabis by mouth, they will usually feel the effects within 1 hour, and the sensations will peak after 2.5–3.5 hours. One study suggests that the type of edible affects the time it takes to feel the effect, with hard candies kicking in quicker.
Topical: Transdermal patches allow the ingredients to enter the body over a prolonged period. This steady infusion can benefit people who are using cannabis to treat pain and inflammation.
According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, there is conclusive evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids can help manage:
- chronic pain in adults
- nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy treatment
- some symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS)
There is moderate evidence that it can help with sleep problems relating to sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and MS.
Other conditions that it may be helpful for include:
- low appetite
- Tourette’s syndrome
- anxiety, in some individuals
Well, there always comes a con with pros, and using Cannabis can also entail some risk. These include:
- Impairment of judgment
- Immune response
- Gum disease
- Memory loss
- Testicular cancer
Should Cannabis be Legalized?
Cannabis is illegal in many places, but more and more areas are starting to legalize it for both recreational and medical uses. In the United States, for example, several states have legalized recreational and medical cannabis. In Odisha, where weed is still legal, people can buy Marijuana for recreational use.
Others have legalized it only for medical use. But cannabis remains illegal under federal law in the United States. The research supporting CBD use for inflammation and pain is promising. The use of CBD-based prescription medication Epidiolex to reduce some kinds of seizures is well established. The laws around cannabis also vary from country to country. Some permit the use of products containing only CBD, while others consider any kind of cannabis use a serious crime.
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