Article by Bethany Rae, The Georgia Straight
You are not alone if you’ve spent most of your adult life believing that cannabis is bad for you. I used to think cannabis was unhealthy, but it turns out it was my lack of knowledge and education that was unhealthy.
We have a lot to catch up on, as cannabis research and science education was restricted for the greater part of the 20th century. It’s time to take on the knowledge we need to be informed, and, if we choose, safe and educated consumers.
Cannabis was a healthy addition to my life once I took the time to understand the following lessons.
1. Cannabinoids: How cannabis interacts in the human body
Did you know your body makes its own version of cannabis? Cannabinoids are the complex active compounds in cannabis that mimic naturally occurring compounds produced by your body, in your endocannabinoid system (ECS). We didn’t learn about the ECS in school because it wasn’t discovered until 1992 when researchers were looking at how THC interacts with the human body.
There are many different cannabinoids found in cannabis, up to 100 by some reports, with the most famous being THC and CBD. These active compounds bind to the receptorsites throughout our ECS in the brain and body, affecting mood and feeling.
Recent research has suggested that if your body is not performing optimally, it may be because of a lack of naturally-produced cannabinoids in your endocannabinoid system, resulting in cannabinoid deficiency. Careful consumption of cannabis could help maintain optimal health and body function, also known as homeostasis.
There is the chance that you might get too much of a good thing, so it’s important to take your time to know your cannabis 101 and talk to a cannabis educated doctor.
2. THC vs CBD: Not all cannabis products will get you high
Want the benefits of cannabis without the high? Focusing on products lower in THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and higher in CBD (cannabidiol) may provide the solution. THC has strong psychoactive properties and CBD is non-psychoactive. While there are other active compounds in cannabis THC and CBD are the ones most identified and readily available in cannabis products in Canada, for now.
Although THC is proving to have many medical applications, including chronic pain relief, for those who are new to cannabis and are concerned about the euphoria of the high, starting out with CBD products may be the ideal solution.