JUL 18, 2019 9:37 PM PDT

The Science Behind Good Cannabis

WRITTEN BY: C Reardon

The two main chemical components of the cannabis plant are Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive component and is euphoria producing. Cannabidiol (CBD), is not psychoactive. However, CBD has been found to enhance the effect THC has on reducing pain, as well as lessen the paranoia that THC has the potential to cause.

Humans have an endocannabinoid system that exists in the body specifically to interact with cannabinoids. To date, scientists have isolated 113 discrete cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Jonathan Rupp Strong, the scientific director at CannTest, an Alaskan based cannabis testing business, says that "there are receptors in the endocannabinoid system that these plant compounds interact with. Different strains have different amounts and different ratios, causing a different effect."

Photo Source: Pixabay.com

It is possible that the same strain of cannabis has a different effect on various users. It is also possible that a particular strain acts differently for the same user depending on the time of use and state of body while using.

So, while THC content is a factor to consider, it will not always be a direct indicator of the potency of the drug. The strength will vary depending on the complete cannabinoid makeup.

Another compound that affects how cannabis acts in the body is terpene. Terpenes are essential oils found in many plants, including the cannabis plant. Terpenes are present in different amounts and different combinations depending on the plant.

"Terpenes, by and large, are not exclusive to cannabis," Rupp Strong says. "Limonene is an example of a terpene; it's found in citrus, and it has a lemony smell. There are lots of them that have different smells (and) different potential influences on the effect of the product."

Cannabinoids and terpenes act similarly to our immune systems. When a plant is threatened or protecting itself within its environment, whether it be healing the plant or repelling insects, it produces terpenes and cannabinoids to defend its health. These terpenes and cannabinoids often do the same thing in the human body.

"Different ratios of these compounds can work together synergistically, and that will produce this different effect in the user," Rupp Strong says. Which means that strains with similar THC and CBD content can vary greatly in terms of how they affect the user based on the terpene content.

Different terpenes have different effects on the body. For example, the terpene myrcene, can reduce resistance in the blood-brain barrier and enable easier passage of beneficial chemicals. Pinene can assist in counteracting compromised cognition and memory potentially caused by THC. The combination of terpenes pinene, myrcene, and caryophyllene help to combat anxiety.

There is much that goes into qualifying cannabis as quality: taste, aroma, the high associated, the burnability or flush, strength and the effectiveness, consistency. There isn't a defined way to assess how the plant will act in a person's body, as not one person's body is the same. However, the ratio of these compounds in the plant directly affect how the stran of cannabis is experienced, but there are many other factors individual to each user that come into play. 

 

 

About the Author
  • Chelsey is a content strategist and copywriter with a business degree. She has a background in public relations and marketing and enjoys writing about various topics, from health, to lifestyle, to women’s issues. Since 2016, she has written for a variety of online publications, earning well over 100,000 shares. She published her first book in 2019.
You May Also Like
MAR 20, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
MAR 20, 2020
Safety Guidelines for Staying High During the Pandemic
In times of high anxiety, uncertainty and home quarantine, stocking up on cannabis in legal states seems almost as popular as the worldwide runs on toilet
MAR 20, 2020
Health & Medicine
MAR 20, 2020
THC and Single Joint Linked to Temporary Psychiatric Symptoms
A new analysis of cannabis health risks and benefits reinforces the complexity of this drug, proving that health and risk factors depend on the active comp
APR 01, 2020
Health & Medicine
APR 01, 2020
Saliva Test can Measure THC Levels in Impaired Drivers
Now that cannabis products are legal in many states across the U.S., law officials need a quick and reliable way to test potentially impaired drivers. As s
APR 03, 2020
Health & Medicine
APR 03, 2020
Cannabis Could Have Adverse Effects on Fertility
New research proves that female eggs exposed to THC may affect their ability to produce embryos that will result in a viable pregnancy. Photo Source: Pixab
APR 05, 2020
Cardiology
APR 05, 2020
Fatter Thighs May Help Stave off Heart Disease
New research has found that a larger thigh circumferences, or ‘fatter thighs’ may be linked to lower blood pressure, and thus a reduced chance
APR 07, 2020
Immunology
APR 07, 2020
Too Much Salt Is Bad for the Immune System
Excessive salt intake is associated with health consequences for more than just cardiovascular status; the immune system seems to be negatively affected as
Loading Comments...