Day by day, the legalization of CBD has heightened overall interest in cannabis. For starters, the calming and relaxing benefits of cannabis might be overwhelming, and you could use some help on how to go about it. Likewise, you may have been using cannabis for a long time and still not optimize its magical benefits. In any case that you are not sure how to consume your cannabis, this article is for you. But more, in this article, we examine the nature of cannabis, how it interacts with your body, and finally, its delivery methods.
Cannabis is a group of three plants – Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis – which have psychoactive properties. When harvested and dried, any of these plants simply transforms into one of the world’s most popular drugs that we often refer to as weed, pot, and marijuana. The flexibility of cannabis use continually gives it more traction, acceptability, and by implication, patronage. Similarly, medical literature demonstrates that cannabis has relaxing and calming effects. To this end, some U.S. states prescribe its derivative, CBD, for a range of medical conditions. Conditions such as chronic pain, inflammation, glaucoma, and poor appetite.
How Cannabis Interacts With Your Body
Cannabis interacts directly with our body through an extensive network of receptors called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is because the human body itself produces neurotransmitters which are identical to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a compound found in cannabis. So, these endogenous cannabinoids bind to receptors in our brain and other areas in our body. There are two main types of these cannabinoid receptors. There are the CB1 receptors, which are mostly found in the brain and central nervous system.
The CB1 receptors are involved in regulating learning and memory, reducing pain and addictive tendencies, reducing nerve inflammation and degeneration, regulating metabolism, appetite, bone mass, and heart function. And there are CB2 receptors located outside the nervous system, mainly in the immune system, and implicated in allergic and autoimmune conditions, inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases, osteoporosis, chronic pain, and stress responses. So the ECS is the system through which the human body regulates pain, mood, sleep, appetite, the immune system, and many other bodily functions. Since cannabis helps to optimize the ECS, the pertinent question is, how exactly does this work?
Cannabis Delivery Methods
It is important to note that ‘delivery’ here means getting the benefits of cannabis into your bloodstream. No doubt, the variety of cannabis delivery methods might be overwhelming for a starter. A cannabis delivery method invariably determines the level of effectiveness because each method has its own benefit. These methods are broadly categorized as inhalation, oral, and topical.
Inhalation remains the best-known and most widely-practiced cannabis delivery consumption. When heated, cannabis produces smoke or vapor which enters the lungs and then into the bloodstream. The onset of the effect is almost immediate. However, the strength and duration depend not only on your body’s chemistry and tolerance but also on the inhalation method and – of course – and the quality of the product. Inhalation can be in two forms, namely, smoking and vaporization.
When cannabis flower is burned to produce smoke which is then inhaled, this act is smoking. Smoking is often via rolling papers, hand pipes, water pipes. Rolling papers are used to smoke blunts. It is usually a cigar paper in which marijuana and tobacco are mixed, and joints are simply cannabis rolled in paper. Rolling papers come from a variety of plants, including hemp, bamboo, and rice. Hand pipes are portable, relatively discrete, and more efficient than joints. They vary in shape and size, inexpensive, and easy to use.
Water pipes, unlike most hand pipes, incorporate water. By passing through the water-filled or ice-packed chamber, the smoke is cooled before it is inhaled. Research studies have also demonstrated that the water filters out potentially dangerous particulate matter like ash.
Vaporizers are said to provide a healthier alternative to smoking because the temperature never gets too high to burn the cannabis. What’s more, vaping gives you all the benefits of smoking without the actual smoke. It is also more discreet as there is no lingering smell. Vaporizers can be desktop, portable, or disposable. They may work even with dry herb and concentrates, such as oil and wax. However, experienced cannabis users are turning to dab, or flash vaporization, for optimal cannabis experience. In dabbing, a pure cannabis concentrate is applied to a super-heated surface. Pure vapors are inhaled through a “dab rig.” However, dabbing is not recommended for beginners as its concentrates contain 60-90% THC.
The oral delivery methods category ranges from edibles, tinctures, and oils. Notably, most cannabis-infused food and beverages take as long as two hours to absorb into the bloodstream through the digestive tract fully. However, sublingual i.e., under the tongue tinctures, can take effect almost immediately. Cannabis edibles refer to any cannabis-infused food or drink. They last longer in the body, all the while producing an intense full-body high. These may be in the form of chewing gum to cheddar crackers, chocolate, and cannabis-infused wine. And these options keep expanding as the cannabis market gets more competitive.
Nevertheless, despite the challenges of infusing carbonated drinks, advances in extraction techniques and in-house laboratory testing demonstrate how we can control usage via accurate dosing. Tinctures are alcohol-based cannabis extracts. If you need a fast-acting, accurate dose of cannabis, you can simply place 2-3 drops under your tongue. You may incorporate it into your drinks and even recipes for slower absorption. Oils represent the middle ground between tinctures and edibles. Ingestible oil capsules are typically oil-based but ingested like edibles. Also, pre-measured doses are convenient and safe. And what’s more, they provide a low-calorie alternative to infused food and drinks such as cannabis-infused wine.
Need to keep a clear head but want relieve? Topicals are easily the perfect solution if you’re going to keep a clear head and relieve some persistent aches and pains. So, cannabis-infused creams, balms, salves, and patches carry all the anti-inflammatory benefits without making you feel high. Research has shown that topical cannabis helps alleviate acute pain, muscle soreness, psoriasis, and other skin conditions.
Infused nasal sprays are the new cannabis industry brainwave, especially as it’s the springboard for pharmaceutical companies seeking to burst into the cannabis market. Natural nasal sprays have a fast onset of effects. Apart from their recreational purposes, nasal sprays are used as quick relief for seizures, muscle spasms, and chronic pains.
Apparently, the methods discussed above represent broad categories of cannabis delivery methods. So, there are exciting options group under them. There are gummies, cakes, cannabis-infused wine, natural nasal sprays, and super cool tinctures – countless options to optimize your cannabis experience and its medical benefits. You may choose a delivery method depending on the occasion, your mood, illness, or medical history. And in any case, you get to enjoy the immense benefits that each method carries.