What is the difference between marijuana, hemp and cannabis?

Cannabis is the name of the plant native to central and southern Asia that contains tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive chemical compound responsible for changes in the central nervous system, that was consumed as early as 10,000 years BC. Hemp is the name given to the different strains of Cannabis sativa and the fiber derived from them.

Hashish (chocolate, tasting) is a paste of concentrated resin made from the flowers of the female cannabis plant. It has the highest THC concentrations - up to 50% - so the psychotropic effects of its consumption are greater, and its composition can include adulterants that are difficult to control.

Marijuana – or commonly Maria – is the name given to the compound, made only from the flowers, leaves and small stalks of the cannabis sativa plant and containing between 6 and 14% THC.

What are the effects of marijuana in the short and long term?

What are the effects of marijuana in the short and long term?

Marihuana Auswirkung

Photo by Damian Barczak on Unsplash

Cannabis contains more than 400 different chemical compounds, including 66 cannabinoids, or psychoactive substances, that affect the central nervous system to varying degrees, causing abnormalities in its normal functioning.

The first joint dilates your pupils and makes you wince. Eyes become red, pupils dilate, mouth dry and heart races, leading to general incoordination, uncontrolled laughter and drowsiness. It's what scientists call the "cannabis binge." A euphoric ecstasy or sensory orgasm triggered by the brain's reward system. The part that governs our response to something as pleasurable as sex.

That first harmless ingestion may not be completely harmless. 14.8% of emergencies related to the use of illegal substances in our country are related to cannabis and are characterized by anxiety and panic attacks that tend to affect inexperienced consumers.

But the real problem comes with addiction, excess and loss of control. THC takes up to 21 days to clear from the body after ingestion. The weekend pot accumulates THC in your body that undermines your brain.

Short-term memory loss in regular users has been empirically proven. The ability to create new memories is also affected because THC changes the way information is processed in the hippocampus by weakening the connections, or synapses, between neurons.

There are documented studies that have also confirmed the inducing effect of cannabis on psychotic episodes, anxiety, hallucinations and schizophrenia in genetically predisposed individuals

Does smoking marijuana cause lung cancer?

The lungs are no more prepared to process the cell-damaging components of marijuana smoke in respiratory tissue than they are to inhale tobacco, glue or rice pudding.

The difference is that the THC in cannabis contains an active ingredient that reduces tumor growth in common lung cancers and their ability to spread. Statistically, however, you are up to five times more likely to develop lung cancer if you smoke marijuana.

Why? Simply because of the way you smoke it. The "joint" has no filter, its composition is not controlled as it is with tobacco, and a typical marijuana inhalation is 65% longer and four times deeper than a traditional cigarette to assimilate its effects; Thus, four times more tar and up to five times more carbon monoxide are absorbed, potentially carcinogenic substances.

To avoid the consumption of these potential toxins, cannabinoid vaporizers or ingestion with oils or orally in brownies or muffins have been developed.

Is Marijuana the Most Addictive Drug?

The Science of Marijuana, written by Leslie L. Iverson, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Cambridge, is probably the best scientific-statistical treatise on addiction to psychoactive chemicals extracted from Cannabis sativa for consumption.

It concludes that the vast majority of people who have tried marijuana have done so experimentally and have never become addicted. Only 9% of them have turned the habit into a major vice. It doesn't seem like much when we compare it to the other numbers from the same study: 32% of those who try tobacco become addicted, 23% become heroin users, 17% cocaine users, and 15% cocaine users. Alcohol.

Where can I legally smoke marijuana?

Consumption, possession, cultivation and commerce are regulated virtually worldwide, with varying laws ranging from the death penalty for petty trade in sale in Holland.

In Spain, you cannot smoke a joint with impunity. Thanks to the new Citizen Security Act, the use and possession of up to 40 grams will be punished with a minimum administrative fine of 1,000 euros. If possession exceeds that 40 grams of hashish, the fine irrevocably becomes a court case. Smoking private only.

Don't forget to even have a cool marijuana plant on your patio. With the new law, this small possession constitutes an "act of planting which does not constitute a crime"; but also punished with a fine of between 1,000 and 30,000 euros.

What are the clinical and therapeutic benefits of cannabis derivatives?

Many and very varied. In the last three years, no more and no less than 6,000 studies on marijuana and derivatives in the clinical field have been presented, confirming the general interest of the scientific community in its beneficial effects.

To its undeniable analgesic properties, against nausea and vomiting or in supportive therapies for patients undergoing chemotherapy, we must add its beneficial effects in chronic diseases such as diabetes, epilepsy, Alzheimer's or the aforementioned tumor reduction.


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