Health & Fitness

The Science of Weed: What’s in Cannabis?

When it comes to understanding weed and cannabis, there are many complex terms and medical jargon that can make it challenging to understand the science of weed tricky. There is still a lot of stigma around this plant ally, as many still think of it as an addictive substance.

However, the more scientists investigate the natural, powerful properties that this plant produces, the more the understanding of this plant is evolving! As the use of medical and recreational marijuana rapidly becomes legal across the US, so you know what’s in cannabis and if it can help improve your quality of life too?

Once upon a time, weed was thought of as something people smoked to get high when they partied with their friends. While this is still the case in some instances, these days, however, more and more studies are finding medicinal uses that can help people overcome chronic issues, alleviate pain, and improve your quality of life.

If you want to obtain valuable cannabis information so you can make an informed decision, this article is a must-read! We will cover the science behind these plants and help you better understand the basics and differences between common acronyms you may see in the market.

What is Weed?

Weed has many different names like pot, grass, bud, ganja, Mary Jane, and is often referred to as just marijuana. It’s made of the dried flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant and is often a greenish-gray color. 

The plant matter can be rolled into papers to make a joint or cigar wraps to make a blunt. It can also be smoked in pipes or bongs, depending on personal preference.

Some users consume the plant matter as a tea or purchase refined oils for potent doses you can take orally. The oil can be baked into foods to create edibles like candy, sweets, or even butter. One can also buy thick resin-like products to give the user variety which you can smoke. 

Depending on the type of weed or cannabis the user purchases, the results can be mind-altering or intoxicating. It’s an excellent way for many people who suffer from chronic issues to find relief without taking medications. If you don’t like to smoke, there are plenty of other ways to consume marijuana, so you can find a method that suits you best.

How to Tell What’s in Cannabis

The chemical makeup of cannabis is rather complex. The more scientists learn about extracting and growing the hemp plant, the more insight they gather about how the different chemicals the plant naturally produces. 

There are over 400 different chemicals naturally produced by the marijuana plant, but only about 60 of them are unique to this plant.

While not all of the chemicals are regularly used, the more this plant is studied, the more valuable benefits they discover. Whether you’ve ever tried cannabis or not, it’s helpful to understand what makes this powerful plant so unique.

The list of chemicals in marijuana that are most commonly used are:

  • THC
  • CBD
  • CBG 

What is THC?

The long name for THC is tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the cannabinoid that gets you high. This chemical binds to your brain receptors, which produces dopamine, that gives you that hit of pleasure or feeling high. 

THC is the most psychoactive part of the hemp plant. Depending on the way you take THC, the dosage and percentage of plant matter will vary. THC is the active form of this chemical compound in the plant, which the plant releases and transforms into THC when you add heat and ultraviolet light. THC is the most common strain people use for recreational use, but other benefits are becoming common as the plants are studied.

What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the most popular options because the cannabis chemical components have medicinal uses, and it doesn’t have any of the psychoactive effects. By lowering the THC and pumping of the CBD, this strain can help with seizure, anxiety, pain, and other health concerns, and since there aren’t any psychoactive effects.

CBD is the most common cannabinoid on the market today. While many of its benefits are still emerging, it’s a useful ally for many who suffer from chronic issues or those looking for more natural support. 

Hemp plants naturally produce an abundance of CBD, and because of its popularity, scientists are actively seeking ways to extract even more to be used by people worldwide.

What is CBG?

Also known as cannabigerol, CBG is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. CBG is called the ‘mother’ to all the other cannabinoids. CBGa is the first product a growing hemp plant produces, which is why it’s referred to as the mother. 

As young hemp plants start to flower and mature, the first CBGa the plant produces breaks down by natural enzymes like CBC, THCa, and CBDa. Once those compounds are exposed to ultraviolet light and heat, they convert into the CBC, THC, and CBD compounds used for their respective products. 

Most of the CBGa a plant produces is converted into these other cannabinoids, making CBG so unique. Only 1% of the cannabinoids are CBG in the final flower the hemp plant makes. Learn more about CBG to see if it’s the right fit for you!

How to Choose the Right Cannabis

Now that you know what’s in cannabis, how do you decide which type is right for you? Depending on your intended uses, there are different options on the market and other ways to take the product, so it helps you out best.

Do you need a little help managing pain or a chronic condition? Do you need some support in finding your appetite or letting go of anxiety? Whatever you need, there is undoubtedly a cannabis strain that can improve your quality of life.

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