Cannabis – Where to start and is it right for you?
Author: Chantelle, Budtender
With the recent legalization of the medical and recreational cannabis industry there have been lots of opinions floating around about whether it’s beneficial or harmful. My goal for this post is to guide you to the information that has been collected so that you can look at the benefits and decide for yourself if cannabis is the right fit for you. Through years of research scientists have found cannabis to have healing properties for a multitude of conditions and ailments.
It’s common for the cannabis topic to be taboo, as most people clump all cannabis users into one group. I have met people from all walks of life who use cannabis, all in varying degrees, while still remaining functional and present in their daily lives.
The best part about cannabis is the amount of options you have and how you can tailor your usage to fit your own personal lifestyle. Some people don’t enjoy the psychoactive effects of cannabis, but producers are creating medicinal grade cannabis that provides options with little to no psychoactive side effects. The best part is, this is done naturally without compromising any of the healing properties of the cannabis plant. So, if the psychoactive element is not for you, you can choose a product with all of the natural healing benefits without any of the mind-altering compounds.
Like many substances, you will have those that use it excessively, or in ways that aren’t beneficial to their overall well-being. Also like most life and health decisions, it’s important to enact your personal responsibility and take the time to do the scientific research before you make any decisions. This way you can decide for yourself or your loved one if cannabis has something to offer you. If it’s not for you, at least you can better understand why some choose to partake and why that doesn’t make them an irresponsible person. Like other mind-altering substances, such as alcohol and prescription pain killers, there is a time and a place to ingest. When first starting out with cannabis, its best to start small and be in a safe place where you can relax and stay for a while.
Now onto some science! First let’s touch on the endocannabinoid system. This is a naturally occurring system of receptors in the body, predominantly located in the brain and nervous system. The endocannabinoid system helps regulate appetite, pain, mood, and mediates the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Click here for more on the endocannabinoid system.
Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, organic medicinal chemist and professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been studying the endocannabinoid system for many years now. Here is a short video in which Dr. Mechoulam explains his research and some of his discoveries.
He believes the endocannabinoid systems helps us process cannabis and acts as a protector to stimulate healing. The endocannabinoid system has been described as a super computer that helps create the ideal balance and wellness of the human body. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam states “we wrote a big report, it should be utilized as a medicinal agent, and more research should be done.” There is extensive research from Dr. Mechoulam on cannabis and his findings, I encourage you to take the time to read his work. This website specifically is very informative. There is also a resource for information here from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
I find when you read the information straight from the source in an unbiased format, it’s much easier to decide which cannabis is right for you. This article is a place to start and if you have found this information helpful, I encourage you to dig deeper. Cannabis can be intimidating due to the negative stigmas floating around. Be in charge of expanding your knowledge, do the research and armed with that knowledge you’ll be able to decide whether or not it’s for you.
At the end of the day, cannabis is a natural occurring plant that has been used as medicine for the last 12,000 years. Originating in Central Asia, it’s been used as a natural healing process throughout history. I wish for this post to act as a beacon of hope for those who feel reluctant and for those who are simply looking for answers before trying cannabis. You hold the power to decide what effects you want and don’t want. Cannabis has become customizable due to the many forms and options consumers have. Cannabis, like most things, is what we make it. With the extensive research being done, I am excited to learn more about this life-changing plant as further information comes to light.