Marijuana News

Marijuana Speak – A Primer

If everything about weed is from the movies, that means that you’re probably semi – knowledgeable about bongs, joints, and bowls. Although, stepping into a medical or recreational dispensary for the first time likely means encountering a whole new language. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. Read on for definitions of (and commentary on) 20 of the most common words and phrases from CBD to THC.

Cannabinoid

The main class of secondary compounds found in cannabis that drive the overall experience. Cannabinoids are like the engine of marijuana. They create the experience; both psychoactive and medicinal. They are primarily responsible for the intoxicating, cerebral high that we all know, and love, from cannabis. However, that’s not all. They are also are responsible for many of the medicinal properties attributed to cannabis — anti – spasmodic, anti – convulsant, anti – proliferative, cancer – fighting, anti – inflammatory, pain – relieving, and more. While THC and CBD are the two primary cannabinoids, there are more than 100 found in cannabis.

Cannabis/Hemp/Marijuana

There’s often confusion around the proper usage of the words Cannabis, Marijuana, and hemp. Cannabis technically refers wholly to the plant, and hemp and marijuana are two words we use to distinguish each cannabis plant’s cannabinoid profile from another. Hemp is a legal subspecies of cannabis that has a measurable concentration of CBD and almost no THC. It is primarily grown for fibers and proteins that it contains, rather than its secondary compounds.

Hemp is accessible nationwide, but it’s important to make sure your hemp – derived products are being tested for pesticides and potency so that you’re not just getting snake oil. The best way to do this is to contact the company directly and ask if they’ve test their product.

CBD

Stands for cannabidiol, the second – most prominent compound found in cannabis besides THC. CBD binds to your endocannabinoid receptors and stimulates a multitude of signaling pathways. It also hits on many other receptors in your body, so it can engage with or alter the confirmation of our opioid receptors, our serotonin receptors, and our pain receptors. This is why CBD is thought to have so many medicinal properties.

Chemotype

A chemotype is the actual chemical compound found inside any organism, or in this case, inside cannabis. These chemical compounds are the ones that influence and direct the overall experience you feel from cannabis consumption. While most dispensaries label their cannabis flower as Indica/Sativa/hybrid, many dispensaries also display the THC/CBD concentrations by percentage. These concentrations are examples of the product’s chemo-type and will give you a clue as to the type of experience it will produce. Also, some dispensaries include the total percentage of terpenes on their product labeling.

Indica/Sativa

Indica and Sativa are both scientific terms that define different species of the cannabis plant. As a plant Indica grows short and bushy to the ground, with a really dense flower structure and a broad variety of leaves. Alternatively, Sativa plants grow tall and skinny, with loose flower structure and narrow leaves. While Indica and Sativa are two of the most common words used to explain the type of high you’ll feel, most cannabis in the market currently are genetically hybrids, so these terms aren’t the best determinate of the effect that marijuana will have. This is why it’s really important to start understanding chemotypes.

Ingestion

Ingestion is the most common method of consuming marijuana that includes anything you swallow, or that is digested and metabolized by your body, such as edibles, tinctures, or teas. Tinctures are interesting because they can be used topically, sublingual, or made into an edible.

When it comes to ingesting edibles, keep in mind cannabinoids bind to fat, so THC and CBD are going to be able to be digested more properly and be better received by your body if you’ve eaten a fatty meal. Eating edibles on an empty stomach can cause your body to kind of freak out a little bit. It doesn’t know what to do with it because it doesn’t have fatty foods that it can bind too.

Inhalation

Inhalation is when you consume cannabis by smoking or vaporizing. When smoking cannabis only about 12 percent of what you’re inhaling is actually beneficial because you’r e destroying a lot of the cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds that are in the plant. Vaporizing allows you to release cannabis’s beneficial compounds without creating combustion which destroys the beneficial compounds, so it’s considered a healthier way to use the method of inhalation.

Intoxicating/Non – Intoxicating

THC is intoxicating. It delivers a head – high. CBD is non – intoxicating. If you know the THC/CBD concentration percentages, of your cannabis then you will have a way of determining how intoxicating the experience of consuming it may be. For example, a product with 70 percent CBD and 30 percent THC will likely be less intoxicating than a product with 70 percent THC and 30 percent CBD.

Mucosal

Mucosal refers to any product that is absorbed through a mucous membrane. This includes under – the – tongue tinctures, bath soaks and suppositories are all common mucosal delivery methods. Mucosal consumption actually delivers a high faster than ingestion because it’s being absorbed through the mucous membrane. The product can enter the bloodstream more quickly than when it’s being digested and processed by your digestive system and metabolized. Products that are absorbed this way generally take effect within 15 to 30 minutes, versus the half – hour or more it takes for an edible to take effect.

Psychoactive/Non – Psychoactive

The dictionary definition of psychoactive is a product that affects the mind. Although, CBD is often said to be non – psychoactive, both it an d THC bind to receptors in the brain and affect the mind. Often people refer to CBD as non – psychoactive, but they actually mean non – intoxicating because it doesn’t cause the type of cerebral intoxicating “high” that THC does.

Sublingual

This is another way to talk about under – the – tongue delivery.

Terpene

These are the aromatic compounds found in all plants. Terpenes, give plants their smells and flavors. Also, when it comes to cannabis, terpenes dictate what type of high you’re going to have. It’s the terpenes that will determine whether you feel relaxed or calm, alert or energized, or somewhere in between.

THC

THC is the primary cannabinoid found in cannabis. People have specifically been breeding for high THC over the last century, thanks to its intoxicating effects. It also has been linked to many physiological properties, of ingesting cannabis; including pain relief and anti – inflammatory properties. THC is great for reducing anxiety, or as an anti – depressant. It’s worth noting that an overdose of THC definitely can cause a lot of anxiety, paranoia, elevated heart rate, bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, and other not – so – fun effects.

Topical

This term covers anything you put on the surface of the skin. Think lotions, balms, and sprays. Topicals don’t typically cause intoxication, even if they have THC in them. The one exception to this rule is transdermal topicals, which are intended to deliver a specific dose of THC through the skin and can cause a high.

Transdermal

Anything designed to pass through the skin and into the blood system. Transdermal patches and gels are for use on the wrist or venous areas of the body. Unlike other basic topicals, transdermal topicals offer more accurate dosing along with longer periods of pain relief (all day or all night versus 4 – 6 hours).

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