Health effects of cannabis – Table of Contents
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, has been historically consumed either by smoking or vaporizing. However, in recent years, cannabis-infused edibles have become an increasingly popular method of consumption. This comprehensive article aims to shed light on the health effects—both positive and negative—of eating hemp.
hemp-infused edibles come in various forms, from baked goods and candies to beverages and oils. They contain active cannabinoids, primarily delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These are responsible for most of the health effects associated with cannabis.
1. Therapeutic Benefits
Research has shown that eating cannabis can have several therapeutic benefits. It’s well-documented that THC can have analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-inflammatory properties. Thus making it beneficial for conditions like chronic pain, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.
Moreover, CBD, a non-psychoactive component of hemp, is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and anti-seizure effects. It can be beneficial for a range of conditions including epilepsy, anxiety disorders, and certain types of cancer. CBD also mitigates the psychoactive effects of THC. This helps to balance out the ‘high’ and making the consumption experience more comfortable for some users.
Additionally, some individuals find that cannabis edibles help improve their sleep, reduce anxiety and stress. It can also stimulate appetite, and alleviate nausea. All of which can be useful in managing symptoms of various health conditions.
2. Bioavailability and Duration
Key distinctions between eating cannabis and smoking or vaporizing it lies in how the body absorbs the cannabinoids. When eaten, hemp undergoes what’s known as “first-pass metabolism” in the liver. This process leads to conversion of THC into 11-hydroxy-THC, a potent metabolite that’s particularly effective at crossing the blood-brain barrier. Leading to a more intense and longer-lasting psychoactive effect.
The onset of effects is also delayed when hemp is eaten. It typically takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to start feeling the effects. These can last for several hours. Sometimes even as long as 12 hours. This delayed onset & prolonged effect can be a benefit for those seeking long-term symptom relief. But can also increase the risk of overconsumption.
3. Potential Risks and Side Effects
While the therapeutic benefits of hemp edibles are clear, they are not without risks. The most significant risk comes from the delayed onset of effects, which can lead to overconsumption. People may consume more than intended because they don’t feel the effects immediately. Leading to uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous levels of intoxication. Symptoms of overconsumption include severe anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks, increased heart rate, disorientation, and hallucinations.
Moreover, long-term, heavy use of hemp has been associated with certain mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety. It can lead to more severe conditions like schizophrenia, especially among those with a predisposition to these disorders. There’s also the risk of dependence, with withdrawal symptoms like irritability, insomnia, and loss of appetite when consumption is stopped.
Cannabis edibles can also interact with various other drugs, including blood thinners and antidepressants, leading to potentially harmful effects. It’s essential for individuals to consult with healthcare professionals before starting any hemp consumption regimen. Especially if they are taking other medications or have underlying health conditions.
Moreover, eating cannabis can result in gastrointestinal discomfort, including nausea and diarrhea, particularly when consumed in high doses.
The health effects of eating hemp are complex. Influenced by various factors including individual tolerance, the specific composition of the edible, dosage, and frequency of use
Published by Blood13/06/2023