Basic information about cannabis and its use

Cannabis is a topic that is the subject of much debate today. But what exactly is it, and what are its pros and cons today?

Hemp is a  versatile plant that has been used for many different purposes for thousands of years. According to current research data, it has several significant medical benefits, but also potential side effects.

However, on a general level, it is still a rather poorly understood topic. There are many myths associated with hemp that are not really true.

What is cannabis?

Some hemp varieties contain psychoactive compounds that have narcotic effects. These varieties are called cannabis. It has become a generic name for intoxicating products made from hemp inflorescences and leaves.

Cannabis is incorrectly classified as a narcotic, a sedative or a hallucinogen. However, it differs from other substances in its properties so much that it cannot be equated with any other group of drugs.

What are the effects of cannabis?

How cannabis affects anyone’s mind and body depends on a number of factors, including how it is used, the dose, the environment, the mood during use, and past experience.

The main effect of cannabis is sedative, ie the suppression of central nervous system function. It is often accompanied by relaxation, serenity  and a sense of pleasure .

However, the effects are very individual and vary greatly between different people. While some enjoy the effects of cannabis, some find them quite unpleasant. Cannabis affects each individual differently.

Some of the most common short-term or acute effects include:

Positive, unwelcome

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Pain relief
  • Increased appetite
  • Intensification of the flow of thought
  • Sensory sensitization

Negative, unwanted

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Blurring of the sense of time
  • Deterioration of local memory
  • Motor uncertainty

Other fairly common effects include fatigue, dry mouth, palpitations, increased peripheral blood flow,  and dizziness .

High application doses can cause confusion. Typical symptoms are blurred consciousness, disturbed thinking, and motor uncertainty. Usually, the confusion disappears within a few hours after the intoxication has passed.

Cannabis exposure time

The duration and intensity of the effects of cannabis depend on the strength of the product used, the route of administration, the dose size and the tolerance of the user.

When burned or steamed, the effects begin almost immediately, at the latest after about 10 minutes, and last for about 1 to 4 hours. The effects are strongest at 20 to 30 minutes.

When ingested through the stomach, the effects begin with a delay, after about 30 minutes to 2 hours, and last for about 4 to 12 hours, at really high doses, even longer. The effects peak at about 2 to 3 hours.

Although the acute effects usually disappear within a few hours, THC does not leave the body as quickly. After regular or heavy use, cannabis use may appear in tests for up to several weeks.

The use of cannabis and the amount of THC metabolites are mainly tested in urine tests. How long cannabis appears in tests depends very much on the regularity of use.

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