The term medical cannabis refers to the use of the cannabis plant, as it is claimed to medically aid in treatment of a variety of ailments. Through its chemical compounds, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), cannabis has been reported to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions. Cannabis is considered the leaves, flowers and bud of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. The health benefits of medical cannabis have been reported to range from pain and muscle spasms to nausea associated with chemotherapy.
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Cannabinoids are the active ingredients, or ingredients that trigger a biological response, found in cannabis plants. To date, over 100 types of cannabinoids have been identified, and these compounds are not produced by cannabis alone. Some are produced by other plants, some are found in the human body, and they’ve also been replicated in a laboratory for use in a variety of prescription medications. Two of the most well known cannabinoids in cannabis are THC and CBD.
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The terms “indica” and “sativa” are technically botanical terms that are used to describe the shape of cannabis plants, but have been commonly used to characterize cannabis plants based on the type of biological response the user will experience. “Indica” is used by some people to describe a plant with more relaxing or sedating effects, while the term “sativa” is sometimes used to describe plants with more uplifting or energizing effects. Though they may have been found useful by users, these terms have not been scientifically validated.
There are several ways in which medical cannabis can be used. Each method of consumption works differently. You can vaporize, consume through edibles, apply to the skin with creams, or put a few drops of a liquid under your tongue. It can also be smoked, although this method may not be recommended. Users have reported that smoking or vaporizing cannabis will make them feel the effects of cannabinoids almost immediately. Vaporization heats the cannabis to a point just below combustion, allowing you to use cannabis without the harsh effects that are associated with smoking. It is reportedly preferred over taking edibles, since they can take up to 2 hours to feel the onset of their effects, and thus helps to avoid overconsumption. The intensity and duration of the effects of cannabis can vary depending on several factors, including how it is consumed, the amount used, and how the body responds to the active ingredients.
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THC and CBD are both forms of cannabinoids, or active ingredients, that are found in cannabis. THC (delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most prominent cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, and has psychoactive and other pharmacological effects on the human body. The second most abundant active ingredient in cannabis is CBD (cannabidiol). It does not have the same noted effects as the leading compound, THC, and may counterbalance some of THC’s effects.
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Terpenes are chemicals that exist in unique combinations across different cannabis plants and give them their aroma. Both terpenes and cannabinoids are produced and stored in the part of the cannabis plant known as its trichomes. Registered Cannmart members can view each strain’s most prominent terpenes to aid in interpretation of what the product may smell and taste like.