Although formerly prohibited, regulated medical and recreational cannabis is now extremely popular among adults in Canada. According to the 2019 Canadian Cannabis Survey from Health Canada, 25 percent of those surveyed said they used marijuana for recreational purposes within the past 12 months.
The survey also gauged the Canadian public’s understanding of the risks associated with cannabis use and their exposure to health warnings and education campaigns. While you may not have been a part of this national survey, you may want to stop and consider your knowledge of cannabis’ effects if you’re a regular user.
To start, you should understand the internal systems that cannabis can affect.
Introduction to the Endocrine System
The endocrine system is a collection of glands that produce hormones. These hormones are responsible for the proper functioning of every cell and organ of your body; they regulate your metabolism, tissue function, growth and development, sleep, reproduction, sexual function, and even your mood. The endocrine system includes the hypothalamus, adrenal gland, pineal body, thyroid, pancreas, and more.
How Does Weed Affect the Endocrine System?
Whenever you smoke or ingest marijuana, chemicals such as THC enter the body. Once the THC reaches your bloodstream, you will experience a “high” or sense euphoria because of the sudden release of dopamine that the THC triggers. The duration of this effect depends on how much marijuana you used and how you consumed it.
What does this have to do with the endocrine system? Organs within the endocrine system have cannabinoid receptors, which the THC easily binds to, creating the following effects:
- Heightening of your senses
- Distortion of your sense of time
- A decrease in motor skills
- Reduced inhibitions
Nevertheless, THC can also help with ongoing pain, stiff muscles, sleep problems, loss of appetite, chemotherapy side-effects such as nausea and vomiting, anxiety, and seizures.
But It’s Different for Everyone
Although marijuana affects everyone, the magnitude of these effects differs from person to person. While many people enjoy the effects the whole way through, others may suffer from drowsiness, reduced concentration, memory lapses, and even paranoia. Keep in mind that your response to using cannabis often depends on the type of marijuana product you consume, the method of consumption, the quantity that you consume, and the THC content in the chosen strain.
That said, it is perfectly possible for two people to experience different effects despite consuming the same amount of the same cannabis using the same method of consumption. A lot depends on your genetics, attitude, tolerance level, and the way the chemical reacts with your body.
If you are not sure how your body will react to cannabis, it is always better to start with a low dose. You can build up the dosage gradually as your tolerance level increases. If you use cannabis for medicinal purposes, be sure to consult with your doctor.
If you are a seasoned user and are game to experiment with marijuana, you can mix up different strains or try new methods of consumption. Just be sure to enjoy cannabis in a responsible and legal way.
Want to Experience it for Yourself?
Cannabis is available in different forms, including powder, oil, concentrate, edibles, dried flower, creams, and sprays. As you experiment with these various forms, just remember that each product type and individual product has different THC potency:
- The flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant have about 30 percent THC content and can be used as fresh or dried herbal material.
- CBD oil typically has about 3 percent THC content.
- You can find 90 percent THC potency in highly-concentrated cannabis extracts such as shatter, wax, and budder, which requires you to dissolve the substance in a petroleum-based solvent like butane.
- Pressed resin or lose trichomes of the cannabis plant can be converted into concentrated extracts like hash or kief. They typically have around 60 percent THC content.
- The THC content in cannabis-based edibles, such as foods and drinks, will vary depending upon the quantity of extract that is added.
- Cannabis extract can be applied to the skin by mixing or dissolving it with alcohol, wax, or oil. The THC content will vary depending on the amount of extract that is used.
- Smoking marijuana is the most common way of consuming it and one of the fastest acting, as the THC is directly absorbed by your lungs. You can also try vaping if you are looking for a slightly healthier way of using marijuana.
In Canada, cannabis consumers can now purchase cannabis in stores or on the web. With a simple Google search, you can easily find weed products online.
Know Your Limits
As previously explained, marijuana affects individuals differently. This makes it essential that you experiment safely and know your own limits. Remember, just because a friend can use a certain amount of THC without experiencing a “bad” high doesn’t mean that you’ll react the same.