How does Marijuana work?

Everyone has a different effect from taking medical marijuana. Like so many other things it’s an individual thing. However, the first time you take medical marijuana will have a very different experience from subsequent times. Some people don’t get high at all and others get so high, even from a tiny amount, that they never want to try the stuff again! You could fall somewhere in between as well! You don’t have to get high to get the benefits of medical marijuana. Marijuana contains various compounds called cannabinoids, most of which fall under two headers THC and CBD. These are the two best known compounds in marijuana. There are 85 types of cannabinoids that exist in cannabis.

What happens to your brain on medical marijuana?

Depending on how you consume medical marijuana determines when it starts to effect your brain. If you smoke or vape the effects are much quicker, because it is absorbed by your lung membranes, taken into your bloodstream, and straight to your brain. If you consume an editable it must go through your digestive system, before it’s absorbed into your bloodstream through the intestines, and taken to your brain. So edibles take longer to work, depending on your metabolism, it can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. When this process reaches your brain and begins to work you will become very aware of it. Once THC binds to the neurotransmitters in your brain you will start to feel high and you’ll also feel the medical benefits. These benefits are calmness, reduced anxiety, and Pain Relief. Your coordination, learning ability, and memory will suddenly seem inadequate. They will be replaced by painlessness, impaired brain function, euphoria, and hunger (aka, the munchies). This increases over two hours for most people, with the second hour being the most intense.

If you are like me, you’ll fall asleep, especially if you use Indica or a hybrid with high THC. If you use a Sativa strain or hybrid with high THC, you may fall asleep but may have hallucinations first. The first time I took medical marijuana was in the form of chocolate cake, about 45 minutes later I was seeing black birds on the living room floor! I went to bed, thought I’ll never take this again, and tried to fall asleep. I of course have taken medical marijuana since, but I’m cautious about what strain I use and how much! Practice makes perfect or at least more in control! Now I know my strains, how they effect me, how much to take at one time (especially with edibles), and I make my own edibles so I know what’s in them.

I try to stick to Indica strains or hybrids with high CBD, because it works better for Pain Management and anxiety, which is my aim. My favorite and the one that works best for me is Girl Scout Cookies and I’m always ecstatic when my dispensary has it. If I have to be out and about I use a vape pen with a 50:50 Indica/Sativa strain. It’s not as sedating as a high Indica strain and I can still function. I never ever drive when taking medical marijuana or make major decisions! If you are going to try an edible for the first time, don’t make any plans for 4 – 16 hours, until you know how it effects you personally. You have to experiment with different strains and different ingestion methods to figure out what works best for you. See article Medical Marijuana Strains published September 5, 2017, for types of strains and what illnesses they treat. Above all start slow and increase over time, until you know what your brain and bodies tolerance is.

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