“When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself.” – Bob Marley
Today it is the weed, that we are going to talk about. Well, it is a hot topic among the teenagers especially the college students. Though in India it is illegal to smoke weed, still you can find most teenagers enjoying a pot or a joint.Elders smoke it in a bit secrecy. It has several other names such as cannabis, marijuana, etc.
Marijuana is a combination of shredded leaves, stems and flower buds of the cannabis sativa plant. It has an active ingredient called THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) that makes you feel high. Well, I will not be going deep into the science of it (so just chill). There are several preparations of the cannabis such as marijuana, kief, hashish, hash oil, etc. It mainly has three uses, namely medical, recreational and spiritual!
Earlier, people used to consider it only as a drug that is used for addiction purpose which would cause adverse health problems. Though it is not accepted socially everywhere due to its adverse health effects, most of the times people tend to forget their benefits which have been found recently.
As everything has a good and a bad side, let’s have a look at what is the cost we have to pay if we consume it.
1. Tar build-up
Tar buildup happens when you inhale smoke from any plant material. Smoke from dried herbs contains thousands of tiny burned plant particles. When these particles stick together, settle, and accumulate, these particles create a tar-like resin.
2. Increased heart rate
For up to three hours after smoking, cannabis may increase heart rate Your heart is affected the most within the first hour of smoking the herb. In fact, a study found that your risk of having a heart attack is much much higher than that of a non-smoker during the first hour.
When you smoke a little too much herb and all of a sudden you freak out because you think you look a little too stoned for the public eye. You smoke a little bit, your anxiety level drops down. You smoke too much of an incredible high-THC strain, and that anxiety can shoot right back up again.
When you consume cannabis, you are taking THC which is a psychoactive substance. For newbie consumers, this can feel weird. When you are disoriented, your sense of place and purpose may seem to be confusing. You may feel like you’re not quite living in reality, or that you’re watching a show from afar. Some people may find it disturbing while others actually enjoy this.
All that heat from the burning joint is irritating to the tissues in your throat and lungs. As lung tissues become irritated, they begin to secrete mucus. Mucus helps your body flush those hot, ashy plant particles that you’ve just inhaled. This mucus may give you an uncomfortable cough.
Now, after looking at the negatives you may feel it is actually better to stay away from the stuff; but before coming to any conclusion just glance at some of the positive effects it may have on your body.
1. Relaxation and pain relief
Studies have shown that both cannabis compounds, namely tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) can ease anxiety and promote a positive sense of well-being. Also when you feel pain, THC and CBD interact with your immune cells by giving them instructions on what to communicate. When you consume cannabis, the chemical pain signals decrease. Thus it promotes a sense of well being.
2. Increases creativity
When you smoke herb, activity in a certain part of your brain increases. This is the region of the brain that is responsible for critical thinking and creativity. Cannabis also increases your abstract thought process. That’s why many creative artists smoke weed.
3. Better appetite
Cannabis releases excess dopamine, which makes you feel pleasure. It also mimics anandamide, which makes you feel happy and hungry. Cannabis tells your body to secrete hormones that make your food smell and taste better to you. Thus, this herb makes you fall in love with the experience of eating.
THC and CBD are some of the most powerful antioxidants out there. Antioxidants are essential for reducing environmental damage to our cells. Cannabis helps by delivering powerful antioxidants and checking back oxidative damage.
5. Reduced risk of diabetes
It has been found that cannabis consumers had lower fasting insulin levels than their non-consuming counterparts. Many diabetes patients treated with a combination of THCV( tetrahydrocannabivarin) and CBD showed improved blood glucose, improved insulin sensitivity, and had lower inflammation markers.
It has been mentioned earlier that cannabis has powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants protect us from DNA damage. DNA damage is one of the primary reasons humans age. Signs of aging include wrinkles on the skin, memory loss, and development degenerative diseases. Evidence suggests that the powerful antioxidants in cannabis may help reduce this damage, possibly checking back some signs of aging.
7. Used in cancer treatment
It has been a debatable issue whether cannabis can be used as a treatment for the cure of cancer. Well, it has been seen that smoking marijuana can be helpful in treating nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy and also in the treatment of damaged nerves. More recently, scientists reported that THC and CBD slow growth and/or cause death in certain types of cancer cells growing in lab dishes. Some animal studies also suggest certain cannabinoids may slow growth and reduce the spread of some forms of cancer.
Now you have seen both sides of the coin and it is for you to decide, whether you want to give up the stuff due to the odds or you wish to pay the price to gain the benefits. Finally another question…..Should your country legalize the consumption of cannabis or not?