Weed and the Human Body
This plant has been called countless other names that still stuck up to now. A lot of people have used it for medical and recreational purposes. But certain laws apply to the possession, use, and sale of this drug where it is deemed illegal. In this article, find out at what weed is all about and take a look at how weed is stored and how long it lasts in the body.
What is a weed?
Weed or marijuana and other slang terminologies like joint, dope and pot are what users colloquially name this plant. In earlier times it has been used in rituals by ancient tribes. Most common uses of weed are for recreational and medicinal purposes because of its psychoactive, physiologic and medicinal properties. The main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and it contains 421 other cannabinoids.
Effects of weed
- Due to its psychoactive and physiologic properties, it can produce a feeling of euphoria and a sense of relaxation once consumed. This feeling of a euphoric state is termed as being “stoned” or high.
- It can also include undesirable results like decreased short-term memory, impaired motor, and skills, reddening of the eyes and dry mouth.
- There may be personal changes in perception and mood.
- Most common physical and neurologic side effects are an increase in heart rate, increase in appetite, low blood pressure, low concentration and impairment of psychomotor coordination.
- In States and countries where marijuana is legal, it is prescribed to treat certain medical conditions like muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, nausea from chemotherapy, poor appetite and weight loss caused by chronic diseases, seizures, and Crohn’s disease.
Other preparations of weed:
- Marijuana – most commonly consumed form, made from the dried flowers, stems and leaves of the plant. This contains about %3 to %33 of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
- Kief – which means “pleasure” in Arabic, is in a powder form obtained by sifting the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. Can be consumed directly in this form or made into cakes like hashish.
- Hashish – composed of the detached trichomes that fall off from the stems and leaves of the cannabis plant compressed to form a cake. It differs in color according to the purity and variety. It can be smoked, inhaled through vapor and taken orally.
- Tincture – to create a tincture, the cannabinoids are extracted from the plant through the use of grain alcohol.
- Hash oil – it contains the cannabinoids in the natural oils of the stems and leaves of the cannabis plant and can be obtained by solvent extraction. The solvent evaporates, leaving behind a concentrated form of the oil. It is deemed a pure form of cannabis and can be consumed through smoking, vaporization, eating or topical application.
- Adulterated cannabis – beware of this form because this is usually made with other forms to make cannabis appear of a higher quality when it isn’t. The leaves usually get contaminated by toxic substances obtained from its growing environment making it unsafe for any form of consumption.
Methods of consumption:
- Smoking – inhalation of vaporized cannabinoids from small pipes, bongs, paper wrapped joints or tobacco-leaf wrapped blunts and more.
- Vaporizer – consumed through heating cannabis at 165-190 degrees, causing it to evaporate. The vapors are then inhaled while being careful not to burn the plant.
- Tea – by adding saturated fat to hot water with a small amount of cannabis. It is water soluble and has the least form of THC.
- Edibles – by adding marijuana to some food preparation.
How marijuana is stored in the body:
Knowing that marijuana contains THC that is responsible for the “stoned” feeling you get after consuming it, this effect usually does not stay too long, but the THC does. The THC gets into the bloodstream and spreads throughout the body. THC will attach itself to two receptors namely:
- CB1 receptor in the brain responsible for memory and movement. This is why marijuana is known to affect one’s movement, mood, memory, learning, and coordination. It also has effects on your appetite, nausea and pain perception.
- CB2 receptor located throughout the body specifically in the immune system tissues like your lymph nodes. This may be the reason why users have an impaired immune system. Traces of THC can also be detected in saliva, blood, sweat, urine and even hair.
How long does marijuana stay in the system?
- THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) , the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana does not stay so long in the system unless you are a heavy user. The life of THC lasts for about 20 hours only if used occasionally.
- The presence of THC in the system depends on how often the user consumes it, how long has it been used and the amount of marijuana consumed.
- For a user who consumes the drug regularly, THC can stay in the system for up to 45 days. Users who consumed the drug quite heavily and frequently before they even quit may have traces of THC in the body for up to 90 days even after they quit.
How can THC be eliminated from the body?
Some users have gone to great lengths to get THC out of their systems just before a drug test. They have tried using niacin supplements, over-the-counter eyedrops, pickle juice, substitution of urine with some else’s and other weird ideas that are not guaranteed %100 effective. Some choose to use these detox kits that are making the rounds on the internet nowadays. They are known for eliminating THC in the body, and it works much safer and faster.
Weed, if not abused, is supposed to benefit humankind for its medicinal properties. But because of people who take the goodness of this plant for granted, it has now been banned from a lot of countries and states. If only they have a conscientious effort to use it for the good of other people, especially those suffering from diseases that may benefit with the consumption of marijuana, can be pain-free and live a more normal life.
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