Science

The Science of 

 

Our understanding of  is growing rapidly as it’s legalised around the world and research is allowed to progress. Although this molecule has been used for thousands of years, most academic papers are from the last ten years. 

The two most studied molecules in the plant are THC and . The main difference between them is that THC is psychoactive and is not. In other words, THC will get you high but no matter how much  you consume, you won’t get high. 

Both  and THC are the molecules are derived from the same parent molecule, GBGA. Enzymes in the plant convert this molecule into  and THCA. The final step is decarboxylation, which occurs when THCA and  are heated, we’re then left with THC and  

It is a molecule that interacts directly with the body’s Endocannabinoid System. There are two key receptors in the endocannabinoid system, CB1 and CB2. Most  CB1 receptors are found in the brain and spinal cord while CB2 receptors are found in the central nervous system and immune system. Differences in the molecular structure of THC and  change the way that they interact with these receptors and thus, their effects on the body. 

The affinity of THC binding to CB1 receptors is strong and this is what leads to the intoxicating “high” feeling that plant brings.  doesn’t directly trigger a response by binding CB1 but instead changes the affinity of CB1 binding THC and thus, reduces the ability of THC to bind CB1. Additionally,  plays a role in the endocannabinoid system by influencing other types of receptors and enhancing natural levels of endocannabinoids by occupying certain enzymes. This is why  can have beneficial effects without producing a “high”.

It’s well established that  is safe, the world health organisation has concluded that the evidence from well-controlled human experimental research indicates that  is not associated with abuse potential and presents no public health problems. That’s great news but you should always check with your regular treating doctor if you’re taking other medications and want to try something new. 

There are a number of different ways to consume  with distinct pros and cons. The most common methods are oral, inhaled as smoke or vapour, in a beverage or in edibles. 

When considering how much  to take, the most important thing is finding what works for you. There is some recent research suggesting that dosage of 25mg can be used to reduce anxiety and induce sleep. As with most medications, it’s a good idea to start low and slowly increase to figure out what works for you.