When many people think about using marijuana for medical purposes, they ignore a key piece of information. That piece of information is the fact that marijuana that is used for recreation is a lot different than the marijuana that is used for medicinal purposes. Indeed, the very biology of the plants is different. This is why many people miss out on important information when thinking about using marijuana and why it is so important to educate the public about what medical marijuana is really made up of and how it can be effective. Companies like Strain Data are making information about CBD strains, or Cannabidiol (CBD) strains more readily available to the public and working hard to educate users about this important aspect of medical marijuana so that the far reaching impression that people who use medical marijuana are simply getting high will be one that is an impression of the past. With a better educated public, it will be easier to explain the many uses of medical marijuana. Only with this information prevalent rather than the misinformation that has been spread can we hope to make the use of this valuable medical miracle more prevalent.
For starters, the marijuana plant itself is made up of a few different compounds. This compounds are known as “cannabinoids” and are a group of chemical compounds that work on the brain’s receptors in order to impact the release of some neurotransmitters in the brain. This means that these compounds, when ingested, have an impact on which neurotransmitters are firing while using the cannabis plant. What most people who are not familiar with cannabis plants do not understand is that there are different levels of these compounds within each strain of the cannabis plant: not all cannabis strains are the same. Indeed, this is why people smoke different kinds of marijuana and why there are so many strains that are advertised!
Cannabinoids in nature are found in sticky and resinous structures called glandular trichomes. These trichome glands contain many different cannabinoids which work together in order to produce certain medical benefits. This is a phenomenon known as the “entourage effect”, as it demonstrates that a diverse set of cannabinoids in specific ratios has a more powerful medical impact than an isolated cannabinoid that has been processed in a lab. This is critical information to have, as it helps us better understand how different marijuana strains are more effective than others in treating specific ailments.
Perhaps the best known cannabinoid is THC. This is the part of the marijuana plant that has the psychoactive element to it and is the part of the cannabis plant that most people are familiar with. THC interacts with the brain and has been found to be an effect pain reliever. Typically the marijuana flower contains 8%-20% THCA, while cannabis concentrates such as waxes and hash oils often surpass 80% THC content. CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most prominent feature in a marijuana plant, and it is this cannabinoid to which many of the medical benefits of marijuana are attributed.