Cannabis sativa strains of cannabis generally give you a high. The cannabis plant comprises three species, each containing a varying amount of psychoactive substance called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These three types are C sativa, C indica, and C ruderalis. However, the most widely available Sativa strains mainly consist of a high limonene content that uplifts the mood. C Indica induces sleepiness. The percentage of THC levels can have an impact on your sleep cycle. A higher amount of THC can increase the chances of insomnia or restless sleep. Cannabis also consists of terpenoids that give it some peculiar characteristics. The different types of terpenes present in cannabis include:
- Myrcene: It causes sedation.
- Limonene: It uplifts the mood.
- Alpha-pinene: It reduces or eliminates short-term memory impairment.
What is Sativa?
Cannabis is an annual, flowering herb that includes three different species:
- Cannabis sativa
- Cannabis indica
- Cannabis ruderalis
Cannabis sativa or Sativa is tall, pale green color herbs that constitute a group of a substance known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are mainly of two types:
- Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
- Cannabidiol (CBD)
Cannabis is the most widely illegally used drug in the world and is associated with various mental health issues. The leaves, seeds, stems, or roots are mainly used for intoxication purposes.
What diseases does cannabis treat?
Cannabis (cannabinoids/combination of multiple cannabis products) is not approved for the treatment of any disease. Individual products of cannabis may be useful in treating the following health conditions:
- A rare form of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome
- Nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy
- Dronabinol (a purified cannabis compound) is also used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in people with HIV/AIDS
- Chronic pain (especially cancer pain)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Movement disorders due to Tourette syndrome
- Multiple sclerosis
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Sleep problems
What are the side effects of cannabis?
Cannabis, when inhaled, exhibits short-term and long-term effects on the brain, which include:
Short term effects:
After smoking cannabis, THC passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, where it is carried to the brain and other organs. The effect occurs after 30 minutes to 1 hour. THC activates parts of the brain, which results in intoxication. Other effects include:
- Altered senses
- Distorted sense of time
- Mood swings
- Impaired memory
- Psychosis (disconnected from reality)
- Impaired coordination
- Difficulty in thinking clearly
- Increased appetite
Long-term effects result in some permanent changes to the brain, such as losing mental abilities and functioning.
Other physical changes seen are:
- Breathing problems and lung damage
- Increased chances of cardiovascular diseases
- Liver damage
- Problems with child development during and after pregnancy
- Increased chances of developing schizophrenia and mood disorders in the future
What are the treatments for cannabis addiction?
Cannabis addiction is mostly treated in a rehabilitation center. Behavioral therapies, which are successful in treating dependence include:
- Motivational enhancement therapy (MET): Motivates the individual to give up on marijuana addiction.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): Teaches the user to stop using the drugs and ways to avoid or manage other problems.
- Contingency management (CM): Involves exchanging vouchers as a reward for not taking drugs.
Although medications may be less effective in treating addictions; however, some antidepressant medications may help in managing withdrawal symptoms and preventing relapse.
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Gorelick DA, Cannabis use and disorder in adults: Pathogenesis, pharmacology, and routes of administration. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/cannabis-use-and-disorder-in-adults-pathogenesis-pharmacology-and-routes-of-administration?search=sativa&source=search_result&selectedTitle=3~6&usage_type=default&display_rank=3#H711927934
Piomelli D, Russo EB. The Cannabis sativa versus Cannabis indica debate: An interview with Ethan Russo, MD. Published online January 1, 2016. doi: 10.1089/can.2015.29003.ebr
ScienceDirect. Cannabis Sativa Subsp. Indica. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/cannabis-sativa-subsp-indica
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