Cannabis: Food Medicine?
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3rd November 2020

Cannabis: Food Medicine?

Clara Gibson
Unconfirmed fact; the cannabis plant has more street names than any other plant on earth. Weed, pot, bud, grass, marijuana, ganja and so many more. But that’s beside the point. The controversial effects of the use of this plant, have managed to keep it relevant throughout history. Researchers have dated the consumption of weed back to the BC era, with its first sightings in China and India, way before the question of its legality, (Elikottil, Gupta, P. & Gupta, K., 2009).

However, according to (M. Sherrard, n. d.), when eaten raw the cannabis plant doesn't have any effect on the consumer, other than a possible stomach ache. This was explained in a study done by Mei Wang et al. (as cited in Kubala, 2019), the two main compounds found in the cannabis plant:

On the other hand, weed infused

tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) are only transformed to its psychoactive state of THC and CBD through a heating process known as decarboxylation. It’s therefore safe to conclude that one cannot get high from eating raw cannabis.

On the other hand, weed infused foods and drinks are very popular in this “stoned age”. Dried flowers, seeds, stems and leaves of the hemp plant are mixed with different food products to make what is commonly termed as edibles. These edibles compose of baked goods, candies, oils, teas, gummies, chocolates etcetera. And are sold and prescribed legally in some countries like Uruguay, Canada and some states in the US, Kubala (2019).

Additionally, the intensity of an edible

It is important to note that the high you get from smoking weed is not the same as the one from edibles. M. Sherrard (n. d.) states that “the high varies in terms of its absorption in the body, its onset time, its intensity effects, its difficulty to dose and the duration of experience”. She further explains that when somebody chooses to smoke weed instead of eat it, the smoke goes directly into the brain and the effects are felt in about ten minutes. However, when it is eaten, the edible has to be digested first that’s why it takes about 30-90 minutes to hit.

Additionally, the intensity of an edible is more than that of smoking, which is not obvious considering that when one smokes, they take in more high-inducing cannabinoids. (Farah, 2018), reveals that the difference lies in the routes and parts of the cannabinoid’s metabolism in the body. A neuroscience researcher named Jikomes (as cited by Farah, 2018), explained that THC compounds in edibles pass through the liver first where they are converted into larger fractions of THC, with higher potency. This process causes the high to last for hours on end, with the high peak at about 2-4 hours after ingestion. The effects of the high are also influenced by other factors like the weight, gender and metabolism of the body, which is why people react differently, (Barrus et al., 2017).

Cannabis: Food Medicine?

Edibles are so still so popular despite the legal risk factor associated with them. Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol have numerous recreational and health benefits respectively. The active cannabinoids found in THC are used to induce a state of euphoria and stimulate an uplifting feeling in its consumers. Whereas some medics prescribe marijuana to patients to: relieve pain in chronic illnesses, induce appetite in anorexic and cancer patients, ease depression and anxiety, relieve extreme nausea and vomiting, improve sleep quality for insomniac patients and reduce pain and muscle spasms for athletes and people with diseases that cause joint pains, (Maida, V. & Daeninck, P., 2016). Kubala (2019), reveals that oral weed infused sprays are prescribed by pharmaceutical companies to treat muscle spasticity.

Just like most medicines, there is a downside to using marijuana edibles. For example: It can be very difficult to determine dosage with the naked eye because weed infused foods don’t look any different from those without. Unless one knows what strain was used in making them and how much, you can easily find yourself taking more than the amount required to attain optimum results. A lot of people have also reported feelings of paranoia, sleepiness, dry mouth and changes in visual perception, Baurrus et al., (2017).

A different study done by the district of Colombia department of health showed that edibles interact with alcoholic beverages and some types of medication so it important to consult a professional before prescribing some for yourself. And if it’s recreational, visit certified joints to get more information on what strain works best for what. Otherwise it’s important to note that conclusive research on this field has not been attained hence caution should be practiced in the consumption of Cannabis.

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