I’m pretty sure we know what marijuana is. This is just a recap.

It should go without saying that I don’t ever advocate taking a psychoactive substance without one’s provider recommending it, so self-medicating with illegal drugs is definitely not a position that this website embraces.

Also, just because it may be legal or on its way to legality, that does not make it safe. Just because tobacco is legal, we know that it is by no means harmless. One expects to lose about 13 years of life if they smoke tobacco.

You’re going to use marijuana if you want to use marijuana. There’s very little to stop you. But that doesn’t mean you should use marijuana, and it certainly doesn’t mean that marijuana is harmless. THC has its medical applications, but few and far between in the world of mental illness.

Marijuana is a part of the female cannabis plant, the flower bud. Legally speaking, if it is composed of equal to or more that .3% THC, it is marijuana. It’s often referred to as “pot”, “weed”, “green”, “dank”, or “piff”.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the chemical that produces a high when marijuana or marijuana concentrates are either smoked, or cooked and then eaten.

There are tens of different chemicals in marijuana, but tetrahydrocannbinol (THC) produces most of the high. CBD has garnered a name for itself. Preliminary studies on other cannabinoids, such as CBC and CBG, are positive. The plant may be part of a not-too-far-off revolution in psychiatry, but again, not by THC.

THC isn’t easily classed. It is part stimulant, depressant, and hallucinogen. This depends on the levels of other chemicals in the bud, how much and how often one uses, one’s setting, one’s mood, how tired one is, and most variables that can come to mind.

THC is a partial agonist, which means it partially activates the THC receptor (CB1) is part of what makes it impossible to die from. This is one of the facts that it has going for it.

But, in this case, just because it can’t kill you, doesn’t mean it can’t worsen mental health dramatically. Literature keeps coming in about how even light pot use in a developing brain is very, very harmful.

Synthetic cannabinoids are full agonists, which means they fully activate the Cb1 receptor. This is why they tend to be much more powerful than marijuana. Also, they can produce a much more powerful psychosis and withdrawal syndrome than THC can.

In marijuana, levels of THC are about 10%-20%, but can broach about 30% with modern techniques, such as growth in a hydroponic system.

There are three species of marijuana:

  • Cannabis sativa 
    • Grows in more tropical regions
    • Tends to be fairly tall, about five to twelve feet tall, but some grow twenty feet high
    • The marijuana produced by cannabis sativa tends to be more cerebral, uplifting, and active.
  • Cannabis indica 
    • Found in desert-like climates (little water, plentiful sun)
    • More bushy and short
    • Tends to have a higher level of THC
    • Cannabis indica is more physically relaxing, even narcotic.
  • Cammabis ruderalis
    • Native to Asian regions of Russia
    • The smallest of the bunch
    • Not widely known, or used, due to low THC content
  • More on the characteristics and differences of these sub-species

Here above we have hashish: a sticky concentrate of marijuana, made from pressing together trichomes (the crystals that coat buds). The hash pictured is more light, which means that it may cause a more sativa-esque high. That said, overall, hashish tends to stone more than energize.

Below is hash oil, a highly concentrated extract of marijuana

This yellow goo is a very powerful hash oil extract, which ranges from dark green to almost white.

THC levels in the most refined concentrates, called shatter, can exceed 90%. It’s plausible to assume that the percentage of THC in the extract above is at least 50%, possibly up to 80%.

Other sections on cannabis…

Marijuana: Some History

Marijuana: Harm

Marijuana: Health

The Promise of Cannbidiol (CBD)

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Sources: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glenn-d-braunstein-md/marijuana-facts-fiction_b_2575507.html, http://www.fool.com, https://www.drugabuse.gov, Uppers, Downers, All Arounders: Physical and Mental Effects of Psychoactive Drugs, https://www.whaxy.com, https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/02/20/popularity-of-butane-hash-oil-alarms-east-bay-fire-investigator/, https://merryjane.com/culture/5-types-of-concentrates