If you do not smoke marijuana, you might be curious about how its chemical makeup affects parts of the brain and body. Many people who consume cannabis throughout the United States think cannabis consumption has a positive, euphoric effect, but what does marijuana do precisely?
The expert budtenders at Cannabis & Glass are here to answer your questions. We operate the largest dispensary in Eastern Washington, so we know a thing or two about the effects of cannabis.
Consult our guide below, then head to one of our three convenient locations to view our products.
What Are THC and CBD?
Marijuana or weed refers to the dried flowers, leaves, and other materials from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. Two of the most prominent active ingredients in marijuana include THC and CBD, which occur naturally.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, represents the psychoactive, mind-altering cannabinoid within cannabis. Because it’s psychoactive, THC affects everything from mood to mental processes. It produces the euphoric “high” effect.
Cannabidiol (CBD), another cannabinoid in marijuana, is not psychoactive. Instead of feeling high after smoking weed with high CBD potency, you’ll feel relaxed.
How and Why Do People Consume Cannabis?
So, what does marijuana do? People often smoke weed recreationally to relax, achieve a high, and make daily activities more enjoyable. They may also consume specific strains that increase motivation and creativity when they want to be active.
Various publications’ research reports marijuana benefits those who need help managing their physical and mental health. For instance, some people consume medical marijuana to manage anxiety, depression, insomnia, and nausea.
Smoking joints and blunts have become popular ways to consume cannabis. You can also use concentrates in a vaporizer to avoid inhaling smoke, or you may infuse weed with food. Marijuana extracts like shatter, hash oil, and wax deliver a quick, potent dose of THC.
What Are the Short-Term Effects of Smoking Weed?
When you smoke cannabis, its THC goes straight to your lungs. However, the compound quickly moves into the bloodstream, brain, and other organs. Smoking and vaping provide the quickest ways to get THC into your system because the body takes longer to absorb it if you eat or drink it.
As the THC gets to the brain, it begins reacting with other brain cell receptors that produce natural THC-like chemicals responsible for normal brain function. These receptors and other cells in the brain are why you feel the following sensations soon after smoking marijuana:
- Impaired memory
- Altered senses
- Hallucinations, but only with high THC doses
- Mood changes
- Difficulty thinking
The THC also releases dopamine, a feel-good hormone, from your brain into your bloodstream. Because the cannabinoid triggers the part of your brain that responds to pleasure, participating in activities you enjoy may become more pleasurable after consuming cannabis.
Ingesting smoke may also irritate your lungs and increase your heart rate for up to three hours after smoking. However, long-term smoking can increase the risk of heart attacks or breathing problems.
For some people, the psychoactive aspects of cannabis consumption lead to short-term mental health issues. They may feel paranoid, afraid, or anxious. However, these effects appear more prominently in individuals who consume high doses of THC in a short time.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Weed on Physical and Mental Health?
According to various studies, early, prolonged use of marijuana could affect brain development, leading to impairment in memory, critical thinking, and learning. Researchers continue to explore the long-term effects of cannabis use on teenagers to determine if the changes are permanent.
Some people experience severe nausea and vomiting with regular cannabis use, a condition called Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome. It involves several cycles of intense vomiting, nausea, and dehydration.
Ready To Try Marijuana? Head to Cannabis & Glass
Now that you have answers to “what does marijuana do,” you can sample high-quality cannabis for yourself at Cannabis & Glass. We have dispensaries in Spokane, Spokane Valley, and Liberty Lake, WA, complete with experienced staff and a wide selection of quality products and paraphernalia. We can help weed novices and experts find the best items for safe and pleasurable cannabis consumption experiences.
Visit one of our locations today or contact us through our convenient online form.