Cannabis and Addiction
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is derived from either Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica, which are all a form of Indian hemp plants. Marijuana is the term frequently use to refer Cannabis. Other term includes hash, grass, pot, weed, reefer, dope, herb, mull, buddha, ganja, joint, stick, buckets, cones, skunk, hydro, yarndi, and hooch. Cannabis belongs to the depressant drugs which means it slows down your central nervous system and the transfer of messaging from your body to your brain.
Active ingredient of Cannabis are as follows:
#1 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
This is the major psychoactive component that makes up to 30% of Cannabis and the one that causes you the “high”. THC doesn’t really occur in its active form and is only a part of the THCA (THC acid). However, THCA will be converted into THC when burned or heated.
#2 Cannabidiol (CBD)
CBD is another popular component of Cannabis which is mainly found in hemp. CBD have almost zero psychoactive effects and works as the opposite of THC.
#3 Cannabinol (CBN)
Cannabinol or CBN is actually the byproduct of THC after it is heated or exposed to oxygen. CBN contains a sedating effect, though not as strong as in THC.
Terpenoids is another component which is responsible for the unique aroma and flavor found in Cannabis.
Is Cannabis addictive?
Based on the active ingredients found in Cannabis, the answer is YES. But, still the addictiveness level of the plant depends on how you use it. Heating or burning Cannabis will naturally convert Tetrahydrocannabino acid (THCA) into THC which causes the “high” or the toxicity. THC activates the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), THC affects the brain in such a way that it makes the person elated, ecstatic, and even numbness from pain.
High level of THC may cause addiction, impaired motor skills, and can even trigger symptoms of Schizophrenia and paranoia. However, studies have indicated that while THC gives you the “high”, it may be also responsible for the therapeutic effects of Cannabis.
On the other hand, CBD is the total opposite of THC in terms of toxicity. It doesn’t cause addiction and doesn’t react to cannabinoid receptors in the brain. However, it has one very important function; it works in concert with THC which means it boosts the therapeutic effects of THC while controlling its psychoactive effects. Not only in THC, CBD can also lessen the addictive effects of other drugs such as opioids and even alcohol.