When I first started shopping at the dispensary for medical weed, I didn’t know anything about cannabinoids or terpenes.
I had never heard of indicas, sativas or hybrids.
I’ve since learned that cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the plant that are responsible for the majority of the effects. Terpenes determine the smell and flavor of the weed and are believed to play a role in effects as well. The cannabis products at the dispensary are divided into categories based on their genetics and likely effects. Indicas are supposed to be more about full-body relaxation while sativas create an energetic, cerebral and uplifting sensation. In modern times, growers focus on selective breeding to create hybrids. They cultivate strains with a specific cannabinoid profile and continually strive to produce higher THC levels. As research proves that CBD and other lesser-known cannabinoids offer significant medical potential, new strains are being developed for their curative properties. THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the most abundant and famous cannabinoid. THC causes the high by binding to CB1 receptors in the brain. The result is the release of dopamine and feelings of euphoria. THC offers 20 times more anti-inflammatory strength than aspirin. CBD or Cannabidiol is the second most abundant cannabinoid and does not cause any psychoactive effects. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t bind directly to CB1 or CB2 receptors but seems to increase the amount of endocannabinoids in the body. Although we aren’t quite sure how it works, CBD interacts with brain cells to help treat pain and inflammation. There are none of the adverse side-effects associated with THC. There is also growing evidence to support the entourage effect which suggests that CBD and THC work better together than they do separately.