Marijuana has become more widely used among adolescents and adults in America throughout the decades. Since the opening of the world’s biggest legal marijuana market in California, the industry has indeed grown and evolved from its shady past!
Profiting from Weed
From an illicit market, the marijuana market has now become a multi-billion dollar business. Today, the American cannabis industry is worth $61 billion, and Wall Street’s top cannabis analyst Vivien Azer believes that the U.S. sales of marijuana will rise to more than $80 billion by 2030.
A Pot-Friendly America
Oregon blazed the trail towards a weed-friendly country, decriminalizing the personal use of cannabis in 1973. Decades later, many Americans can now enjoy the benefits of recreational marijuana in sixteen states and medical marijuana in thirty-six states without suffering any legal consequences.
The attitude towards cannabis has truly changed as well, with more Americans from diverse backgrounds coming forward to favor its legalization. The 2019 Pew Research survey reports that there has been a steady increase in the number of people who support weed legalization—ninety-one percent of American adults agree that the recreational and medical use of marijuana should be legal.
What Is THC?
You know what they say, “Knowledge is power.” Before getting into marijuana, it’s best first to understand just what it is you’re ingesting into your body!
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the most well-known chemical substance in Cannabis. This is one of the many compounds found in the resin secreted by the glands of the marijuana plant. THC can induce various psychological effects—like euphoria and increased sensory awareness—but it can also treat depression and help deal with chronic pain, if used properly.
What THC Does to Your Body
THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. In short, it is responsible for the high you feel when taking weed. This chemical substance attaches to cells in the brain, releasing dopamine and interfering with the hippocampus’s information processing.
Once it enters the body, it activates the cannabinoid receptors in your brain, affecting your memory, pleasure, movements, thinking, and even your sensory and time perception. Additional effects include relaxation and pain relief. These effects usually kick in ten to thirty minutes after ingestion and last for about two hours.
Different Ways of Taking THC
Most people are only familiar with smoking marijuana, but there are many more ways that you can try to ingest THC. Just like there are different types of marijuana, there are also various methods you can use to consume it, such as:
When you want to feel the psychoactive effects quickly, inhalation is the way to go. The effects will kick in within minutes when you smoke or vape it. However, be careful when inhaling THC; if you’re not cautious, it could irritate your throat and cause a severe coughing fit.
You can also consume THC by ingesting it in your mouth. Swallowing capsules or incorporating oils and tinctures into any food of your choice is one of the most common ways. This method can take a bit of time, but the effects will last much longer.
THC can also help treat pain, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, and muscle spasticity, besides its psychoactive effects. By applying THC-infused lotions, balms, salves, and oils, you are unlikely to have psychoactive effects, but you will feel relief from pain and inflammation.
The Forms of Marijuana
Many Americans enjoy weed, but each person has their way of consuming it. Today, marijuana can come in many forms, even more than you can imagine! Just read through our list below, so you can determine which way you prefer to ingest weed.
Rolling marijuana into a joint and then smoking it is the most common method of consuming cannabis. Besides rolling it into a cigarette, you can also smoke weed through the use of bubblers—mini-bongs that have the same size as a pipe.
If you don’t have a bong, you can improvise! Some people create bongs out of soda bottles, corn cobs, or cans to smoke weed.
Vaping is one of the more modern ways of consuming marijuana. Vaping weed involves inhaling a heated oil through a vaporizer or e-cigarette and inhaling the smoke. Some prefer vaping marijuana compared to smoking it as people can get a better high, produce less marijuana smell, and vaporizers are small and easy to put away.
Another new method of using marijuana is through spraying it under the tongue. Cannabis oral sprays can give you a smooth, discreet high without suffering from smoking’s harmful effects.
Eating gummies is a delicious, easy way of consuming cannabis. Unlike cookies, brownies, or other edibles, you don’t need to make an effort to make them. With these weed chewables, you can get an accurate dose every time, so you will always have an enjoyable experience.
THC transdermal patches are made up of a thin plastic coated with adhesive and infused with THC. These patches can provide all-day or all-night relief for those suffering from anxiety or chronic pain.
Unlike a smoke or dab where you absorb the THC all at once, a patch allows your body to absorb the cannabis slowly over several hours so that you won’t get high. Patches aren’t advisable for those that are looking to experience psychoactive effects—this form is recommended for people who need the healing properties of THC.
Comparing Delta 8 and Delta 9
Delta 9 THC is one of the most prevalent cannabinoids present in cannabis—but it’s not the only one! Besides its psychoactive effects, it can also be potent medicine. However, it can sometimes spark paranoia or trigger dizziness and headaches. Unlike the famous Delta 9, Delta 8 is half as potent.
Delta 8 and Delta 9 are mostly identical, but they do have considerable differences. Both THCs will produce a high, but the effects of Delta 8 would not be as intense as that of Delta 9. Due to its chemical structure, Delta 8 has a less psychotropic effect—which is perfect for those seeking the medical benefits of cannabis.
While Delta 8 is suitable for medicinal use, you can still use the trusty old Delta 9 if you just want to feel a bit of thrill or relaxation during your alone time at home. Both chemical substances are good for cannabis use; it just depends on the type of experience you are looking for.
The Risk of Addiction
Even though marijuana has been legalized in many U.S. states, it doesn’t mean that you are permitted to use it recklessly. Remember—cannabis is still a drug; it may not be as lethal as other substances, but it can lead to the development of a marijuana use disorder and then morph into addiction!
Individuals who suffer from marijuana disorder can experience symptoms of withdrawal when attempting to stop using the drug. Heavy use of weed is also associated with multiple mental health problems such as:
- Personality disturbances
- Suicidal thoughts
- Lack of motivation
Behavioral changes caused by marijuana addiction include:
- Distorted perceptions
- Uncoordinated movement
- Cognitive impairment
- Problems with learning and memory
If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms, reach out to a trusted family member or friend to help you undergo a drug rehabilitation program.
Thanks to the legalization of cannabis, many people can now take advantage of its recreational and medicinal benefits. Just remember to be responsible with your marijuana use and learn more about it to know how best to use it so you can avoid developing a marijuana addiction.