What are cannabinoids
Cannabinoids refer to any chemical substance that has similar effects on the brain as cannabis. Cannabis refers to all products derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Cannabis sativa plant is also called marijuana, Indian hemp, hemp, weed, etc. This plant has very high quantities of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol, the active ingredient which produces the effects of 'high' when a person takes this substance via any route.
Any chemical, regardless of the structure of origin, that produces the same effects in the brain as the naturally occurring cannabis plant extract, is referred to as cannabinoids. Research has shown that the cannabis plant produces between 80 and 100 cannabinoids and about 300 non-cannabinoid chemicals. However, the two main cannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) being the most commonly known.
CBD also occur naturally in the hemp plant. The hemp plant which belongs to the same genus as marijuana contains little or no THC as compared to marijuana plants, and may thus produce a lesser psychoactive 'high' effect than cannabinoids derived from the marijuana 'Cannabis Sativa plant.
The cannabinoids can be available in the following formulations:
- Oral - Oils made by infusing cannabidiol with a carrier oil, tinctures produced by combining CBD with alcohol or water, oral sprays, and CBD dietary supplements.
- Topical - include salves or lotions applied on the skin.
- Edibles - candies, gummies, beverages containing some form of CBD.
- Inhalation - specially formulated vape oils containing cannabinoids.
Effects of Cannabinoids
The effects of cannabinoids can be described in common parlance as the 'high' and 'mellow' effects which can be described as a state when the user has reduced pain experiences, lesser anxiety and feels 'on top of the world'.
Cannabinoids, THC and CBD, produce slightly different effects in the body. It has been noted that THC has strong psychoactive effects, that is, it gives the feeling of ‘high’, whereas CBD is thought to have an anti-psychoactive effect that controls or moderates the ‘high’ caused by the THC. CBD is also believed to help reduce anxiety. In the natural extract, the two compounds balance each other out with a predominance of the 'high' feel-good effect.
Types of Cannabinoid Products
Broadly, the types of cannabinoids can be categorized into three;
- Medicinal, and
Recreational cannabinoids are used solely because the user wants to derive the psychoactive effect as a form of recreation and enjoyment. These subtypes constitute by far the most popular uses worldwide.
Medicinal preparations of cannabinoids could be in any form, but commonly, these preparations come as purified extracts of the cannabinoids. These medicinal types can be prescribed by your doctor for certain illnesses and your response to treatment is carefully monitored by your doctor.
Synthetic cannabinoids are laboratory-synthesized analogues of natural cannabinoids. They can find both recreational and medicinal uses but they serve as sources of augmented or increased production for the ever-increasing demand for cannabinoids. Also, these molecules of cannabinoids can have some part of their structure altered in the laboratory to enhance any of their specific effects, for example, changing a chemical side-chain to increase the high effect from the use of that cannabinoid.
In terms of purity, cannabinoid products have been grouped into the following classes;
- CBD isolate - contains only CBD with no other compounds from the cannabis plant.
- Full-spectrum - includes all of the compounds found in marijuana plants, including the psychoactive compounds (THC).
- Broad-spectrum - contain relatively high amounts of CBD but low relatively low THC contents.
Uses of Cannabinoids
Cannabis has been used by humans for a very long time and it is are increasingly finding more usefulness in recent times.
For sake of ease, I will classify the uses into two sub-categories;
- Medical uses
- Recreational uses
Medical Uses of Cannabinoids
Like I mentioned earlier, the purified cannabinoids (THC or CBD) are the ones legally allowed for medical use. Because of their potent psychoactive or anti-psychoactive effects, depending on whether it is THC or CBD, cannabinoids have found prominent usefulness in the area of psychiatry/mental health.
Though our collective understanding of the use of cannabinoids for mental health is still limited, many studies have demonstrated some of their benefits. Research evidence to support some of these claims are still scanty but they have been found useful for the following mental/brain-related disorders.
- Epilepsy: Research has shown that CBD can positively affect seizure-inducing conditions such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox Gastaut. However, it is not a practical option for those who are already suffering from seizures. Viral clips of people using this treatment at home made their way on the Internet last year. This sparked interest among researchers to look into its effectiveness.
- Anxiety: A study published by Loflin and Whitton suggests that CBD may help alleviate multiple types of anxiety. Possible anxiety conditions include generalized panic disorder (GPD), OCD with compulsions that interfere with daily functioning (OCD-C), social phobia involving intense fear, and PTSD related to traumatic events. However, further research must be completed before its therapeutic benefits can be determined conclusively.
- Depression: Animal studies show that low serotonin levels may play an important role in depression development. CBD might work by acting on these receptors, which could produce some of its benefits. According to a study, when given two doses of cannabidiol, subjects had no impact on mood. However, it did help those participants whose brain chemistry is different because they would respond better if their serotonin levels were lower than normal. This showed how it's not just about having enough serotonergic activity going around your skull.
- Sleep problems: Troubled sleep may be a side effect of many conditions, or it may signal another underlying issue. A third of U.S adults do not get enough restful sleep, leading to health problems such as obesity and depression in the long term. One study found that 65% of people with anxiety who followed CBD for six weeks saw better quality scores on their sleeping patterns.
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: PTSD is a severe condition characterized by symptoms such as re-experiencing traumatic events, intrusive thoughts, and situations. This may trigger memories about the trauma they experienced previously in their lives (source). It can be challenging to cope with this condition alone, so having additional support from friends/family can help tremendously improve. Some research suggests CBD has helped reduce some of these debilitating symptoms associated with this disorder, including flashbacks and anxiety while improving mood stability overall - an oral dose helped reduce the symptoms.
Recreational Uses of Cannabinoids
Of course, these constitute some of the greatest uses of these substances and in most cases, recreational use of cannabinoids. There are increasing clamours to legalize the drug but these have remained unheeded for now. There are speculations that cannabis will gain legal acceptance in a few years to come, but that is a talk for another day.
As against the medical use of cannabinoids, recreational uses involve the use of the substance, especially the un-purified weeds or marijuana for their high effects only.
Ways to speed up the effects of Cannabinoid
CBD can work wonders as a wellness aid as it serves myriad benefits for the body and mind. They help with diverse health problems, from pain relief to anxiety alleviation, aid digestion and sleep. The therapeutic use of cannabinoids is considered natural and relatively safe.
The therapeutic use of cannabinoids should not be seen as magical, and the outcomes may be different for different individuals. At the same time, several factors determine how fast the results of cannabinoids use set in. These include age, weight, gender, metabolism, and tolerance levels from previous use. However, here are some expert-recommended and actionable tips and tricks if you want to speed up the effects of cannabinoids.
The consumption method matters the most
The outcomes and timing differ for different consumption methods. Smoking and sublingual tinctures are ideal if you want instant results with a few puffs or drops. Inhalation gets the cannabinoid quickly into your bloodstream, and so does ingestion. But you will have to wait longer if you opt for an edible product. You have to wait for the results to set in with edibles because CBD reaches your system only after digestion in your body, which may take up to a few hours. Consider your expectations and choose a method accordingly.
Choose a full-spectrum product
Full-spectrum CBD oils work well if you want quick benefits. They bring a potent cocktail of cannabis phytochemicals that ensure more pronounced effects. The CBD level is high in full-spectrum products, while they also deliver a hefty dose of aromatic terpenes. You also get the benefits of elements like protein, vitamins, fiber, and fatty acids that occur naturally in cannabis plants. Read the product labels and ensure you opt for a full-spectrum product that brings an excellent blend of potent substances.
Try a nono-supplement
If you want to go the extra mile to accelerate the results with your session, trying a nano-supplement is a great idea. Essentially, these are CBD molecules coated with tiny particles such as liposomes. These particles stabilize the cannabinoid and enable it to move faster in the bloodstream. It speeds up the delivery, and you get the outcomes sooner rather than later. You can easily find nano cbd strips online, but make sure you stick with a high-quality product from a reputed brand. These products are easy to take and maximize the bioavailability of CBD, so they are worth trying.
Accompany with fatty foods
The outcomes from a session do not just depend on the product, dosage, and consumption method you use. They are also dependent on other factors such as the food you eat during the session. Since cannabinoids are fat-soluble molecules, they make an excellent combination with fatty foods. Not surprisingly, edible recipes always have a hefty amount of healthy fat for maximizing the effects of CBD. If you aren’t cooking with CBD, you can add some drops of oil to fatty foods to get the best results. Whatever way you choose to consume it, opting for the right meal can make a difference.
Stick with an optimal dosage
Speeding up the effects of CBD is also about taking an optimal dosage of the product. But remember that optimal is not the same for everyone. It is also not about taking higher doses to get faster and better results. You need to understand the ideal dosage according to your body weight, tolerance levels, and sensitivity. Recall your past experiences to know what works for you, and stick with the doses. Even better, maintain a journal to identify the exact quantities that deliver results for you. Taking an occasional tolerance break is a good idea for regular users. It resets your system and lets you get more with less with your subsequent experiences.
Cannabinoids are any products containing THC or CBD naturally found in the Cannabis sativa plant. They have found usefulness in recreation and treatment of some mental health conditions. Here are some actionable ways to speed up their effects.