Cannabis e comportamento

Effects of Cannabis on Behavior

The topic of cannabis is broad and varied and, as often happens when dealing with complex topics, it is the subject of major misunderstandings, rumors and falsehoods. However, the question is very important, because the effects of cannabis are precious in the treatment of many pathologies , and to use it best you need to know it thoroughly. In this article we will start from the origins, to tell you what cannabis is, how it is classified, what its long-term effects are , and the differences compared to other psychotropic substances. We will start from the botanical aspects, to delve into the different families of Cannabis and the universe of light cannabis, to then understand how cannabis affects mood and character. Specifically we will tell you:

  1. What is cannabis?
  2. The cannabis families
  3. Cannabis Vs Cannabis light
  4. Does cannabis alter mood?
  5. Can cannabis alter behavior?
Cannabis light

What is cannabis?

The Cannabis plant is believed to be one of the oldest crops , used since the Neolithic era as a source of fibre, food, oil, medicines and even in some rituals. The first evidence dates back to China around 6000 years ago : these are finds that tell of cultivation methods and uses of the plant, confirming the close link that cannabis has always had with man. It is thought to have been introduced to Europe by nomadic tribes from Central Asia, around 1500 BC . During the 7th century AD, however, it may have been brought to the Maghreb by Arab traders, during the period of the great Muslim conquest expeditions.

The indigenous strain of Cannabis is estimated to originate from Central Asia, in a region that extends from the Northwest Himalayas to China. Cannabis tends to maintain the ability to escape from cultivation to return to its wild nature: it is considered a semi-domesticated plant, never completely subjugated by man and the rules of agriculture.

From a botanical point of view it is a dioecious plant , which reproduces in male and female specimens, and has an annual life cycle, which can increase by a few months in the subtropical regions. Cannabis is cultivated throughout the world - from the equator to around 60° North latitude and throughout much of the Southern Hemisphere - for both fiber and seeds. This is hemp grown primarily for its fiber, distinct from that grown for its active ingredients, which is instead grown in East Asia and Europe.

Cannabis light

The Cannabis families

The first classifications of Cannabis date back to the Enlightenment. The first botanist to be interested in the marijuana plant was Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), according to whom the plant is part of a single species: Cannabis sativa L. Another contemporary botanist, Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck (1744 – 1829 ), discovered instead that the Cannabis strains from India were very different from the European ones, and renamed the new species Cannabis Indica Lam.

The main botanical characteristics of Cannabis indica are the abundant branching of the plant, the thin bark, the narrower leaves and the general ability to induce a state of psychophysical alteration when smoked . The taxonomy identified by Lamark was accepted internationally, until the Russian botanist DE Janischevsky, during studies carried out on spontaneous varieties grown in central Russia, identified a new species, small and branched, which takes the name of Cannabis ruderalis Janisch, considered an independent species and not a subspecies of Sativa.

Cannabis vs cannabis light

In recent years there has been a lot of hype around light marijuana, a legal and weakened version of traditional cannabis. It is a relaxing herb, which allows the treatment of many inflammatory muscle diseases and chronic pain, thanks to a new balance between the two main active ingredients of the plant. Cannabis contains many active ingredients, but those contained in the greatest concentration are CBD and THC. Let's see together what they are for and how they act on our body.

Cannabis light

  • THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychotropic substance which, if taken in the right doses and methods, can have positive effects on the human body . THC alters the mental state of those who take it, but the effect depends on the quantity and the psychophysical state: a minimal dose can lead to a short and not too intense state of euphoria associated with an expansion of emotional perceptions, while taking of THC in high doses can have unpleasant effects on mood, which can result in depression or aggression.
  • CBD, or cannabinol, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which regulates and stabilizes the effects of THC. It has a relaxing, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect, promotes muscle relaxation and induces sleep , improving the quality of rest. Its medicinal uses exceed those of any other known cannabinoid: it is also considered very useful in the treatment of diabetes, alcoholism, post traumatic stress syndrome - PTSD, schizophrenia, rheumatoid arthritis, epilepsy, cardiovascular diseases. It has antipsychotic and anxiolytic effects, which make it completely complementary to THC.

Does cannabis alter mood?

The alterations due to cannabinoids, both positively and negatively, are due to the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 , present in the endocannabinoid system of the human body. Our body, in fact, is able to produce cannabinoids endogenously and THC, by binding to its receptors, stimulates the release of dopamine by some regions of our brain.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that acts by modulating individual behavior, mood, sleep-wake rhythm, attention, memory, voluntary movement and much more. When THC and CBD combine, their effects change, giving rise to the so-called entourage effect : the two substances, THC and CBD, enhance the positive qualities of each other. For example, pure THC can cause anxiety, but when mixed with CBD it has a much milder effect, promoting a positive and overall feeling of relaxation.

It is certain that the use of cannabis can have effects on the body: often these are positive effects, many different from those caused by other narcotic substances, but sometimes there is also a risk of negative effects. It affects the mood of those who take it precisely because it changes - in a limited and temporary way - the perception we have of ourselves and the outside world, with the consequence of making us perceive things not exactly as they are. Let's see together what happens in our body when we take marijuana!

Cannabis light

Can cannabis alter behavior?

Cannabis can alter the behavior of those who take it, but only if we are talking about abundant and repeated intakes over time . Habitual consumption can have negative effects especially on adolescents, who tend to neglect school and sports, enjoying the effect of the high in complete serenity.

Cannabis consumption certainly leads to more or less tangible physical changes, such as red eyes, rapid heartbeat, drowsiness, lethargy, lack of coordination of the limbs and the so-called munchies , due to the greater metabolism of sugars caused by the substance. Even from a behavioral point of view, the effects can be visible: we are talking about potential confusion and lack of concentration, unusual talkativeness or mutism, distraction from studying or other activities.

In general, those who smoke cannabis tend to develop the so-called reward mechanism , associating cannabis consumption with a pleasant and satisfying moment. The reward system is a group of neural structures responsible for motivation, associative learning, and positive emotions, particularly those involving pleasure as a core component, such as joy, euphoria, and ecstasy.

This stimulates the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that acts by modulating individual behavior, and which associates individual happiness and satisfaction with the intake of the substance.

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You might also be interested in:

  1. Cannabis light and young people: raising awareness to educate
  2. Does it affect my mood if I use cannabis?
  3. The link between THC and dopamine

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