Everything you need to know about growing cannabis at home

Exploring the Different Types of Cannabis and their Effects

by | Sep 26, 2022 | Cannabis, CBD, Lifestyle

Cannabis is a plant that has been used for millennia to produce both hemp and marijuana. The cannabis plant, Cannabis sativa, contains the psychoactive chemical THC which produces feelings of euphoria and relaxation and is a main active ingredient. Most strains of cannabis today are broken down into three categories: indica, sativa, and hybrid, which is a mix of the two. Each type affects the user differently based on its properties such as a sedative or energetic effects. When using cannabis it’s important to understand how it will affect you before deciding what to do next.

What is cannabis?

The cannabis plant is actually a genus of the Cannabaceae family. It includes three different types (not strains): sativa, ruderalis, and indica. Sativa has an energetic effect as well as relaxing properties while indica has more sedative effects compared to sativa. Ruderalis does not produce any THC but can be used for its fiber instead and its genetics are used to create auto-flowering plants. Cannabis contains many different compounds that can induce various effects on the body and mind. The main two are cannabinoids, which are a class of active chemical compounds found in cannabis, including THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, and CBD, or cannabidiol.

Cannabis has been used as medicine for centuries; however, it became a prohibited drug in many countries. In 1937, the federal government passed the Marihuana Tax Act was passed which imposed a levy on cannabis and made possession or transfer of cannabis illegal under federal law driving its use underground and making it an illicit drug. Since then, several states have legalized medical marijuana but there are still debates going around regarding its effect as medicine and whether legalizing weed for recreational use is appropriate too.

What is the difference between THC and CBD?

As noted above, the cannabis plant contains two primary compounds that we use today, THC and CBD. At present, there are 113 different cannabinoids in the marijuana plant and these are the two compounds that people focus on the most for their effects. THC is the compound that produces the high, or psychoactive effect, while CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects but is said to be relaxing. The effects of cannabis depend on which cannabinoid you are consuming. Cannabis can be used as a medicine to control nausea, pain, seizures, and other health issues. It also has high antioxidant properties due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties that reduce oxidative stress in your body.

What are the effects of cannabis?

It is very important to establish the distinction that the effects cannabis will have on you and your body will vary according to the different strains you use. If a strain is heavy in THC, which is psychoactive, it will have a very different effect than a heavy CBD strain, which will not be psychoactive. Also, the dosage is critical too. As with any drug, if you have too much then the effects will differ. Please note, that it is impossible to overdose on cannabis and any deaths are due to accidents while on marijuana. Let’s break down the effects of marijuana, specifically THC and CBD.

THC: TetraHydroCannabinol

THC is the main psychoactive compound and is responsible for the effects we think of when we see somebody who is high, also called stoned.

These physical and psychological effects can include:

  • euphoria
  • introspection
  • metacognition, or recognizing one’s own thought patterns
  • hunger
  • altered sense of time
  • relaxation
  • pain relief

There can be some adverse effects for consuming THC as well. They include:

  • dry, irritated, and red eyes
  • dry mouth
  • paranoia
  • impaired body movement
    • this is why it is not OK to drive or operate heavy machinery while on cannabis
  • impaired memory
  • increased heart rate
  • hallucinations,
    • these only happen with extreme sensitivity to THC or extremely high doses
  • delusions,
    • also only occur with extremely high doses
  • panic attacks
  • anxiety
  • fear

These are the most common side effects of THC although not all of them.

CBD: Cannabidiol

CBD has come to the forefront in recent years due to its non-psychoactive effects.

The most common effects felt when taking CBD are:

  • relaxation
  • reduces anxiety
  • reduces depression
  • reduces pain
  • helps with other addictions by taking the edge off

There are some negative effects of taking CBD too and these include:

  • nausea
  • fluctuations in weight and appetite
  • diarrhea

Side Effects, In general …

Side effects of cannabis use can include mild to severe issues like dry mouth, fatigue, lack of coordination, increased heart rate, and low blood pressure. Long-term users may also experience respiratory problems from cannabis smoke inhalation as well as reproductive health consequences for men including impaired sperm quality and infertility if exposed during pregnancy or while trying to conceive a child.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use marijuana because THC stays in the body much longer than CBD due to its higher fat solubility which means it remains in fatty tissues where it slowly breaks down over time into smaller parts that can be detected by testing. While there is still limited research on the psychoactive properties of CBD when used medicinally, many studies have shown positive results with few negative side effects.

Can you use cannabis as medicine?

Cannabis is a very useful plant that can play many roles in the medical field. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties that can be used to treat a number of medical conditions. However, a lot more research is needed to see how exactly cannabis can be used medicinally. Due to the US government’s listing of cannabis as a schedule 1 drug with no medicinal benefits, many more experimental studies will have to be conducted to have conclusive evidence of all its medicinal properties.

Is Cannabis safe for use?

Despite the negative effects of using marijuana, when it is properly regulated, it can be safer than many other commonly used substances. While there are still serious health consequences for using marijuana, these effects can be minimized if proper measures are taken to regulate its use. One of the biggest concerns is an impaired driving ability which can be minimized by proper testing for cannabis levels before people are allowed to drive. While driving ability is seriously impaired by marijuana, it has been shown to be much less of a problem than alcohol and many prescription drugs. Cannabis also has a much lower risk of addiction than opiate-based painkillers. However, while there are many benefits to using cannabis in moderation, chronic cannabis users can have a number of negative long-term effects on their health and mental well-being. Additionally, many people are still not educated about the proper use of cannabis so they treat it as a recreational drug rather than medicine which can have dangerous consequences.


Cannabis is a drug that had been used for centuries by many cultures for medicinal purposes. The two main compounds, or cannabinoids, that we use today are THC and CBD. THC is a compound that has psychoactive effects while CBD does not. Some of the main effects of taking THC are relaxation, euphoria, and pain relief while the positive effects of taking CBD include pain relief, relaxation, and reducing anxiety and depression. Both have some negative effects and you should not operate machinery while on THC.

Today both cannabinoids are more medically accepted than even ten years ago but more research is needed to grasp all the medical uses for this magic plant. If you are an adult, cannabis is safe for you to use when you aren’t driving or operating heavy machinery. As with any drug, cannabis consumption is safest when taken in moderation. If you believe THC could be beneficial to you, please look up your state laws regarding CBD and cannabis legalization as they could be an illegal drug where you live and see your doctor or healthcare provider today.

To learn more about growing cannabis at home consider checking out our guides on: Getting Started, Troubleshooting, and Optimizing your Grow or search our Knowledge Base.

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