First and foremost - I have NO partnerships or incentives with any dispensary in Vancouver or anywhere. Since my Instagram following has grown I want to be really transparent about this. I'm writing this because of my personal experience & interest on the topic.
I’ve talked really openly about my struggles with anxiety and depression. I’m SO lucky to have amazing people in my life who really care about me, which 9 times out of 10 has always been the biggest catalyst to finding the resources to improve my health.
Because of my awareness of how my mental state is such a massive factor in my quality of life, I’m always on the hunt for different things that work well for improving my physical body & my mental sharpness.
I’ve heard TONS about weed lately. Who hasn’t? Especially living in Vancouver where there is a massive marijuana culture. I’ve smoked weed before, it was a habit that never really stuck for me for a few reasons:
I had a massive appetite increase every time I did which lead to not feeling great & weight gain if I kept it up long term
2. I find smoking it amplifies whatever I'm feeling. That means if I was smoking it to relax, the very anxiety that was keeping me from relaxing could be amplified which wasn’t fun. On the other hand, if I was in a really mellow positive place, smoking it was great because it amplified that positivity.
I’m also really sensitive to smoking it, meaning I would cough a lot, etc.
Until a few months ago, I had no idea that the two primary components of marijuana, CBD & THC, could be separated.
When I began this post, at first I jumped right into the CBD & THC, focusing on what they are & how they work, but taking a step back I realized it might be cool to dive into why smoking weed gets you high as opposed to smoking oregano. What is it inside your body that reacts with the compounds in marijuana?
Here’s a look at why marijuana has an effect on your mental state & how your brain responds to it:
CANNABINOID CHEMICALS YOU ALREADY HAVE:
The whole reason weed has an effect on us in the first place is because your brain recognizes what you’re introducing to it. Any drug you ingest doesn’t make you feel good out of thin air, it simply amplifies a set of feel good chemicals you already have inside you, usually to an extreme level.
The area that weed hits in the brain is your endocannabinoid system of CBD1 receptors predominantly located in the nervous system, connective tissues, glands, gonads & organs.
We also have CBD2 receptors, primarily found in the immune system and also present in the spleen, liver heart, bones, blood vessels, lymph cells, endocrine glands & reproductive organs.
These endocannibinoid receptors can be stimulated by some primary targets - the first being a state of bliss or joy - ever been high on life? It’s a thing! A state of euphoria stimulates the endocannibinoid receptors opens them like a key to a lock. It’s what allows you to experience those amazing days where nothing feels like it could go wrong!
The other way is by ingesting a closely related botanically based phytocannibinoids (like THC or CBD found in marijuana) that bind to these receptors and again, fit to them like the key to a lock.
These receptors, when activated (no matter which way) produce a wide range of psychological effects altering everything from blood pressure to pain responses to memory as well as appetite (can I get an AMEN) and ‘consciousness’.
**I’m putting consciousness in air quotes up there because everyone perceives & is effected by their own consciousness differently. I want this blog post to be the one that explains marijuana to you in a way you could explain it to others, and don’t want to get derailed and dive into what consciousness (as we know it) is just yet**
"The endogenous cannabinoid system, named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health," Dr. Dustin Sulak, a leading practitioner of what some have dubbed cannabinopathic medicine, said during a lecture at the 2010 NORML convention. "In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks," he said. "But the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.”
Basically what this says is your body absolutely has a need for this cannabinoid system, however it’s primary purpose is to help your body regulate and stay stable despite whatever is happening in your environment.
Okay, my hope with that is that you now understand exactly why smoking weed gets you high and smoking oregano doesn’t. Weed has properties in it that bind to the CBD1 & CBD2 receptors in the brain, the brain recognizes the properties and the receptors start firing and boom! High achieved.
Now let’s get into the nitty gritty - here’s the main difference between THC & CBD, and why you might like/not like the two.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol (I spell checked that fucker about 3 times) is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. It acts like some of the cannabinoid chemicals made by the brain - when I say that I mean that your brain has the ability to fire off and achieve a similar high in certain circumstances without the weed.
Basically, THC is responsible for the ‘high’ you get from weed. It includes feelings like:
Increased heart rate
Slowed perception of time
“Couch-lock,” or feeling heavy
Now, THC does this by attaching mainly to the CBD1 receptors in the brain that effect mood, emotions, appetite, coordination, etc. CBD1 receptors are all over the body, however most of them have been found to be in the brain. For me personally, I find THC can make me a bit too uneasy. I get more of the anxiety part of it and don’t like the feeling of being out of control of my body. Hence why I’m not a fan of smoking weed or the effect it has on me.
Now, let’s get into CBD.
The reason CBD makes you feel different is because it attaches mainly to the CBD2 receptors in the brain, these receptors are more commonly in the immune system and act on inflammation & pain.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is the non psychoactive part of weed. It means it doesn’t induce the same mind bending high as THC, however it does allow some really restorative benefits to the body.
Now, just because CBD doesn’t get you as high as THC, it doesn’t mean there’s no effect. Everyone is different, however I notice a significant increase in my relaxation & concentration. Let’s just say I would be careful about how much I take if I had a busy day ahead of me or had to drive somewhere, etc.
I use the oil, and always start with a pea size amount and put it under my tongue and try to hold it there for at least 60 seconds.
Here are the main benefits of CBD according to studies:
Natural pain relief & anti inflammatory properties
Acne (due to inflammation)
Now, here’s what I notice using CBD:
I’m someone who’s fairly driven but definitely have my off days. The thing about being a go go go type of person is we often fail on reflection. We’re so quick to brush off our last success because we’re after the next one, or on the other hand, so quick to forget about that failure because we’re on to the next thing that we often fail to sit down & reflect on lessons learned in the process.
If this rings true for you, AKA you’ve been told to slow down once or twice in your life, I highly recommend seeking out friendships with people who already have this skill set. People who are great at reflection are your best ally in helping you tune into yourself more, and they’ll appreciate your energy & ideas as a forward thinker (they often get held up in the process due to their strengths in reflection & figuring things out).
Masterminds have been a fantastic resource for me in this area, you’ll meet like minded people who are (hopefully) at a different level of success than you are and obviously care about their personal success & business success.
However, on the days where I’m getting a little wound up, no one happens to be around and I know I need to focus to get some work done, CBD oil is an amazing resource that helps me self regulate and focus in on the task at hand. It’s also a welcome alternative to any anxiety medication, as those are often quite addictive or have other side effects.
I do microdosing on the days where I do take it, never more then the size of a pea at a time, and will take it continually as long as I feel like I need it or it’s helping me. I feel a lot more calm, focused and the tasks that I was dreading before (aka mental laziness creeping in) don’t seem as daunting. I’m able to more easily break it up into a bunch of small steps instead of one big outcome.
The main things I wanted you to take away from this is that you now know why you get high (how your brain works), the difference between THC & CBD and if CBD is a fit for you. If marijuana is decriminalized in your area, have a look around. It could be the thing you’re looking for to help you get through the day without anxiety, increase muscle recovery, help with inflammation or an alternative to melatonin/sleeping medication.
Doses are extremely important. I have DEFINITELY taken too much CBD oil before, and although it doesn’t get you high like THC, it loses some of it’s restorative benefits when you take too much and can make it really difficult to concentrate or focus on anything. Seriously - start small and learn your tolerance levels.
I hope this helps you out! If you have any questions or notice anything I missed feel free to comment below.