Frequently Asked Questions

1How many different cannabinoids are there?
More than 80. The two you’ve probably heard of are THC and CBD. THC was first isolated in the 1960s, and for a long time we thought it was “the” active ingredient in cannabis. It’s the bit that makes you high, it gives you euphoria, inattentiveness, daydreaming, the munchies. But it turns out, when you just take THC by itself, the effect is different from when you consume the entire plant. Scientists have figured out there are many more cannabinoids, like the anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, non-getting-you-high CBD. We have CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta to thank for giving CBD its worldwide PR debut in his 2013 television special, Weed, though people in cannabis knew about it for years before then.
2Are the cannabinoids in the leaves or the stalk, or where?
The cannabis plant’s “active ingredients” are concentrated in the flowers, in tiny “hairs” or outgrowths called “trichomes.” These produce resin, and, as Michael Backes writes in Cannabis Pharmacy, “The medicine [is] in the resin.” That’s where the action is.
3Does Cannabist treat cancer?
Don’t take our word for it. Take a look at what’s been dug up by GW Pharmaceuticals, the British drug company blowing up the NASDAQ after its cannabis-derived drug had success treating kids with epilepsy. Not marijuana smoking, mind you, but doses of highly concentrated cannabis oil have, anecdotally at least, helped cancer patients also pursuing a modern Western treatment heal more quickly.
4Is it stronger now than it was in the past—they call it “kush” now?
Most dispensary cannabis you see does have higher THC content than the cannabis seen in the 1960s and 1970s, mostly because it’s been bred to be more powerful and less mellow, thanks to it being illegal. THC content in flower can run from 10 to 12 percent on the low-end and up to 25 percent or higher.
5What are Strains?
The wine list is not a bad analogy. Like grapes of different varieties grown in different areas under different conditions, different cannabis plants will look, smell and taste different. Different strains will have different effects, some of which are bred in or bred out of them over multiple generations of breeding by the grower.

My state just legalized medical marijuana.
Is it really a medicine?

Cannabis can help alleviate symptoms for people who suffer from many illnesses and diseases. The plant acts rapidly, costs relatively little, and has few side effects. Cannabis works extremely well in easing the nausea and vomiting associated with cancer and AIDS treatments; that has made lives better for tens of thousands of patients. It works to control intractable seizures.

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