What Forms Does Pot Come In?
When talking about the cannabis genus, most people know that it comes from a group of hardy and versatile plants, Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis.
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In addition to its usage as a mind-altering drug, pot comes in plenty of forms.
These forms vary in strength, and they can be consumed in a lot of different ways.
What forms does pot come in? There are plenty of forms that marijuana comes in. Generally speaking, marijuana or pot comes in three forms. These are herbal, hashish, and hash oil. Today, there are other types in the form of marijuana concentrates, edibles, and topicals.
In this article, you will learn more about the different forms of marijuana as well as their usage.
Knowing the right form to use is essential to getting the best out of your cannabis plant.
Also, I will be discussing how marijuana works and affects the body so that people who are taking it for the first time will know what to expect.
What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana, commonly known as cannabis or pot, is a green, brown, or sometimes gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and a hemp plant’s flowers.
It is used as a psychoactive recreational drug for people suffering from medical ailments or for religious purposes.
Sinsemilla, hash oil, and hash/hashish are the stronger forms of the marijuana plant.
You can hear marijuana being called different names, such as pot, herb, weed, grass, boom, Mary Jane, gangster, or chronic.
There are more than 1,200 slang terms for marijuana to protect it from authorities.
According to NIDA, marijuana is known to be the most abused drug in the United States.
Many states in the US have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use.
However, possession remains illegal, except for in some approved research settings.
The Different Forms of Marijuana
As you know, marijuana is the product of a hemp plant known as Cannabis Sativa.
Stronger forms of marijuana include sinsemilla, hashish, and resins like some hash oil or wax, and shatter, which contains high doses of active ingredients.
Here are some of the forms of marijuana and their usage:
Traditional marijuana comes in the form of dried flowers of the cannabis plant.
Most people use these dried flowers to smoke in the form of a bong, cigar wraps, hand-rolled cigarettes, or pipe.
It can be utilized in a vaporizer as well, or you can even add it to some of your favorites to make edibles.
Back in 1990, the potency of marijuana found on the street was about 3.74 percent. By 2013, the average potency had increased to nearly 10 percent.
In some states in the US, legal marijuana can contain 20 percent THC or even more.
Generally speaking, traditional marijuana is less potent than other forms of weed.
This is because it can contain other impurities and can be laced with other substances.
Hashish is most commonly known as hash, and it is made from the cannabis resin.
This particular resin is extracted from the cannabis plant itself and then dried and compressed.
It can be compressed in different varieties, like blocks, balls, or even sheets. Hash is much stronger than traditional marijuana, and it can be mixed with tobacco or smoked on its own.
It can be combined with food and directly swallowed. When it is mixed with food, the final product becomes edible.
Smoking might be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to marijuana, but it is never the best way to consume it.
In fact, smoking any form of pot can damage your lungs.
Aside from that, it is the quickest way to get the drug into your brain, causing addictions and other health concerns.
This is why smoking marijuana can lead to the development of substance abuse.
Some people do not become addicted, but they heavily rely upon and become dependent and can experience marijuana withdrawal once they start to quit.
Hash oil and other forms of marijuana concentrate or extracts are the most potent forms of weed.
These are made by extracting THC from the cannabis plant using butane, carbon dioxide, and other solvents.
This process is very dangerous, as it can lead to fires and explosions. The end product is most commonly known as THC oil, marijuana oil, or butane hash oil.
Marijuana extracts are three to five times stronger than traditional marijuana.
They are not as safe as concentrates or other high-THC products and have the highest risk of causing mental health issues.
This includes some hallucinations and extreme paranoia in people who consume them.
Some marijuana oils come with an alcohol mix; people tend to combine them to get high and, at the same time, to get drunk.
Oils can also come in capsules or edibles, and people can smoke or vape different concentrates from bongs, pipes, vape pens, or other electronic cigarette devices.
Inhaling any form of marijuana extract is most commonly referred to as dabbing.
Wax and Shatter
Wax and shatter are two forms of marijuana concentrate that differ only in their appearance.
Marijuana wax is most commonly referred to as a budder because it looks the same as yellow, sticky earwax, or just plain melted pasty butter.
On the other hand, shatter is a solid and hard form of marijuana that resembles amber, a fossilized tree resin.
Like oils, wax and shatter are made by extracting all THC from a cannabis plant using a solvent.
These highly potent forms of marijuana extracts are usually smoked or vaporized.
The bad news is that it is easy to overdose on wax and shatter extracts because they have an extremely high THC level.
This might not cause death, but it can cause serious side effects like anxiety, paranoia, and panic attacks.
Marijuana concentrates also share similar risks to smoking laced weed.
It is impossible to know what is really in oils, waxes, or resins that you buy on the street.
They might be contaminated with butane or other chemicals that can cause health problems.
The word “edibles” refers to any form of marijuana mixed with your food or drinks.
It can be in the form of brownies, a crispy treat, or other baked goods. As there is a huge rise in the legalization of marijuana in the United States for medical and recreational purposes, many people are getting into edibles.
The good news is that THC can be infused into your fruit, tea, or other natural foods in your pantry.
Also, there is a spectrum of options. You can buy edibles in stores or dispensaries, and they come in clearly labeled packages.
Compared to smoking or vaping, the effects of consuming marijuana orally aren’t felt instantly.
It might require between 30 minutes to an hour before you feel the effect of it.
Marijuana can remain in the body for a longer period if eaten compared to when it is smoked or vaped.
Topicals are the kind of marijuana forms that contain THC, which aren’t commonly used to get you high.
It is a common form of medical marijuana used to treat skin conditions, spasms, muscle aches, arthritis, and other external ailments.
This is because most topicals do not reach your blood, and usually, THC must travel through your bloodstream to the brain to get you high.
There has been plenty of research regarding the medical benefits of marijuana, though many claims regarding the drug’s benefits are unproven.
Except for topicals, all forms of weed containing THC can be addictive and can lead to serious mental health problems associated with marijuana.
How Does Marijuana Work?
The primary active chemical in marijuana is THC, which was mentioned multiple times above.
The highest concentrations of THC are normally found in dried flowers or buds of a cannabis plant.
When marijuana smoke is inhaled, THC rapidly passes from your lungs and directly into the bloodstream.
It will then be carried to the brain and other organs throughout your body.
THC acts on specific receptors in your brain, which are called cannabinoid receptors.
This will lead to a chain of cellular reactions that can cause you to feel euphoric or high.
This, in turn, can cause you to be in a relaxed state, euphoric, or experience enhanced senses.
With higher THC levels, some users can feel a little anxious or paranoid, or even have panic attacks.
There are also certain areas in your brain, such as the hippocampus, cerebellum, basal ganglia, and cerebral cortex, with a higher concentration of cannabinoid receptors.
These areas influence your memory, concentration, pleasure, senses, time perception, and coordination.
How Is Marijuana Used?
If you are searching for different ways to use any forms of marijuana, you will find plenty of choices.
You can smoke it like a cigarette—mostly known as a joint or pipe—or use your bong.
Aside from that, you can smoke it in blunts, which are cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and refilled with dried marijuana flowers.
The blunts act as tobacco leaf used to wrap the cigar; therefore, it is combined with marijuana’s active ingredients, such as nicotine and other harmful chemicals.
Marijuana can also be mixed into your favorite food or used to brew tea. In some states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, the market for edibles such as cookies, brownies, and even chocolate is popular.
Vaporizers have become a popular trend as well for those who prefer to not inhale smoke.
The device concentrates the THC from marijuana and puts it in a storage unit. Then the person can inhale the vapor but not the smoke.
Approved and Investigational Products
In most of the United States, under the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance.
This means that it has no approved medical use and has a high potential for abuse.
This federal definition is considered highly controversial and can limit marijuana’s availability for clinical research purposes.
However, many states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical and recreational use.
There are even prescription medicines containing available synthetic cannabinoids.
Syndros is a liquid counterpart of dronabinol. Also, both dronabinol and nabilone are approved to treat patients receiving anti-cancer medicine—these people are undergoing chemotherapy and experiencing symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
Dronabinol is also approved to treat anorexia, which is the loss of appetite and is associated with weight loss in patients with AIDS.
Sativex or Nabiximols is not approved for use in the United States, but it is widely available in dozens of countries outside the US, including Canada, the UK, Spain, Germany, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Sweden, and New Zealand. Sativex is an oral sublingual spray approved for use in multiple sclerosis (MS) spasticity.
It can also be used by people with chronic cancer pain in some other countries.
Sativex is composed of standardized THC and cannabidiol extracts. It is also available as an oral mucosal spray formulation.
There are several studies and reports that THC and cannabidiol provide therapeutic benefits for people with Multiple Sclerosis spasticity.
Epidiolex is a cannabinoid product that was approved back in June 2018.
This product is utilized to treat patients aged one year or older with seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), tuberous sclerosis complex, or Dravet syndrome.
Epidiolex is the first FDA-approved drug that has CBD, a purified drug substance derived from a cannabis plant, and is an oral solution.
There are common side effects of Epidiolex, including sleepiness, diarrhea, sedation and lethargy, possible liver damage, and a decreased appetite.
It was rescheduled from a Schedule I controlled substance to a Schedule V controlled substance back in September 2018 by the DEA.
However, in April 2020, the DEA fully removed the controlled drug status of Epidiolex across the United States.
Marijuana Side Effects
There are plenty of side effects when you start to consume or use marijuana without proper knowledge.
The side effects of marijuana use can vary from one person to another, depending on the strength and amount of marijuana used.
If the person who uses is occasionally or chronically exposed to THC, it can get worse.
The effects can be magnified for older people.
Short-Term Side Effects
There are short-term and long-term effects of marijuana or cannabinoid use.
These include an increase in your heart rate, low blood pressure, muscle relaxation, slowed digestion, dizziness, distorted perception, difficulty in thinking, loss of coordination and motor skills, agitation, and dry mouth and eyes.
The reaction time may also be impaired while you are driving.
People who are influenced by the drug can have slower reaction times, impaired judgment, and problems reacting to signals and sounds.
Panic attacks, paranoia, and psychosis can also occur acutely and be more common in psychiatric patients.
On the other hand, for chronic users, the impact on memory and learning can remain for days or weeks after the acute effects wear off.
Some marijuana purchased on the street may be cut or substituted with substances that can lead to unknown side effects.
Long-Term Side Effects
Long-term abuse of marijuana can lead to dependence. Many people get dependent on taking and consuming marijuana, and a high dosage of THC is never good for the body.
On the other hand, it is an erroneous belief widely held by the general public that marijuana is not at all addicting.
Still, not all people will become addicted to it, and the effects can sometimes be a psychological matter in some patients.
Marijuana, as mentioned, is not healthy if you consume a lot of it. That is because the fatty tissues strongly absorb the THC in marijuana in your body systems.
Standard urine testing methods can detect traces of THC after several days of taking it.
For some chronic users, traces can sometimes be detected for weeks after they have stopped using marijuana.
All forms of marijuana can affect the mental state of every person who takes it.
To put it simply, marijuana changes how your brain works by attaching to molecules in your brain and activating them.
As a result, you will experience euphoria, relaxation, and a sharper perception of things.
Those people who are trying to use marijuana for the first time may feel some paranoia, fear, panic, or anxiety.
For this reason, it is essential to know the limit of its use and to know what you are taking orally or through smoking.
To experience safer use of marijuana, reach out to your doctor to get the right prescription dose.