As the days progress, more and more people are showing interest in cannabis. From recreational to health to business, people are discussing the benefits of the plant. Some Vermont-based colleges are even offering courses for cannabis cultivation careers. With this increased interest, it’s important for casual and established users to have a full understanding of cannabis and its impact on the human body. And it all starts in the endocannabinoid system.
What is the endocannabinoid system?
In simple terms, the endocannabinoid system is a series of biochemical receptors in the body. These receptors control a variety of functions from our brains to our digestive systems to our hearts and more.
The endocannabinoid receptors are triggered by exposure to different chemicals called cannabinoids. There are more than 100 cannabinoids (that we are currently aware of) in your average cannabis plant. Our bodies also naturally produce some chemicals that interact with this system.
What happens when you use cannabis or CBD?
As an example of the endocannabinoid system in action, let’s look at a characteristic that both cannabis and CBD products share: reducing inflammation. Inflammation has a natural role in our immune system, but can cause some serious problems and chronic pain if something goes awry.
With a normal immune response from an infection, the body produces immune cells and pro-inflammatory molecules to fight off the infection. The body also releases its own endocannabinoids to help communicate with other immune cells as well as keep inflammation from progressing too much.
For a person with arthritis or a similar condition, inflammation may go far beyond its need, which creates pain with no result. Cannabis and CBD products can help by providing that same cannabinoid signal to reduce inflammation. With this additional stimulus, the body can reset to its regular balance.
How long does it stay in the system?
Even after the high that comes with cannabis-use fades away, it doesn’t necessarily mean the product has fully left the body. Whether you smoke or consume edibles, it takes roughly the same amount of time for the THC to break down. As it breaks down, it can remain in your system for days, sometimes even weeks. Most people who test positive for marijuana on drug tests do so because of the THC metabolites, rather than the base chemical itself.
How long marijuana stays in your system varies based on:
- The individual person
- The quantity they smoked or consumed
- The strain and how much THC or other chemicals are present in it
This means that all home growers and harvesters should be mindful of when they consume the crops they grow. You don’t want to fail a drug test just because you feel alright at the time. CBD, however, is different in this regard. Most products do not contain THC and even the smallest traces may not show up on a test. For good measure, you should ask your workplace about CBD and its policy on drug tests before using.
Research is still uncovering different facts about the endocannabinoid system each and every day. What’s clear at this point is that cannabis can be a powerful substance, not just for recreational use, but as a contributor to improving health in a variety of ways.