The legalities surrounding cannabis have changed rapidly in the past ten years. Once stigmatized as a possible first step toward the use of harsher, more lethal drugs like heroin and fentanyl, marijuana is now legal in most places (to varying degrees for medicinal and recreational use and still illegal on the federal level). However, when talking about marijuana, the Delta 9 strain is the most frequently used since it has all of the effects that are associated with consuming marijuana. This post will explore some of the science behind Delta 9 and how it interacts with your body.
Delta 9 And Its Interaction With The Endocannabinoid System
Unless you are already au fait with cannabis and the human body, you might not be aware of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). To put it simply, this is the body’s system that controls a plethora of other systems, such as mood, sleep, appetite, and pain perception, among other important factors. Delta 9 binds to the receptors that make up this system, considerably impacting your body. To dig a bit deeper, it actually binds to two specific receptors known as CB1 and CB2. The former has more to do with your mind and the famous “high,” while the latter has more to do with your nervous system and, by extension, physical effects. Moreover, you can consume this cannabis compound in numerous ways, ranging from all-natural gummies to a regular, old-fashioned joint. In fact, the way you choose to consume any variant of cannabis can have a substantial effect on the outcome you experience. Ultimately, Delta 9 has a wide range of effects on the brain and body due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system.
Psychological Effects Of Delta 9
Delta 9 has been widely associated with a large number of psychological effects, regardless of how it is consumed. Some of the most prevalent include:
- Altered perception: Perhaps the most well-known effect of cannabis on the mind is the way it can alter your perception of reality. This can range from a feeling of time speeding up or slowing down to a complete obliviousness of your surroundings. It can also manifest as being able to see colors more vividly and create clearer thoughts.
- Euphoria: This effect isn’t always prevented with weed, but when it kicks in, you certainly know about it! This usually happens because the compound acts on your CB1 receptors.
- Relaxation: Depending on the strain you choose, it can have a decidedly sedative effect on your body. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you will immediately fall asleep, but it does mean that you will feel far more relaxed and less irritable. In fact, many users often comment that they feel less “wound up” after using it.
- Anxiety: In some instances, it can cause a higher level of anxiety, particularly in extreme situations (in a large crowd of people or if you’re alone). This is likely due to individual differences in genetics, previous experiences with cannabis, and the specific strain of cannabis consumed. High amounts of Delta 9-THC can amplify the stress response in certain individuals, causing feelings of unease and fear.
- Creativity: Perhaps the most well-established and positive aspect of Delta 9 weed is the way it can dramatically enhance your creativity. It’s no wonder that many musicians and artists swear by the stuff!
Physiological Effects Of Delta 9
Delta 9 can also lead to a variety of physiological effects. These effects, both positive and negative, result from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system present in our bodies.
Analgesic effects: Delta 9-THC has been found to provide pain relief by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors in our bodies. Its analgesic properties can be beneficial for individuals experiencing chronic pain, inflammation, or neuropathic pain, and it is often used in medical cannabis treatments for these conditions.
- Appetite stimulation: One of the most well-known physiological effects of Delta 9-THC is its ability to stimulate appetite. Research has shown that this compound can enhance the sense of taste and smell while increasing hunger signals in the brain. This effect is particularly beneficial for individuals suffering from medical conditions that cause appetite loss, such as cancer or AIDS.
- Bronchodilation: Delta 9-THC has been found to have bronchodilatory effects, leading to the relaxation of the bronchial muscles and facilitating more comfortable breathing. This effect can be beneficial for individuals suffering from asthma and other respiratory conditions. However, the method of administration plays a significant role, as smoking cannabis can cause respiratory irritation and negate these benefits.
- Cardiovascular changes: When consuming Delta 9-THC, users may experience a temporary increase in heart rate and a decrease in blood pressure, potentially causing dizziness or fainting. These effects can be dangerous for individuals with pre-existing heart conditions or with a history of cardiovascular issues.
- Red eyes: Delta 9-THC can cause the blood vessels in the eyes to expand due to vasodilation, leading to red, bloodshot eyes. While this effect is temporary and harmless, many users find it uncomfortable or undesirable.
- Dry mouth: A common physiological effect of Delta 9-THC is dry mouth, sometimes referred to as cottonmouth. This phenomenon results from the compound’s interaction with cannabinoid receptors present in the salivary glands, leading to reduced saliva production.
Cannabis, in its Delta 9 form, has numerous effects on the body and mind that can be pleasant or unpleasant depending on your ability to absorb it and experience. Nonetheless, the vast majority of users report a positive experience and report continuing to enjoy the high.