Weed: Harmless or Still A Drug?

Marijuana is quickly being legalized all over the western world. In the United States, more and more states are allowing for its recreational use every year. Of course, in places like the Netherlands and Canada, it’s been decriminalized/legal for years now. But as fun as it is to get high, eat an edible, and have some fun, there are still withdrawal symptoms if you’re a habitual user and want to quit. So, in this newsletter, we’ll take a look at what it’s like to quit weed.

THC necklace in sterling silver - science jewelry

How Does It Work?

The psychotropic chemical in marijuana is THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, this is what gives you the feeling of being “high”. It includes feeling euphoric, feeling sedated, feeling like time has slowed down, and a host of other weird alternative brain states. But why does this plant chemical work on us? It’s because our bodies evolved to produce similar chemicals to THC. We have an entire network of receptors for endocannabinoids (these are normal, human, THC-like chemicals). When we smoke or use weed, the THC in the plant hijacks these receptors, sort of like how any other  drug hijacks receptors in our brain (for example, nicotine hijacks dopamine receptors).
Another chemical in marijuana is CBD or cannabidiol. While this one doesn’t get you high, it has been shown to help with seizures, calm anxiety, and decrease pain. It all sounds great, it still doesn’t mean that stopping CBD use comes without a price.

Withdrawal, But Why?

What goes up must come down. This saying is true for airplanes and for drugs, even weed. It’s a simple and logical explanation for withdrawal symptoms without getting into too much of the neuroscience. Basically, if you’re taking a drug that gives you energy, when you’re no longer on the drug, you’ll feel extra tired to “make up for” that boost you got. The easiest example that we all know is caffeine. It feels great to chug that morning cup, but then, there’s the dreaded caffeine crash later in the afternoon when the initial burst of energy wears off.
The same goes for weed. Since this drug makes you relaxed, not anxious, helps you sleep, and calms people down, withdrawal symptoms are just the opposite. And these symptoms are proportional to the amount that you’re using. People who use marijuana every day will experience more extreme withdrawal symptoms than people who only use it every other day. Some unfun symptoms include not being able to sleep, being depressed, anger, nausea, nervousness, and headaches.

THC with NO Withdrawal?

If you only use weed occasionally, you will probably experience very short-term (a few hours the next day) or no withdrawal symptoms. Another option for a withdrawal/hangover-free weed experience is to check out our THC necklace (bet you didn’t expect that one), we personally guarantee that wearing this necklace comes with no downsides. Purchase it for yourself or for a friend. It also makes a great gift for marijuana users, marijuana users looking to quit or use less, THC researchers, and starry-eyed pre-med students.

written by Science with Evie


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