How Cannabis Works

How Will Cannabis Affect Me?

While cannabis producers may link the use of their products to specific desired effects, such as energy, calm, sleepiness or hunger, these claims have not been backed by substantiated scientific studies.

How Will Cannabis Affect Me?
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Cannabis effects depend on many factors, such as your genetic makeup, frequency of use, age, gender, current mood and personality, and any existing mental health conditions.
  • Customers should do their own unbiased research when shopping for and choosing cannabis products

Looking for a cannabis strain that will give you energy? Make you sleepy? Read on to learn what the research says about cannabis and its effects before you shop.

How will I know how it will affect me?

Humans and cannabis plants share similar chemical compounds called cannabinoids (in people, they’re known as endocannabinoids). We produce them naturally through our endocannabinoid system, which is thought to control how we feel, move and react. We also have cannabinoid receptor sites all over our bodies, which the endocannabinoids bind to. The plant’s cannabinoids — the most studied of which are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) — also interact with these receptors and inhibit the way they function. To learn more about the endocannabinoid system, click here.

Because the number of receptors and their locations vary from person to person, our reactions to THC and CBD differ as well. So even if two people consume the exact same strain of cannabis, their reactions and the effects could be very different. The effects of cannabis also depend on factors such as the consumption method and frequency of use, and your genetics, age, gender, personality, current mood and existing mental health conditions.

What does the research say?

Although consumers have reported that cannabis may have health benefits and effects, pleasant or not, the small amount of research conducted to date does not adequately back up these mostly anecdotal claims.

Besides THC and CBD, there are hundreds of compounds present in cannabis. However, to date, researchers have been unable to do adequate research into how it works and its effects on the body.

So where do I find unbiased information?

While many Licensed Producers give intended or reported effects for their products, this information is often crowd-sourced from the consumers who have used them. The effects have generally not been scientifically gathered or tested.

Read up on the latest research by checking out neutral sources, such as the Government of Canada website, as well as the Learn section of OCS.ca.

Ultimately, the best way to know how cannabis will affect you is through personal experience. Begin with a product that is lower in THC and CBD potency, and use a small amount to see how it affects you.

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The Endocannabinoid System
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The Effects of Cannabis