Cannabis: The Insider's Guide to The World's Most Popular Drug.
The Insider's Guide to The World's Most Popular Drug.
CANNABIS: THE FACTS
Also known as marijuana.
The cannabis plant has two main subspecies: Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa.
Chemical components of cannabis are called cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are chemicals in cannabis that cause drug-like effects throughout the body.
The main psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis is delta-9-THC, known more simply as THC.
Another active cannabinoid is cannabidiol, more commonly called CBD.
CBD does not have a psychoactive effect, meaning it does not make you feel "high."
Indica-dominant strains of cannabis have higher CBD content than sativa plants.
Sativa-dominant strains have higher THC content than indica plants.
There are hundreds of different chemical entities in cannabis. Over 90 are cannabinoids.
Also known as THC, this is the cannabinoid that makes you "high"
THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
When THC enters the body, it acts upon the
endocannabinoid system, an important
neurotransmitter system. This system is widely
distributed in your brain and body, including
most glands and organs. The existence of the
endocannabinoid system was confirmed fairly
recently (in 1992) and we do not yet have a
complete understanding of all its functions.
What we do know is that the endocannabinoid
system helps regulate the neuronal, vascular,
metabolic, immune, and reproductory systems.
THC is best known as the compound in
marijuana that makes you feel high. But it also
has several other efffects on the body. It has
been shown to be an effective muscle relaxant
and anti-convulsant, and has some
neuroprotective properties. THC has been
used successfully as a sedative and antiemetic.
THC has also been shown effective in slowing
down gastrointestinal movements, increasing
appetite, and reducing intraocular pressure.
An emerging therapeutic wonder drug that doesn't cause the "high" of THC
A WONDER DRUG? PROBABLY.
CBD is a promising drug for the treatment of a
number of disorders. Initial studies show CBD
has beneficial effects for the management of
neurological disorders such as epilepsy,
multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's or
Alzheimer's disease. CBD also seems to
improve cognition and neurogenesis, while
having antipsychotic, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety),
and antidepressant-like effects.
Along with its many benefits, CBD use seems
to lack any serious adverse consequences,
making it a "wonder drug" of sorts.
Decriminalization of cannabis and an evolving
regulatory landscape means unscrupulous
sellers of CBD are free to operate alongside
Some CBD products are marketed with
unproven medical claims. CBD has NOT been
studied extensively, and we don't know much
about its long-term effects on the body. While
it lacks potential as a drug of abuse, CBD may
possibly injure the liver over time. Furthermore,
we don't know if CBD has any long-term effects
on special populations (e.g., children).
OTHER KNOWN CANNABINOIDS
CBN is the product of
and increases as THC
degrades in storage.
CBN has some
therapeutic potential in
(CBN) Delta-8-THC is derived
from the isomerization
of delta-9-THC (THC),
and is considered more
stable and less
expensive than THC.
This is a non-
cannabinoid with some
(inhibits cell growth)
CBC is structurally
similar to CBD and THC,
but is considered much
more toxic. CBC seems
to exhibit some anti-
Cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, can be
taken by mouth, inhaled, or sprayed under
BIOAVAILABILITY OF CANNABINOIDS
Cannabis products can be taken
by mouth through many forms,
including pills, "infused" food
items, and as oils.
Bioavailability through this
method is low; roughly 6%, likely
as a result of first-pass
Cannabis can also be inhaled, by
smoking or vaporizing ("vaping").
Bioavailability through this route
is about 31%.
First-pass metabolism reduces
drug uptake by first destroying
them in the gut, and then in the
liver, before they reach the
bloodstream. To reduce this
effect, cannabinoids are often
sprayed under the tongue or
inside the cheek, which allows it
to absorb directly into the mouth.
BUY SMART. USE SMART.
dilute CBD and THC to
keep consumers from
taking too much at one
time. Because of this,
you will need to
calculate dosage and
measure the right
amounts each time
you buy a new
obscure terms and
If it sounds like
nonsense, it probably
is: find a vendor who
makes things clear and
easy to understand.
Be a smart
Epidiolex, a pure CBD
solution, calls for
starting at 2.5mg per
bodyweight, twice a
day. After a week, this
can be increased to
5mg/kg twice a day.
This is CBD's
Taking more than
600mg of CBD at one
time may induce
This is CBD's
Research studies show that CBD is generally safe to use,
though there are some caveats.
CBD has not been studied extensively in special
populations, like the elderly, in children, or in pregnant
women. We have no idea what the long-term effects of
routine CBD use will be in these populations.
CBD quality is also poorly regulated. A 2017 analysis of CBD
content in liquid vape, oil, and tincture products sold online
revealed that 69% of these products were mislabeled. It is
possible to buy a product labeled as "pure CBD" with little
or no CBD in it.
ABOUT SHADOW FOUNDRY
Shadow Foundry is a long-term technology and venture
partner for visionary startups. We believe cannabinoids
can bring about revolutionary change in the healthcare
industry, including driving down sky-high drug prices.
We strongly support the cannabis community, and invest
in them through sound, science-based educational
materials that help consumers avoid fraud and abuse in
We believe in transparency and accountability. Please feel
free to share this guide with your doctor or other medical
professional to vet its accuracy.
Download this, any time, for free: https://shadowfoundry.io/downloads
WE BUILD CANNABIS TECHNOLOGY
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Appendino, G., Chianese, G., & Taglialatela-Scafati, O. (2011). Cannabinoids: occurence and medicinal chemistry. Current Medical Chemistry 18, 1085-1099.
Bonn-Miller, M.O., Loflin, M.J.E., Thomas, B.F., Marcu, J.P., Hyke, T.; Vandrey, R. (2017). Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online. JAMA 318(17), 1708.
Pauldel, K.S., Hammell, D.C., Agu, R.U., Valiveti, S., Stinchcomb, A.L. (2010). Cannabidiol bioavailability after nasal and transdermal application: effect of permeation
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Pisanti, S., Maltano, A.M., Ciaglia, E., Lamberti, A., Ranieri, R., Cuomo, G., et al. (2017). Cannabidiol: State of the art and new challenges for therapeutic applications.
Pharmacology & Therapeutics, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pharmathera.2017.02.041
Volkow, N.D., Baler, R.D., Compton, W.M., Weiss, S.R.B. (2014). Adverse Health Effects of Marijuana Use. New England Journal of Medicine 370(23), 2219-2227.
Welty, T.E., Luebke, A., Gidal, B.E. (2014). Cannabidiol: Promise and Pitfalls. Epilepsy Currents 14, 250-252.
Whiting, P.F., Wolff, R.F., Deshpande, S., Di Nisio, M., Duffy, S., Hernandez, A.V., et al. (2015). Cannabinoids for Medical Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.
JAMA 313(24), 2456-2473.
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