• John Swiden

Cannabis (Marijuana) and Cannabinoids: What You Need To Know

Updated: Jan 4

Is weed something very similar as cannabis?


Individuals frequently utilize the words "cannabis" and "pot" reciprocally, yet they don't mean the very same thing.



"Cannabis" alludes to all items got from the plant Cannabis sativa.


The cannabis plant contains around 540 compound substances.


"Marijuana" alludes to parts of or items from the plant Cannabis sativa that contain significant measures of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the substance that is principally answerable for the impacts of weed on an individual's psychological state. Some cannabis plants contain next to no THC. Under U.S. law, these plants are considered "mechanical hemp" instead of weed.


All through the remainder of this reality sheet, we utilize the expression "cannabis" to allude to the plant Cannabis sativa.


What are cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are a group of substances found in the cannabis plant.

What are the main cannabinoids? The main cannabinoids are THC and cannabidiol (CBD).


How many cannabinoids are there? Besides THC and CBD, more than 100 other cannabinoids have been identified.


Can CBD be harmful?


There’s evidence that CBD may be harmful to some people. Before the FDA approved Epidiolex (a purified CBD product) as a drug, studies were done to evaluate its effectiveness and safety. Some participants in these studies had side effects (mostly diarrhea or sleepiness), and some developed abnormalities on tests of liver function. In some instances, study participants had to discontinue Epidiolex because of liver problems. Epidiolex also interacted with some of the other drugs these people were taking. Problems like these can be managed in patients taking Epidiolex because they’re using CBD under medical supervision. People who use CBD on their own don’t have this kind of protection. They may not even know how much CBD they’re taking. A 2017 analysis of 84 CBD products sold online found that 26 percent contained substantially less CBD than the label indicated, and 43 percent contained substantially more.


Are cannabis and cannabinoids safe?


Several concerns have been raised about the safety of cannabis and cannabinoids:

  • The use of cannabis has been linked to an increased risk of motor vehicle crashes.

  • Smoking cannabis during pregnancy has been linked to lower birth weight.

  • Some people who use cannabis develop cannabis use disorder, which has symptoms such as craving, withdrawal, lack of control, and negative effects on personal and professional responsibilities.

  • Adolescents using cannabis are four to seven times more likely than adults to develop cannabis use disorder.

  • Cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of injury among older adults.

  • The use of cannabis, especially frequent use, has been linked to a higher risk of developing schizophrenia or other psychoses (severe mental illnesses) in people who are predisposed to these illnesses.

  • Marijuana may cause orthostatic hypotension (head rush or dizziness on standing up), possibly raising danger from fainting and falls.

  • The FDA has warned the public not to use vaping products that contain THC. Products of this type have been implicated in many of the reported cases of serious lung injuries linked to vaping.

  • There have been many reports of unintentional consumption of cannabis or its products by children, leading to illnesses severe enough to require emergency room treatment or admission to a hospital. Among a group of people who became ill after accidental exposure to candies containing THC, the children generally had more severe symptoms than the adults and needed to stay in the hospital longer.

  • Some long-term users of high doses of cannabis have developed a condition involving recurrent severe vomiting.

  • There have been reports of contamination of cannabis/cannabinoid products with microorganisms, pesticides, or other substances.

  • Some cannabis/cannabinoid products contain amounts of cannabinoids that differ substantially from what’s stated on their labels.

Has the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved cannabis or cannabinoids for medical use?


The FDA has not approved the cannabis plant for any medical use. However, the FDA has approved several drugs that contain individual cannabinoids.

  • Epidiolex, which contains a purified form of CBD derived from cannabis, was approved for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome, two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.

  • Marinol and Syndros, which contain dronabinol (synthetic THC), and Cesamet, which contains nabilone (a synthetic substance similar to THC), are approved by the FDA. Dronabinol and nabilone are used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. Dronabinol is also used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in people with HIV/AIDS.

For More Information Cannabis (Marijuana) and Cannabinoids: What You Need To Know | NCCIH (nih.gov)

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