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Cannabis Products: What It Is, Components, Effects And Medicinal Use

Marijuana is the popular name of the plant of the genus cannabis products, which has three species: sativa, indica and ruderalis, in addition to an uncountable number of varieties ( strains ) obtained by crossing species and varieties, leading some authors to classify it only as Cannabis sativa. In addition to the social use of the psychoactive drug, which is illegal in Brazil, marijuana has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes to treat various conditions. "Unlike tobacco and cocaine , which were also considered treatments and later proved to be more harmful than useful, it has been observed that some components of marijuana do have therapeutic utility," comments Ivan Mario Braun, a psychiatrist specializing in drug abuse and author of the book Drogas - Questions and Answers (Editora Mg). "The cannabis products plant contains several components (cannabinoids) studied regarding their therapeutic effects, the main ones being delta-9-THC (or THC) and cannabidiol (CBD)", says Antonio Waldo Zuardi, professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Behavioral Sciences and coordinator of the Cannabinoid Research Center at Ribeirão Preto Medical School (FMRP). There are also other substances related to the plant that are part of these studies, such as nabilone and dronabinol (synthetics), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabigerol (CBG), in addition to terpenes (mycrene, limonene, karyophylene, among others). How marijuana works in the body The action of cannabinoids in the body is made possible by the existence of natural receptors for these substances, which are molecules located in cell membranes, to which cannabinoids are attached. "In this way, the components of Cannabis can act in these areas, according to their affinity, like a key in a lock", exemplifies Karina Diniz, professor at the Department of Medical Psychology and Psychiatry at the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Unicamp. The two main types of receivers are CB-1 and CB-2. "CB-1 receptors are found at the central and peripheral terminals of neurons and, when activated, inhibit the release of a series of neurotransmitters (chemicals that make communication between neurons)", explains Ivan Mario Braun. CB-2 receptors are predominantly located in immunity cells (which defend the body against disease) and, when activated, modulate the release of cytokines, substances that communicate with each other the immunity cells. When there are effects other than those sought by medication, side effects are mentioned. They can occur because the substance used for motor symptoms does not necessarily act only in motor areas. The intensity of the side cannabis products effects varies according to the individual, as well as any other remedy.