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Cannabis, colloquially known as hemp, marijuana, grass or weed, contains over 80 different ingredients called cannabinoids. In addition, cannabis contains about 400 other active ingredients and components – including proteins, amino acids, essential oils (terpenes), sugars, alcohols, flavonoids, vitamins, hydrocarbons, aldehydes and fatty acids. The two best known ingredients of the hemp plant are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cbuy.ch explains in the following article what you need to know about cannabis.
Cannabinoids belong to life
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that occur in plant life forms as well as in animal and human beings. A distinction is made between so-called phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids. The phytocannabinoids were discovered at the beginning of the 20th century. Besides hemp plants, several hundred other plant species produce their own phytocannabinoids. They occur in the most diverse growth phases of a plant. Their concentration varies depending on the growth phase. Endocannabinoids are endogenous substances that occur in the so-called endocannabinoid system of animals and humans.
Your body is susceptible to cannabinoids
The endocannabinoid system was discovered and first explored in 1988. It extends from the central nervous system to the individual organs. So-called cannabinoid receptors are located at various points in the endocannabinoid system. Up to now, two cannabinoid receptors are known in the human body: The CB1-receptors, which are located in the brain and the central nervous system, and the CB2-receptors. These are distributed throughout the entire organism, but are mainly concentrated in the immune system. These receptors react to cannabinoids, which dock to the respective receptors and thus produce their individual effect. The endocannabinoid system is receptive to phytocannabinoids, as the endocannabinoids are very similar in their chemical structure to the phytocannabinoids.
Diverse use of cannabis
Probably the best known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the use of which is generally prohibited in Switzerland. In recent years, another cannabinoid has become increasingly well known in the scientific community and among the general population in large parts of the world – cannabidiol, abbreviated CBD. While tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is known for its psychoactive properties, cannabidiol (CBD) is said to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic, anti-emetic, anxiety-relieving, anti-depressive or antipsychotic and pain-relieving effects according to a fact sheet published by Addiction Switzerland. Many of these effects have not yet been proven in Switzerland. In addition, there is still a lack of sound scientific data on the correct dosage of CBD. CBD was discovered thanks to modern scientific research and the exploding research interest in the hemp plant.
Cannabidiol (CBD) in science
CBD is a cannabinoid that is not psychoactive. Consumers of CBD products describe its effect as calming and relieving suffering. It has been shown in several studies in North America to be effective in preventing or relieving inflammation, nausea, diabetes, alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, rheumatoid arthritis, epilepsy and coronary artery disease. It is also said to have antipsychotic effects. In North America, for example, CBD is also used as an effective painkiller for conditions such as insomnia, headaches, malaise, muscle cramps or nerve pain, and for relaxation.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in science
Cannabis with a THC content of over 1% is a prohibited narcotic in Switzerland. In contrast to CBD, THC has a psychoactive effect – it influences brain function via the central nervous system. This can lead to mood swings, behavioral changes, altered perception and a change or impairment of perception. The consumption of this substance, which is illegal in Switzerland, can have effects on physical sensations and appetite.
Cannabinoids in medicine
THC is also used in the medical treatment of pain, sleep disorders, depressive disorders, inflammation or loss of appetite. Especially in North America, both cannabinoids – cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – are used for medical purposes.
Cannabidiol (CBD) in Switzerland
Since 2016, in accordance with the Swiss Federal Law on Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances (BetmG), products containing CBD and containing less than one percent THC have been legalized for sale in Switzerland. Accordingly, the market is still very young. In the beginning, products were almost exclusively offered in the form of hemp flowers. In the meantime, however, the cannabis market in Switzerland has developed considerably and the range of available products has become many times more diverse. Today, potential consumers can choose from a wide selection of products ranging from hemp flowers and CBD oils to food and cosmetics with hemp plant ingredients.
Cannabinoids and their specific effects are currently the subject of various scientific studies. The two best known are Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In Switzerland, the sale of products containing CBD and containing less than 1% THC is permitted.