Ever since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, the market has been inundated with hundreds of products that come in all sorts of enticing forms. Sweet and chewy gummies, silky tinctures and oil, smooth vape cartridges, the list goes on and on. But just because it glitters doesn’t mean that it’s gold. Is there really a point to all these psychoactive cannabinoids, or are they just for prior potheads who are looking for a legal way to get high? There are plenty of reasons why psychoactive cannabinoids might be right for you, but ultimately, only you can make that decision. To kick things off, I’ll be going over why psychoactive cannabinoids even exist to begin with, where they come from, and what some of their potential benefits are.
What Are Cannabinoids?
An educated guess might lead you to believe that cannabinoids come from cannabis, and you’d be right! Cannabinoids are the specific term for compounds found within the cannabis plant. Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, cannabis is not the same thing as marijuana. Rather, it’s a shortened term for the plant’s scientific name: cannabis genus. Cannabis is the mother plant for both marijuana and hemp. The difference lies in the total THC content. Many years ago, someone decided that the official amount of 0.3% THC would be the determining factor for what would be called “weed” and what would be called “hemp.” Experts will admit that there is no reasoning behind this number but it’s been the official rating for quite some time. If a plant contains more than 0.3% THC, the plant and all derived cannabinoids would be called marijuana. Any plant and cannabinoid with 0.3% THC or less would be deemed “hemp.”
How Many Cannabinoids Are There?
There are over 100 known cannabinoids to date, and more are being discovered every day. Cannabinoids are divided into two groups: psychoactive and non-psychoactive. The most common non-psychoactive is CBD, which is the most common cannabinoid found in the hemp plant. CBD can be found in full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate forms. Other non-psychoactive cannabinoids include CBN, CBG, CBNA, CBGA, and others. These non-psychoactive cannabinoids will not get the user high and offer a wealth of benefits for a variety of issues such as uneasiness, mood swings, stress, sleep disorders and more. There are even studies conducted that prove how CBD is useful in epilepsy! The scientific world continues to share its research on just how much non-psychoactive cannabinoids have to offer.
Psychoactive cannabinoids, however, are what’s all the rage these days. A safe and legal way to get high means that instead of reaching for a joint or homemade edible, now you can enjoy a variety of professional products with lab results and customer reviews to back them. Delta-8 THC was one of the first legal psychoactive cannabinoids to enter the market. While it does occur naturally in the hemp plant, it is in very small quantities and requires chemical extraction in order to make it viable. As Delta-8 THC’s popularity grew, so did its problems.
Are Cannabinoids Legal?
The emergence of Delta-8 THC sparked a fierce legal debate that swept through the country. Many lawmakers argued that since Delta-8 THC requires some chemical processing in order to make it viable, then it must be labeled as a controlled substance and subsequently banned. Other lawmakers accepted the 2018 Farm Bill and adopted it into their current legislation. Before attempting to purchase Delta-8 THC, you should check your local state laws to steer clear of any legal trouble. Certain states have prohibited the online or in-store (or both) sale of Delta-8 THC and any other psychoactive cannabinoid and impose strict fines on any company that does not adhere to their laws.
While Delta-8 THC and other psychoactive cannabinoids may be legal on a federal level, different states will have their own restrictions. To comply with the 2018 Farm Bill, many companies subject their products to third-party independent labs for rigorous testing to ensure the total THC content does not surpass the 0.3% restriction. As long as a product contains a cannabinoid that was derived from federally legal hemp, these test results will often show that the THC levels remain at or below this number.
What Are Some Uses for Psychoactive Cannabinoids Other Than Recreational Use?
When most people talk about getting high, they rave about how it helps them relax and “just chill out.” Yet there’s so much more that a psychoactive high has to offer. Check out these five reasons why psychoactive cannabinoids deliver some highly enjoyable benefits.
Many sativa blends can actually encourage creativity. If you’re putting off doing a mundane task, having a sativa-infused product can help jumpstart your procrastination and make the task more fun. While it’s true that indica and hybrid blends can do this as well, the accompanying couch-lock may make you feel drowsy and warm and ready for sleep.
Getting the “munchies” are a common side effect that’s traditionally associated with marijuana, but many psychoactive cannabinoids can have this effect as well! You might find yourself craving something sweet or salty. What makes the munchies so enjoyable is that your taste buds will be overloaded with pleasure from the enhanced flavor of whatever it is you’re snacking on.
If you’re prone to uneasiness or worrying, psychoactive cannabinoids can help uplift your spirits and release you from your funk. Psychoactive cannabinoids can help boost your sense of humor, ease your stress, and help you relax after a long day.
Heightened Sense of Touch
One of the most pleasurable side effects of psychoactive cannabinoids is the body high. You might feel a warm tingling in your hands, face, feet, chest, legs, and arms. You may experience a heightened sense of touch, meaning that hugs, kisses, and other forms of affection that involve touching may feel wildly more enjoyable.
Risks of Psychoactive Cannabinoids
There are a few risks involving the consumption of psychoactive cannabinoids. Most of them are preventable but they’re worth mentioning for users who have never tried a psychoactive cannabinoid before. Many of these risks are preventable with just a bit of forethought and common sense.
If you’re subjected to drug tests for pre-employment or continued employment, psychoactive cannabinoids might be problematic. While it’s true that Delta-8 THC is legal on a federal level, consuming the cannabinoid might cause you to fail a drug test. This is because as THC is processed by your body’s natural endocannabinoid system, THC metabolites are formed. Most drug tests only test for the presence of THC metabolites, not where they came from. Depending on how often you intend to consume psychoactive cannabinoids, these THC metabolites can stay in your system for several weeks before being processed out completely. If you have an upcoming drug test, it’s best to lay off any psychoactive cannabinoid for at least 3 weeks.
Be careful not to take more than the manufacturer’s recommended dosage, as you might actually feel an increased sense of uneasiness as your mind is overwhelmed with more sensations than you can handle. Most manufacturers will list the recommended dosage on the product packaging or company website. A good rule of thumb for beginners is to start off with 5-15mg and see how your body reacts. Once you’re comfortable with that amount, you can increase your dosage to 15-30mg. Anything more than 30mg is considered a strong dose and is usually only advised for users with high THC tolerances.
Doctor Approval Is Strongly Encouraged
If you’re currently taking prescription medication or have underlying health issues, consuming a product that contains a psychoactive cannabinoid may be ill-advised. It’s always recommended that you consult your primary care physician before embarking on a psychoactive adventure. Some doctors may have more knowledge than others, so be sure to ask questions and be thorough in your responses about whatever product you’re considering taking.
You may be asking yourself “are psychoactive cannabinoids right for me?” After reading this article, you may be more inclined or opposed to embark on your journey into the world of psychoactive cannabinoids. There are many pros that come with psychoactive cannabinoid products: federally legal, lab tested, and customer reviewed. The benefits of psychoactive cannabinoids can be helpful for those struggling with mood swings, appetite issues, creativity funks, and more. The risks, while not many, are also worth noting: always consult a doctor before trying, make sure you aren’t subjected to random drug testing, and never consume more than the recommended amount unless you are prepared to experience a very intense high.
If you’re more of a “try before you buy” individual, we here at Two Hawk Hemp offer several sample sizes for our psychoactive gummies, tinctures, and capsules. There are several cannabinoid options to choose from, but don’t worry if you don’t recognize some or all of them. In the upcoming articles, I will be going into great detail about the different types of psychoactive cannabinoids we carry: Delta-8 THC, HHC, THC-O, and federally compliant Delta-9 THC. Be sure to check back soon for more information on all that hemp plant has to offer!