Cannabis Glossary

1. Medical Cannabis

What Is Medical Cannabis?

Medical cannabis, as the name suggests, refers to the cannabis herb and its derived medications prescribed by a medical practitioner for alleviating health conditions. The therapeutic properties of this herb make it effective in easing numerous chronic and even terminal illnesses and their symptoms. 

Non-medical cannabis, on the other hand, is the one used for recreational purposes due to its tendency to give people a ‘high’. A rising number of countries are legalizing the use of medicinal cannabis, such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, etc. In India, the central government recently legalized the scientific and medical usage of this herb.


Doctors and patients, as well, increasingly prefer consuming medical cannabis over conventional medications today. This is due to the plant’s high safety profile and natural approach to managing health issues without showing any severe side effects.

Medical cannabis medicines are prominently used to ease all kinds of acute and chronic pain and alleviate conditions like:

It is further used to-

  • increase appetite and reduce weight loss among HIV/AIDS patients
  • improve sleep among patients suffering from sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and other chronic diseases
  • control vomiting/nausea among people undergoing chemotherapy 
  • fight side effects of conventional drugs
  • enhance the overall function and quality of life among patients suffering from severe/chronic ailments



Medical cannabis today is available in many forms, with the most common ones being capsules/tablets like Trailokya Vijaya Vati, oils, tinctures, and edibles. It is important to consult the best Ayurvedic health experts and get a proper prescription before consuming such medications, as their composition and dosage vary individually.


2. Marijuana

Decoding The Term

Marijuana is a mixture of the dried flowers, stems, leaves, and seeds from the cannabis sativa plant. It is rich in THC (more than 0.3% concentration), which causes people to feel a strong ‘high’ due to its hallucinogenic properties. Thus, it is mainly used for recreational purposes. 

Consumption Forms

Marijuana goes by various names, such as weed, pot, grass, Mary Jane, Hash, Ganja, dope, etc. People smoke this herb in hand-rolled cigarettes (joints), pipes, water pipes, and blunts. But it can also be infused into foods (edibles) like cookies, candies, brownies, etc., and even used for brewing tea. 

Some also use vaporizers, wax pens, or dab pens to inhale the oil and/or other extracts from the plant as they deliver a high concentration of THC. 

How Does It Affect The System?

Regardless of how it is used, marijuana consumption poses several health risks due to its surplus THC levels. It may also be contaminated with additives and other harmful substances. As a result, it can-

  • Affect one’s brain function
  • Increase blood pressure and potentially lead to heart/vascular diseases
  • It causes anxiety, depression, and similar mental health issues
  • Suppress immune response

It further poses a high risk of physical dependency due to the effect of excess THC on the brain. Because of these reasons, the recreational use of Marijuana is legally prohibited in India and most parts of the world. The Indian legislation only allows the herb’s usage for medical and research purposes.

3. Hemp

Understanding Hemp

While both hemp and marijuana belong to the same species of the cannabis plant, the key difference between them is their chemical composition. Hemp is the cannabis variant that contains 0.3% or less THC, as opposed to marijuana. It is rich in CBD and other cannabinoids found in the herb. The THC levels in hemp are so low that it has almost no psychoactive effects on one’s system.

A Versatile And Reliable Herb

Hemp is used to create other kinds of products, including clothing, bioplastics (recyclable and biodegradable), animal feed, and food products (hemp seed, hemp milk, hemp oil, etc.). This plant grows quicker than trees and other crops, thus making it a more sustainable raw material, especially for crafting paper and textile-based products. 

The strength and durability of its fiber make it ideal for crafting cordage (twine, rope, cable, yarn, string), artificial sponges, and coarse fabrics like sacking and canvas. Hemp seed oil can be used to make soaps, paints, varnishes, etc.

Medical Benefits

In addition, hemp seeds are incredibly nutritious and rich in protein, soluble and insoluble fibers, vitamin E, minerals (phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc), and fatty acids. They come with numerous health benefits. Studies have shown that the high concentration of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in hemp greatly benefits one’s overall cardiovascular health and function and reduces the risk of heart disease. 

The herb is further reported to be effective in preventing and treating hypertension and balancing cholesterol levels. Doctors say that hemp can benefit women’s health in various ways, from relieving PMS symptoms and restoring hormonal balance to easing all kinds of menstrual and gynecological pains.

4. Cannabinoids 

What Are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are the organic compounds found in the cannabis plant. They are responsible for the therapeutic effects exhibited by this revered herb. The plant has nearly 400 different chemical compounds, among which over 80 to 100 are cannabinoids. They are separated into subclasses, including:

  • Cannabigerols (CBG)
  • Cannabichromenes (CBC)
  • Cannabidiols (CBD)
  • Cannabinodiol (CBDL)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC)
  • Cannabivarin (CBV)
  • Tetrahydrocannabivrain (THCV)

Among all the cannabinoids, THC (Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) are the most well-known and esteemed for their medicinal characteristics.

How Do They Influence The Body? 

The discovery of these organic secretions, along with further research on their pharmacological properties, led to the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in the human body.

The cannabinoids function by interacting with specific receptors of the ECS distributed throughout different parts of the brain, central nervous system, and other organs of the body. This allows the compounds to produce their therapeutic effects. They can further regulate how the cells send, receive, and process neural messages in the system. 

Types Of Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids can be natural and synthetic. The ones that naturally occur within the cannabis plant are also called phytocannabinoids and are often preferred for medicinal purposes. Sometimes, lab-made synthetic cannabinoids are used as an alternative to the natural ones. 

They are mostly used for recreational purposes, are often illegal, and can have serious toxic effects on the system, like hallucinations, agitation, confusion, heart problems, etc.

This is because they have exponentially higher psychoactive potency than the naturally extracted secretions. Hence, it is important to get the right consultation from Ayurvedic health experts before consuming any cannabinoid medication.

5. THC

Breaking The Enigma

THC, or Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, is the most prevalent and active compound in the cannabis plant. It is the main psychoactive ingredient in the herb, i.e., it can affect the brain’s functions, including mood, awareness, feelings, thoughts, and/or behavior. 

Action Mechanism

THC stimulates the regions of the brain that respond to pleasure and releases the body’s feel-good hormone dopamine. This causes people to feel a relaxed, euphoric “high” when they consume cannabis in any form. Recreational cannabis, or marijuana, has high potency and concentrations of THC. 

In cannabis-derived medications and Ayurvedic concoctions such as Trailokya Vijaya Vati, Sarpagandha Vati, etc., the levels of THC and CBD are balanced. They work together on the human system to relieve a wide variety of physical and mental health symptoms. Recently, there has been a significant interest in its medical applications.

Therapeutic Role

THC is mainly used to manage chronic pain conditions and treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. It further helps with stimulating appetite, in cases of severe conditions like AIDS-related anorexia. Research shows that THC, in lower doses, can decrease anxiety. Another study conducted by the University of Michigan reported that consuming THC led to a 64% reduction in opioid consumption, decreased number and side effects of conventional prescription medications, and improvements in life quality up to 45%.

Other conditions that THC can help with include-

  • Muscle stiffness
  • Spasms
  • Nerve pain
  • PTSD
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Agitation in Alzheimer’s disease

THC’s efficacy in easing chronic pain, regulating appetite, and reducing emesis (nausea/vomiting), along with its safety and tolerability, make it a preferable choice over the harmful and addictive traditionally prescribed drugs.

6. CBD

What Is CBD And How Is It Different From THC?

CBD, or Cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent and active compound in cannabis and an essential component of all cannabis-derived medications. It is derived from the hemp plant or manufactured in a laboratory. Unlike THC, it does not cause a ‘high’, and exhibits no potential for abuse and physical dependency. 

This is because both cannabinoids have different modes of action, and they attach to the brain’s cannabinoid receptors in distinct ways. 

CBD’s Medical Significance

Numerous clinical studies worldwide have found various health benefits in CBD. It has especially been found to be effective for epilepsy syndromes like Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS). A recent study reported that CBD is safe and efficacious for reducing seizures in treatment-resistant epilepsy. 

Research indicates that CBD can also help with alleviating conditions like inflammation, anxiety, migraines, insomnia, chronic pain, autoimmune diseases, sleep issues, depression, etc. 

Medical experts today tout it as a safer and more efficacious alternative to traditional prescription drugs for the respective conditions due to its non-intoxicating nature, high tolerability, and absence of dangerous aftereffects. So much so that, as per a 2023 Forbes Health Survey, over 64% of the respondents think that CBD is safer to consume than alcohol! 

The results of a 2023 study conducted in Australia showed that CBD showed great therapeutic benefits at low doses. It showed no adverse effects on the system, even upon increasing the dosage. Besides alleviating problems like anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, neurological disorders, etc., CBD also helped reduce addiction among drug-dependent patients.

7. Endocannabinoids

What Are Endocannabinoids?

Over the last two decades, medical cannabis has attracted worldwide attention for its medical advantages and comprehensive and natural approach to easing an ailment. While more patients are starting to be aware of the vast therapeutic benefits of this herb, few know that the human body itself naturally produces chemicals that are similar to the THC and CBD found in medical cannabis.

These substances are endocannabinoids, and they play a huge role in regulating human health. An imbalance in their production can cause major clinical disorders, including gastrointestinal, inflammatory, and cardiovascular diseases. 

How Are Endocannabinoids Produced?

Various tissues in the body, like the fatty tissue, muscles, brain, and immune cells, produce small amounts of endocannabinoids to ease the imbalance in the human system. The body further produces certain enzymes to break those endocannabinoids down once they have fulfilled their role.

Sometimes, activities like intense exercising can release mood-elevating endocannabinoids, causing a relaxed, euphoric feeling called a runner’s high

The Function of Endocannabinoids

Endocannabinoids influence the nerve signaling in the brain, which gives them control over critical physical and psychological functions, such as cognitive processes, sleep, mood, body temperature, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular operations, neuronal development, etc.

Research shows that certain immune cells in the body produce endocannabinoids that regulate pain, inflammation, and other immune functions by activating the cannabinoid receptors in the system. They can also alleviate the severe symptoms of certain autoimmune diseases like arthritis, multiple sclerosis, etc.

As per another recent study, endocannabinoids regulate the effects of exercising on the body. Exercising enhances the production and function of endocannabinoids like anandamide (bliss molecule) and 2-AG. They activate the receptors in the brain to ease mental disorders and their symptoms. Thus, because of endocannabinoids, physical activity promotes health benefits among patients with mental illnesses.

8. Endocannabinoid System

What Is the Endocannabinoid System?

The ECS, or the Endocannabinoid system, is a network of chemical messengers (endocannabinoids) and their receptors spread throughout the brain and the body. It is the largest receptor system and the master controller of homeostasis in the body. Exploration of the ECS has opened numerous opportunities for the treatment of various illnesses. 

Modern medical experts are discovering new ways of leveraging the ECS mechanisms to derive relevant cannabis-based medications and holistically enhance one’s well-being. 

The Discovery

In 1992, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, researchers Dr. Lumir Hanus and Dr. William DeVane discovered anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), two major and most-studied endocannabinoids in the human system.         

In trying to decode their pathways and action mechanisms, the team of researchers discovered a new molecular signaling system in the body. This was found to regulate several crucial biological functions and was named the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

What Does the ECS Do?

While the ECS performs many tasks, its primary aim is to maintain a stable environment within the body (homeostasis) despite external imbalances like diseases, viral/bacterial invasions, etc. Whenever there is an imbalance detected within the body, it produces endocannabinoids to bind with the cannabinoid receptors.

This interaction leads to a chemical response that helps stabilize all the physiological and psychological processes. As a result, the ECS regulates and controls many of the most critical bodily functions, including:

  • Pain and inflammation
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Sleep
  • Hunger
  • Behavior/mood
  • Energy balance
  • Gut function
  • Nervous system development
  • Emotional processing
  • Body temperature
  • Immune response
  • Metabolic functions
  • Blood sugar
  • Hormonal functions
  • Fertility

The Link Between Medical Cannabis And ECS

Often, due to an underlying issue or medical condition, the body cannot produce enough endocannabinoids, leading to Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CES). Certain medications/foods can weaken ECS signaling as well.

This is where cannabis cannabinoids come into play to compensate for this decreased endocannabinoid production. They stimulate and support the ECS to provide relief from a multitude of ailments and health conditions.

9. Cannabinoid Receptors

Explaining Cannabinoid Receptors

Receptors are specialized structures in the body, composed of protein. They receive stimuli/signals from the system. Receptors are usually either located inside the cells or on their surface. 

Cannabinoid receptors are receptors for both the endocannabinoids produced in the body and the cannabinoids THC and CBD found in the cannabis plant. They are spread throughout the central nervous system and immune cells. It is the interaction with these receptors that allows medical cannabis to showcase its therapeutic properties.


Cannabinoid receptors are connected to G-proteins or guanine nucleotide-binding proteins. These proteins transmit signals from various hormones and nerve messengers outside the cells to their interior. As a result, cannabinoid receptors play a crucial role in some of the major systemic processes, including-

  • Cell Function
  • Metabolism
  • Pain
  • Mental functions
  • Bone growth
  • Embryonic development
  • Immune response
  • Homeostasis

Types Of Cannabinoid Receptors

There are two prominent types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. 

The CB1 receptors are primarily concentrated in the brain and spinal cord cells. They are also found in some peripheral organs and tissues like white blood cells, endocrine glands, spleen, and parts of the gastrointestinal, urinary, and reproductive tracts. 

Since CB1 receptors are abundant in the brain, they mainly influence functions like memory processing, motor control, and pain regulation. This is also why activated CB1 receptors produce a mild euphoric/relaxed feeling (high). 

CB2 receptors are prominently found on the white blood cells and immune cells in the spleen and the tonsils. In the immune system, these receptors mainly control the production of cytokine proteins. These proteins control inflammation in the body. They also help alleviate and prevent the side effects of cancer treatment drugs and chemotherapy. 

This is why CB2 receptors are increasingly popular research subjects for their potential anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. 

10.  Homeostasis

What Is Homeostasis?

Homeostasis is a built-in biological mechanism to keep the body stable, functional, and alive. Every time an external stimulus affects the body, it kick-starts homeostatic processes to ensure that its processes remain balanced and operate at optimal levels, such as:

  • Blood sugar
  • Blood pressure
  • Body temperature
  • Hydration
  • Acid levels
  • Hormones
  • Immune response
  • Mineral and nutrient composition
  • Oxygen levels

The Science Behind Homeostasis

The body can be exposed to many kinds of external stimuli, such as: 

  • Hunger
  • Illness
  • Viral or bacterial infection
  • Physical exertion
  • Physical/mental trauma
  • Temperature changes (heat or catching a cold)
  • Toxins
  • Unhealthy foods

To keep all the cells and organs functioning well enough for the body’s survival, various bodily systems communicate through hormonal exchange and electrical signaling. It primarily involves the following three mechanisms:

  • The receptor cells are responsible for notifying the control center when they spot any imbalance.
  • The control center (brain) sends signals and tells the effectors what to do to correct any factor that strays from the normal balanced state.
  • The effector cells, tissues, and organs cause the body to react in the specified manner to restore balance. For example, when the body gets too hot, sweating is the effector that lowers the body temperature.

The Role Of ECS

Studies show that the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) plays a crucial role in regulating homeostasis in the body. Its endocannabinoids interact with all the major bodily systems to help increase their intake, promote storage, and reduce their expenditure of energy. 

In addition, the THC and CBD in cannabis activate the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors and work together with the ECS to influence various hormonal and metabolic changes. This is how they help prevent and ease certain ailments and allow the body to heal from any damage it has sustained.

11. Bhang (Bhanga)

What Is Bhang (Bhanga)?

Bhang/Bhanga is an edible paste made by drying, grinding, and soaking the flowers, leaves, and buds of the female cannabis sativa plant. As part of Indian culture, it has been added to foods and drinks for centuries and is a feature of various Hindu rituals, festivals, and religious practices.

Common ways to consume bhang include infusing it with curd and whey to make a beverage and with sugar and ghee (clarified butter) to make sweets.

How Does It Work?

Bhang plays a vital role in Ayurvedic medicine and is recommended by physicians and health experts as a remedy to ailments like-

  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle spasms
  • Dysentery
  • Physical discomfort
  • Fever
  • Digestion issues
  • Sunstrokes
  • Seizures

This is because it affects the working of the brain and the nervous system. Bhang is usually richer in THC, the main psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant, which is responsible for the ‘high’ that people experience on consuming foods and beverages infused with it. On the other hand, the CBD in bhang exhibits its health benefits to the system.


Responsible consumption of bhang under medical guidance can help improve appetite, relieve pain, treat chemical imbalances in the brain, and ease anxiety, stress, and depression. It can also improve sleep among people affected by conditions like sleep apnea, insomnia, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, etc.

The cannabinoids in bhang can help alleviate inflammatory disorders like fibromyalgia and arthritis, relieve skin problems, improve mood, and enhance digestive health.

Legal Status

The consumption of bhang is kept outside the legal purview of the National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS). However, its laws strictly monitor and control the production, cultivation, and usage of this cannabis-based formulation to encourage its responsible intake.

12. Cannabis Strain

What Is a Cannabis Strain?

The cannabis plant has three main species: indica, sativa, and ruderalis. A cannabis strain is a unique genetic variation of these species. Different strains have distinct physical appearances, aromas, and chemical makeups. They also produce varying medical potencies and effects. For instance, some of them may help reduce fatigue, while others might promote relaxation. 

Common strains are often crossbred to develop a new variety of the herb for specific uses. Some Sativa and Indica strains, when combined, produce a hybrid variant that offers a balance between cannabis’ relaxing and therapeutic effects. The cannabis plant has a range of medical benefits, and some of its strains are better for certain ailments than others.

Why Are Cannabis Strains Important?

Named strains of cannabis allow medical practitioners and patients alike to have some consistency in their treatment regime. Once they find the right strain for a person’s illness that suits them the best and delivers an optimal experience, they get a reference point for future medical attention.

For a long time, people have been consuming cannabis strains based on whether they belong to the indica or sativa species. Indica strains were popularly believed to have relaxing effects, while sativa strains were seen as energizing. However, medical experts have shown that such an assumption isn’t always true.

Each individual strain has a distinct chemical basis with varying cannabinoid and terpene concentrations, which give it a certain effect. In addition, the effects of the strains can vary from grower to grower and farm to farm. This is why naming the strains to categorize cannabis-based medicines becomes even more important.

13. Cannabis Indica

Indica- Meaning and Origins

Indica is a species of cannabis famous for its therapeutic and relaxing properties. It has higher CBD levels than THC. This is why it is sought after for offering pain relief and inducing sleep among patients suffering from chronic conditions. It further promotes appetite and alleviates nausea. 

Cannabis indica is native to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Turkey. It has adapted to the dry, harsh, and turbulent climate of the Hindu Kush mountains.

In the 1700s, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, a French naturalist, first made the distinction between the indica and sativa species of cannabis, when he was examining some plant specimens brought from India. 

In his research, he noted that cannabis indica plants were short and stocky and had chunky leaves that grew broad and wide. Thus, they were denser and bushier than the sativa plants.

Effects Of Indica Strains

Cannabis indica has the following effects on the body. Here are some of them, along with some examples of the best-suited strains for the same:

  • Calms the brain and the muscles and eases anxiety and stress. Best strains- Grandaddy Purple, Ice Cream Cake, OG Kush, Purple Punch 
  • Promotes appetite. Best strains- Blue Cheese, Slurricane.
  • Helps with insomnia by inducing sleep (sedating effect). Best strains are Northern Lights and Babba Kush.
  • Relieves nausea and vomiting (anti-emetic). Best strains- Biscotti, Nightshade, Gelato 41.
  • Pain-relieving- Relieves acute and chronic pains. Best strains- Do-Si-Dos, LA. Confidential
  • Enhances physical sensations.

14. Cannabis Sativa

What Does Sativa Mean?

Sativa is another classification of cannabis species. It is taller, thinner, and lighter in color than its counterparts and has blade-like long and narrow leaves. As a result, its foliage is sparser. This species is associated with an energizing and anxiety-reducing effect on the system, along with a mild high, because it typically has more THC than CBD.

Cannabis sativa, probably the most common form of cannabis used worldwide, is mainly grown in dry, hot climates with long sunny days. This includes regions like Africa, Southeast Asia, Central America, etc. 


A cannabis sativa plant is classified into different types as per its CBD and THC levels:

  • Type 1- if it contains more than 0.3% THC and less than o.5% CBD
  • Type 2- if it contains more than 0.3% THC and more than 0.5% CBD
  • Type 3- if it contains less than 0.3% THC and more than o.5% CBD

Type 1 and type 2 variants are classified as marijuana, while type 3 is considered hemp.


Nearly all hemp grown worldwide for industrial usage comes from cannabis sativa. Since this plant is of the tallest variety, it produces the longest fibers and, hence, has the widest range of industrial applications. This includes-

  • Fabrics and textiles
  • Yarns
  • Row or processed spun fibers
  • Carpeting
  • Furnishings
  • Construction and insulation materials
  • Auto parts and composites

Cannabis sativa is also known for its appetite-inducing properties, which cause a strong craving for food. This is incredibly beneficial for people undergoing chemotherapy, HIV/AIDS treatments, and other medical procedures that cause nausea and sudden loss of appetite.

15. Cannabinol (CBN)

Understanding Cannabinol 

Cannabinol (CBN) is another noted cannabinoid found in the cannabis sativa plant. Besides the well-known CBD and THC, CBN has increasingly been getting medical attention for its potential to alleviate certain health conditions.

In fresh cannabis plants, CBN is present in lower concentrations. As the plants age and are exposed to air, light, and/or heat, the THC in them degrades and gradually converts to CBN. Thus, aged and dry cannabis plants tend to have higher CBN levels in them.


Medical experts often cite CBN for its sedative effects, which can be beneficial for patients seeking relief from insomnia, anxiety, and similar other conditions. It further shows anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties.

  • Study shows that CBN can help manage symptoms of epidermolysis bullosa, a group of rare skin diseases causing blisters and itching. CBN exhibits anti-itching properties, shows no delay in healing wounds, and has a high tolerability and safety profile. 

Its anti-inflammatory characteristics can further speed up the healing of chronic wounds that have been prevented due to prolonged inflammation.

  • Another research acknowledges CBN’s therapeutic potential in the treatment of glaucoma. It protects the nervous system cells and structures (neuroprotection), normalizes the high fluid pressure (intraocular pressure) in the eye, and prevents any damage to the ECM proteins, an essential component of the eyes. 

CBN outperformed CBD and THC as it led to high levels of cell survival and prevented the cells in the eyes from dying due to high eye pressure.

  • CBN and CBD, when mixed, can also provide pain relief for chronic muscle pain disorders like fibromyalgia and temporomandibular disorders (pain in jaw muscles and nerves).

16.  Entourage Effect

 Understanding Terpenes

Besides the abundant cannabinoids like CBD, THC, CBN, etc., the cannabis plant contains high concentrations of terpenes. Terpenes are highly aromatic compounds that give the plants and herbs their characteristic smell. They also offer some health benefits for the human body.

Relationship With Cannabinoids

When cannabis-based medications like Trailokya Vijaya Vati are consumed, both the cannabinoids and the terpenes in the herb interact with each other and affect the endocannabinoid system in the body. Research calls this the entourage effect, where the terpenes help enhance the function of the cannabinoids and improve their effects on the system. 

This is why prescription cannabis medications are often more effective in alleviating an illness than isolated or purified individual cannabinoids. Terpenes can affect how the body utilizes THC and CBD and maximize their therapeutic potential.

What The Studies Say

Various clinical trials over the years have shown that taking cannabinoids and terpenes together provides additional medicinal benefits due to the entourage effect. A study in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that this combination is beneficial for easing conditions like pain, anxiety, inflammation, epilepsy, cancer, fungal infection, etc.

Terpenes can also help reduce the mild potential side effects of THC, such as sedation and ‘high’. They can also benefit brain health and cognition and promote neuroprotection and anti-inflammation. Hence, due to the entourage effect, terpenes can improve the therapeutic potential of the cannabinoids CBD and THC by working synergistically with them.

17. Infusion

What Does Infusion Mean?

In Cannabis culture, infusion refers to the adding of cannabis to a carrier substance like butter or oil, to create edibles, beverages, or even topicals. Drinks or food items that contain this herb are also known as infused cannabis. 

Infusion Process

  1. Before the infusion, the cannabinoids in cannabis are heated to a specific temperature to activate them. This process is known as decarboxylation. 
  2. The cannabinoids are then separated from the plant material surrounding them using a fat-based solvent, like an oil. This is known as infusion or extraction. 
  3. The end products are diluted cannabinoids in a large volume of carrier oil. This can be used in culinary and topical products.

Types Of Infusion

Infusion methods vary as per the kind of end-product one needs. Some of the most popular cannabis infusion methods are-

  • Water-based infusions
  • Oil infusion
  • Butter infusion
  • Glycerine tinctures
  • Pre-roll infusion

Why Infused Cannabis?

Today, cannabis is being developed as a key ingredient in a wide range of food items, including confectionary, bakery, dairy, beverages, etc., due to its nutritional value. Its seeds are rich in readily digestible proteins, insoluble fiber, lipids, carbohydrates, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Most people opt for infused cannabis because it offers them a variety of consumption methods, be it eating, drinking, applying as a topical, or consuming as a tablet/capsule. Moreover, they are non-smoker friendly as well. Thus, people can benefit from the nutritional and medicinal properties of cannabis without the risks associated with smoking.

For some people, the added possibility of having the choice between different flavors and strains is a bonus. Here, terpenes are largely responsible for these flavors. Infused products are usually more diluted than direct extracts or concentrates of cannabis. Hence, their effects on the system aren’t as strong.

18. Full-Spectrum Extracts

What Are Full-Spectrum Extracts?

To create cannabis-derived products, the plant’s compounds need to be extracted. Cannabis extraction can happen in multiple ways, such as steam distillation, solvent extraction, lipid extraction, and carbon dioxide extraction. Isolated cannabinoids, however, go through extra processing afterward as they are more refined.

Full-spectrum extracts contain all the naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant, such as THC, CBD, other cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, essential oils, etc. In such extracts, the THC levels are nearly 0.3%. 

For such extracts, a solventless extraction method is used. The plant compounds are preserved under specific heat and pressure conditions while eliminating the risk of unwanted residual compounds in the final batch.

Benefits Of Full-Spectrum Extracts

Since these extracts contain all the cannabis compounds, they are more beneficial and effective than broad-spectrum ones and isolated pure cannabinoids. A study suggests that the health benefits of cannabinoids like CBD are more prominent and effective when other compounds of the plant are present. This is due to the entourage effect.

Another study reaffirms this by showing that full-spectrum CBD is more effective for pain management than isolated CBD because of the combined effects of CBD, THC, and other organic compounds in the full-spectrum extracts.

These extracts can thus help relieve a variety of conditions, such as

  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms
  • Anxiety and depression         
  • Stress
  • Chronic pain
  • Insomnia
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Inflammation

This is possible because of the compounds’ interaction with the body’s ECS and its cannabinoid receptors spread across the nervous system and organs of the body. Consequently, full-spectrum cannabis can improve brain and heart health as well, while reducing the risk of certain types of cancer and neurological disorders.

19. Broad-Spectrum Extracts

What Are Broad-Spectrum Extracts?

Broad-spectrum extracts are similar to full-spectrum ones. The only exception is they are almost THC-free. Hence, people consuming them would not have to experience the psychoactive effects of THC, like the ‘high’. Medical experts prescribe it to their patients who want to avoid THC but still leverage the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

Among all the components of broad-spectrum extracts, CBD and CBN play a vital role in producing therapeutic effects. Both, when working together, can-

  • Help ease chronic pain
  • Show anti-inflammatory properties
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Improve sleep
  • Reduce seizures in people with epilepsy

In addition, because of the other compounds like terpenes, the herb’s effects on the system will be enhanced. 

How Are They Extracted?

The chemical composition of the extracts can change from one manufacturer to another, and the extraction methods used. Some common extraction methods are-

  • Solvent extraction, where liquid solvents remove extracts from the cannabis plant
  • Pressurized liquid extraction (advanced extraction) uses solvents at carefully regulated temperature and pressure conditions to maintain the solvent’s liquid state.
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction, where CO2 is the main solvent for extraction
  • Solventless extraction, which uses ice, heat, and pressure to maximize the preservation of the helpful compounds and minimize the presence of unnecessary residual compounds in the end product

How To Leverage Them?

It is best to consult a qualified healthcare professional before trying any cannabis-based medications. Even if the broad-spectrum extracts do not contain THC, their unregulated consumption can be harmful. The dosage of cannabis extracts varies from person to person and as per the health condition in question.

20. Dosha and Tridosha

Understanding Dosha And Tridosha

In Ayurveda, dosha refers to the three fundamental energies or principles that govern the functioning of the human body and mind. The doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—are derived from the five elements (ether, air, fire, water, and earth) and are responsible for various physiological and psychological processes. Together, they are referred to as Tridosha.

Why Are The Doshas Important?

According to Ayurveda, each person has a unique constitution, or Prakriti, determined by the dominant dosha or doshas present at birth. They play a crucial role in the diagnosis, treatment, and maintenance of health. Imbalances in the doshas can occur due to various factors such as diet, lifestyle, stress, and environmental changes.

Understanding Tridosha helps with-

  • Personalized Medicine
  • Diagnosis of Imbalance
  • Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations
  • Understanding Disease Mechanisms
  • Holistic Health Approach
  • Preventive Healthcare

By addressing the root cause of illness and promoting holistic well-being, Ayurveda seeks to restore harmony and promote health at all levels of the individual.

Role Of Medical Cannabis In Managing Tridoshas

The therapeutic properties of Vijaya, or medical cannabis, can help balance the three doshas and aid the management of several illnesses.

  1. Vata: Cannabis is often used to pacify Vata-related conditions such as pain, anxiety, and insomnia. Its calming and relaxing properties can help balance the erratic and volatile nature of this dosha. 
  2. Pitta: When used in moderation and in the right form, such as the Trailokya Vijaya Vati, it may help alleviate Pitta-related conditions like inflammation and stress.
  3. Kapha: Cannabis’s stimulating properties can help balance Kapha’s heavy and sluggish nature, improving mood, behavior, and motivation. 

The use of cannabis should be guided by an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner who can assess the dosha balance and health condition of an individual to determine the appropriateness and dosage of cannabis-based treatments.

21. Vata

What Is Vata Dosha?

 Vata dosha, one of the three primary doshas in Ayurveda, is associated with the elements of air and ether in the body. It governs all movements in the human system, including the flow of breath, blood, food, and thoughts. Vata is considered the most powerful dosha because it controls the body’s basic functions, such as cell division, heart function, and breathing.

How Does It Affect The Body?

When Vata is in balance, it promotes creativity, flexibility, and vitality. Individuals with a balanced Vata dosha tend to be lively, enthusiastic, and imaginative. They adapt well to change, have quick and agile minds, and enjoy new experiences.

However, an excess of Vata can lead to imbalances and health issues. When Vata is aggravated, it can manifest as anxiety, fear, insomnia, dry skin, constipation, and irregular digestion. Vata imbalance can also affect mental health, causing scattered thoughts, forgetfulness, and difficulty focusing.

How Can Vijaya Help Balance Vata Dosha?

Vijaya can balance Vata dosha through its calming, grounding, and sedative effects. Vata imbalance is characterized by qualities such as dryness, coldness, and irregularity, which can lead to anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. This herb, when used appropriately and in moderation, can help alleviate these symptoms by promoting relaxation, reducing anxiety, and improving sleep.

Its ability to relax the nervous system and calm the mind can counterbalance Vata’s tendency towards overactivity and scattered thoughts. Additionally, Vijaya’s warming properties can help counteract Vata’s cold and dry nature, thus, adding stability to the system.

22. Pitta

What Is Pitta Dosha?

Pitta dosha is associated with the elements of fire and water. It governs metabolism, digestion, and transformation in the body and mind. Pitta is considered the dosha of transformation and is responsible for processes such as digestion, metabolism, and the maintenance of body temperature.

A balanced Pitta aids qualities such as intelligence, courage, and leadership. Individuals with a balanced Pitta dosha tend to have a strong digestion, a goal-oriented mindset, and a sharp intellect.

But when Pitta is aggravated, it can manifest as anger, irritability, inflammation, heartburn, and skin rashes. Pitta imbalance can also affect the mind, causing competitiveness, perfectionism, and criticism.

How To Balance Pitta?

To balance Pitta dosha, Ayurveda recommends lifestyle and dietary changes that help cool and soothe the body and mind. This includes eating cool, non-spicy foods, staying hydrated, and engaging in calming practices such as meditation and yoga.

Vijaya can assist in balancing Pitta dosha by leveraging its cooling, soothing, and anti-inflammatory properties. Pitta imbalance often manifests as heat, acidity, and inflammation, leading to irritability, anger, and inflammatory conditions.

When used judiciously and in moderation, Vijaya can alleviate these symptoms by reducing inflammation, calming the digestive system, and soothing the mind. Its anti-inflammatory effects can help cool the body and alleviate heat-related issues like heartburn and skin irritations. Furthermore, its calming properties can help mitigate irritability and anger linked with Pitta imbalance.

It is essential, however, to use Vijaya with care, as excessive or improper use can cause potentially harmful symptoms such as irritability and inflammation. Ayurvedic practitioners can best offer guidance on the suitable use of Vijaya and other herbs to restore balance to Pitta dosha

23. Kapha

Understanding Kapha Dosha

 Kapha dosha is linked to the earth and water elements. It regulates bodily structure, stability, and lubrication. Kapha is regarded as the dosha responsible for strength and nourishment, maintaining immunity, energy, and overall stability.

A balanced Kapha is associated with qualities like compassion, patience, and steadiness. Those with balanced Kapha tend to have robust immunity, good stamina, and a calm nature, often nurturing and grounded.

When aggravated, Kapha can lead to imbalances and health problems such as sluggishness, sudden weight gain, and congestion. Mental health can also be affected, resulting in lethargy, depression, anxiety, stress, and resistance to change.

Balancing Kapha With Vijaya

Vijaya can help balance Kapha dosha by making the body feel more active and less heavy. Kapha imbalance can make you feel sluggish and too full of mucus, leading to congestion and weight gain.

Using Vijaya-based medications like Trailokya Vijaya Vati can help with these ailments by

  • Stimulating the digestive fire
  • Speeding up the metabolism
  • Reducing mucus with its drying effect
  • Regulating nerve messengers in the brain to ease mental health issues
  • Reducing inflammation associated with Kapha imbalance

It achieves this by interacting with the ECS’ cannabinoid receptors spread throughout the body. By binding with those receptors, Vijaya gains control over the body’s metabolic processes, immune response, neurotransmission, inflammation, mood, and emotional response.

This allows the herb to effectively balance the Kapha dosha and make the body feel lighter and more energetic.

24. Pathya/Apathya

Pathya and apathya are concepts from the ancient science of Ayurveda. They refer to the diet and lifestyle choices that are considered beneficial (pathya) or harmful (apathya) for one’s overall health and well-being.

Defining Pathya

Pathya includes foods, behaviors, and practices that are recommended for maintaining health and treating various conditions according to Ayurveda. These may include eating freshly prepared meals, consuming seasonal fruits and vegetables, following a regular daily routine (dinacharya), and practicing yoga and meditation.

Pathya also emphasizes moderation in eating, avoiding incompatible food combinations, and paying attention to one’s digestion and bodily signals.

Defining Apathya

On the other hand, Apathya refers to foods and activities that are considered detrimental to health. This may include consuming heavy, processed, or stale foods, eating at irregular times, suppressing natural urges (such as urine, stool, or sneezing), and engaging in excessive physical or mental exertion.

How Are They Different?

The concept of Pathya and Apathya is based on the principles of Ayurveda, which views health as a balance between the body, mind, and spirit. Following Pathya is believed to maintain this balance and promote health, while indulging in Apathya is thought to disrupt the balance and lead to various health problems.

In Ayurveda, the effects of foods and activities are not just based on their nutritional content or physical properties but also on their impact on the body’s doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) and overall constitution (Prakriti). Therefore, what may be considered Pathya for one person may not be suitable for another, depending on their unique constitution and current state of health.

25. Prana

Decoding Prana

In Ayurveda, “prana” is a fundamental concept that refers to the vital life force or energy that permeates everything in the universe. It is believed to be the subtle essence of the five elements (earth, water, fire, air, and ether). It is responsible for all biological, physiological, and psychological functions in the body.

Forms Of Prana

Prana is not just the breath, although it is closely associated with respiration. It is the energy that flows through the nadis (energy channels) and is responsible for maintaining the balance and harmony of the body, mind, and spirit. According to Ayurveda, there are five types of prana:

  1. Prana Vayu: Located in the head and responsible for sensory perception and reception.
  2. Apana Vayu: Located in the pelvic region and responsible for elimination and reproductive functions.
  3. Samana Vayu: Located in the abdomen and responsible for digestion and assimilation of food.
  4. Udana Vayu: Located in the chest and responsible for speech, growth, and upward movement of energy.
  5. Vyana Vayu: Spread throughout the body and responsible for circulation, movement, and coordination.

When prana is in a state of balance, it promotes health, vitality, and well-being. Imbalances in prana can lead to various health problems such as weakened senses, stress, depression, anxiety, mood and behavior issues, insecurity, unhealthy lifestyle choices, etc. 

Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of practices such as pranayama (breathing exercises), yoga, meditation, and proper diet to maintain the balance of prana. By understanding and working with the concept of prana, individuals can optimize their health and vitality, leading to a more balanced and harmonious life according to Ayurvedic principles.


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