The legalization of cannabis has seen a strong uprise in the past 20 years all over the world. A recent poll of European citizens showed that 55% support legalization in Germany, France, the UK, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland, which is a contrast to a 2011 EU report that found that 59% of young people said cannabis should remain illegal. The media plays a crucial role in the shift in public perception, with framing of cannabis as a medicinal substance contributing to the pro-legalization viewpoint and a decrease in people seeing cannabis as harmful.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex network in the human body that plays a role in various physiological processes. THC and CBD are believed to be the main agents responsible for the effects of cannabis, but research has suggested that the combination of different cannabinoids in cannabis may produce effects that are different from the simple combination of each individual component, a phenomenon known as the “entourage effect.”
CBD and THC are the two most significant cannabinoids found in cannabis. Raphael Mechoulam discovered the structure of THC in 1964 and found it to be psychoactive. The discovery of THC led to the exploration of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is made up of chemical compounds that bind to cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) found in the nervous system. The ECS influences a wide variety of processes, including motor learning, appetite, and pain sensation. THC is thought to bind to CB1 receptors in the brain and regulate hunger by affecting the production of endocannabinoids.