What part of marijuana causes the high? And how did humans discover it?

Drugs have basically been a part of human society since forever. If people weren’t trying to get high, they were chugging down bottles of whiskey until they passed out. And with so many states and countries passing legislations to legalize the use of marijuana, its consumption will only be normalized even more. Fun fact, the legalization of marijuana actually lowered its consumption.

Most people believe that it is the leaves of marijuana that cause the high. The leaf isn’t what gets you high. It also doesn’t need to be dried. People dry it simply because it makes it last longer and not get moldy. It’s perfectly fine to smoke fresh weed. The part of the marijuana plant that contains the most THC and that people smoke is not the leaf, it’s the flower. This does not of course, mean that the leaves are useless. The leaves have some THC in them too, but the bud is the most sought-after part. That yellow stuff that people call keef, that’s pollen. It’s also very high in THC. 

THC basically seeks out the fatty tissue in your body. What this means is that it pretty much latches on to almost every major organ. It can remain in your bloodstream for hours at a time, lasting up to almost a full day, and can even be detected in your urine. Why marijuana makes us feel high is a different story.

When the THC (among some other substances as well) reaches your brain through the bloodstream, it affects certain portions of your brain. What it does is that it over simulates some parts of the brain responsible for making you feel emotions and controlling your senses. So instead of the normal daily dose your brain cooks up for you, you get a sudden extra influx of those substances and all your emotions and senses react to that. Some people get hyperactive and feel incredibly happy, some feel extremely relaxed, and others feel a heightened sense of worry and unease.

As for how people discovered that it got you high, animals have been doing drugs forever. Nearly all animals like to get high. Primates eat fermented fruit, deer eat shrooms, cats sniff catnip, horses eat a weed that basically has the same effect on them as nicotine does on us, etc. Humans also stumbled upon a few psychoactive substances in our history. The fact that we can control fire added to that. It’s likely that someone first ate marijuana and realized that it made them feel funny, then they realized that the effect could be enhanced by burning it.

There is also evidence of people smoking weed thousands of years ago. And because people used to burn grass to start fire, it is believed that when they burned the hemp plant and got intoxicated by the smoke, they discovered weed. If you’re planning on smoking weed but are also on medication, consult a professional first. You see, weed takes up a lot of ‘processing power’ of your liver, which might not allow your medication to properly take effect.