Just like most things in life

Look, I really want to give you a quick answer here. But, you don’t deserve what’s quick, you deserve what’s true. So here it goes, just like most things in life my friend, the answer is really… it depends. However though, since I cannot give you a straight-up answer to the question, “can ceremonial grade cacao be an alternative for marijuana?”, I am going to share a whole lot of information that I am sure will assist in opening our minds to a few new possibilities and truths. Speaking of points worth discussing with friends, you might also want to check on and for heaps more info on the incredible health benefits of cacao, super tasty recipes and so much more.

Let’s talk about marijuana

Obviously now, marijuana is now freely growing in many parts of the world, be it legally or in some kind of controlled way. Studies solidly documented and proving its medical benefits are everywhere. However,  there is still a kiss of villainous perception on people who use it, may it be for therapeutic or recreational purposes.

On top of that, there’s even a certain stigma to those who use marijuana. I’m sure you have heard of the words “stoner”, “pothead”, “junkie”, “dopehead”, or even “addict”, for its consumers. Those words are derogatory, but to be fair it serves as a hard-line restricting the abuse of marijuana, especially for the younger part of the society.

Let’s smoke some of its truth then

That reputation, the restrictions of the law that comes with it, and the lack of deeper understanding of this plant make it a bit tougher to discuss. To start with, marijuana or cannabis is a plant packed with hundreds of compounds that act on your brain. It dramatically improves your mood. Nevertheless, the effects of this plant vary from person to person.  Consequently, age, health, diet, and lifestyle just to mention are some factors that come into play.

Certainly, this plant has slowly been accepted in most states and countries.  Besides, it has been proven to aid some medical conditions. It eases muscle spasms, seizures, and some pain disorders. To add, it helps in chemotherapy side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and weight loss.

Recent studies are even looking at it if it does indeed aid Alzheimer’s disease, appetite loss, cancer, and Crohn’s disease. They’re also looking at diseases affecting the immune system like HIV/AIDS or Multiple Sclerosis (MS), eating disorders such as anorexia, wasting syndrome (cachexia), epilepsy, and glaucoma. Moreover, experts are even considering that it may improve some mental health conditions like schizophrenia and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Though legalized because of its medical benefits, if we are being completely honest, this plant gained its popularity primarily because of its recreational use. Marijuana affects mainly your mood, ability to think and process problems, memory, judgment, reaction time, and coordination. Not to mention it helps fight anxiety. This is why many people attest, to have experienced a certain level of euphoria and a heightened level of creativity.

Let’s go back to the original question

All that being said, let’s go back to the question that stirred this writing, “can ceremonial grade cacao be an alternative for marijuana?” Well, it can be a yes and no.

If we are just mainly talking about its psychoactive benefits, then yes. Getting that kick off a good mood when you’re feeling down? Yup. Needing some extra help to keep your focus or creative juices? Oh yes. Getting kind of high? To some extent, yes.

Though different, cacao has almost the same compound as cannabis or marijuana. Similarly, cacao and the herb we’re talking about operates and enhances the mood with cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are fat-soluble chemical compounds found naturally in plants and mammals. In addition, this powerful substance works by attaching to the body’s cannabinoid receptors. It is found all over the nervous system, especially the brain, effectively causing feelings of euphoria. To be specific, cannabinoids affect brain areas that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, movement, coordination, and sensory and time perception.

Since both functions are the same, let us look at how they differ. Cannabis or marijuana works through THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). On the other hand, cacao’s main tool in its toolbox is the cannabinoid famously known as the “bliss molecule”, or the anandamide (n-arachidonoylethanolamine or AEA). Anandamide though milder is a compound that stimulates a sense of happiness, peace, and mental wellness. Along the process, it also enhances your serotonin level helping you fight mood swings.

Let us dive even deeper into our question

If we’re talking about the feeling of euphoria? “Can ceremonial grade cacao be an alternative for marijuana?” To a certain degree yes. How about the health benefits of medical marijuana? Well not exactly, and I’m not saying that cacao is just all sweet, no healthy substance, and overall less beneficial medically.  It’s not just good food. Above all, it’s the food of the gods and well documented by leading health professionals as being the superfood of all superfoods.

Let’s give the chocolate its due, though cacao doesn’t have the same medical effects as cannabis or marijuana, it contains a world of health benefits in its own right. For starters, cacao is 40 times more powerful than blueberries and 119 times more powerful than bananas. It has more calcium than cow’s milk and has the highest plant-based iron. All very substantial for your overall health. It is packed with magnesium, flavonoids, and a robust source of theobromine. All very powerful nutrients and minerals to conquer even the worst of days.

Cacao’s milder way of working in the body doesn’t have the same power as marijuana when it comes to thinking and solving problems, reaction time, judgment, memory, and mood for better or worse. That is at least short-term, I think other medical sites can explain to you further their difference long-term-wise, especially to teenagers.

It’s good to emphasize that other drugs that people misuse, THC in marijuana, triggers neurons in the reward system to release dopamine, at levels higher than a typical response to naturally rewarding stimuli. This surge of dopamine conditions the brain to obsess on the rewarding behavior, helping account for marijuana’s addictive properties. Though to some extent cacao can be addictive, anandamide because of its less powerful stimulation doesn’t pose the same danger.

Let’s be clear

Firstly, this thing that I wrote doesn’t serve as medical or professional advice,  a counsel for treatment, or how to go about what to take and what to avoid.  Secondly, let’s be clear, there is no replacement for medical experts. Thirdly, and most importantly, even if you are so convinced about the things that you have read in this blog or some other great reads in and, always consult a medical professional.

“Can ceremonial grade cacao be an alternative for marijuana?” I am not advocating or discouraging the use of marijuana. Different things work, at different times, for different people. What I’m probably saying is marijuana can be a powerful tool to combat depression, anxiety, and even many other medical cases. However, if you’re considering a healthy alternative, cacao without a doubt should be your number one choice.