There are few topics that can arouse stronger emotions among doctors, scientists and patients than medical cannabis. Is it safe? Should it be legal? Has it been proven to be effective? Is it addictive? Is it really a “miracle drug”? These are just some of the questions that society is asking itself. In this article we will try to answer the two most important questions – what is medical cannabis and what can it help us?
What is medical cannabis?
The term ‘medical cannabis’ refers to plants grown to established standards, subject to appropriate quality control, and used for medicinal purposes Medical cannabis is produced from seed (not Indian) varieties of cannabis, which are characterized by high CBD content and low THC content.
It is the proportions of these two substances that determine the extent to which cannabis affects health and well-being. The first one (cannabidiol CBD) is characterized by antipsychotic effects, it also has a number of other properties that have a positive effect on health. The second one (tetrahydrocannabinol THC) is primarily responsible for putting the body into a state of euphoria and intoxication. It should also be remembered that CBD and THC are one of the many active substances contained in cannabis, belonging to the group of cannabinoids, which affect to varying degrees the receptors of CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid system, located at least in the nervous system or the immune system.
It is worth mentioning that medical cannabis is validated. This means that its chemical composition is strictly defined – controlled at every stage of production. All in the interest of the health of future patients. The dose recommended by the doctor usually contains 0.25 g of dry matter – THC concentration does not exceed 19%. Therefore, there is no question of psychoactive effect.
What does medical cannabis help for?
Medical use of cannabis is not an invention of our times, but a practice dating back thousands of years, to ancient China and India, where it was a common medicine. Plant extract was used to treat ulcers, wounds, burns and ulcers. Cannabis seed paste was used for anti-inflammatory and laxative purposes. It was used to deworm, restore appetite and alleviate the effects of various types of neurological disorders. Alcohol-based cannabis extract was supposed to work miracles in migraines and persistent pains, as well as soothe nerves, so it was administered in case of insomnia. In 1839 it was discovered that cannabis was also a remedy for rheumatic and menstrual pains and colic.
Currently, according to various studies, cannabis can be used to treat or alleviate the symptoms of certain diseases such as:
- Epilepsy – studies prove that cannabis helps to control attacks, regulates their frequency;
- Alzheimer’s – in this case it is not CBD but THC that is exceptionally helpful, as it slows down the formation of amyloid plates responsible for the destruction of brain cells; regular use of cannabis can therefore significantly delay the next stages of the disease;
- Autism – can help autistic people cope with anxiety and aggression, reduces anger attacks;
- Glaucoma – thanks to cannabis, the pressure inside the eyeball is significantly reduced;
- Multiple sclerosis – reduces pain, which cannot be dealt with by other means;
- Parkinson – similarly as in the case of multiple sclerosis, cannabis also has an analgesic effect; what is more, it also improves the motor skills of patients;
- Asthma – minimizes inflammation
- Bowel diseases – both THC and CBD have a positive effect on the cells responsible for the functioning of the intestines, so they alleviate all inflammatory conditions;
- Cancer – research shows that CBD kills cells such as breast cancer; in this case, it is also important to mention the miraculous effect of medicinal cannabis on people undergoing chemotherapy. Regular use can reduce the negative side effects of treatment (such as nausea). Contrary to popular belief, cannabis doesn’tt need to be smoked to achieve the desired effect.
Medical cannabis comes in many forms that make it easier to use and more effective. Medical cannabis comes in many forms that make it easier to use and more effective.
Medicinal cannabis therefore contained e.g.: in drops, butter or pastes for external use (they perfectly alleviate irritation). Hempseed oil is also widely known and available – it can be successfully used to relieve stress, regulate sleep cycle or reduce pain. It also improves immunity, memory and concentration.
Medical cannabis isn’t so scary
Most researchers are of the same opinion: prohibiting and building fear around cannabis products doesn’t serve anyone. The therapeutic properties of cannabis are confirmed by scientific research and conducting further research will only allow us to use the substance, which has saved many from pain, more safely and could save more patients from unnecessary suffering.