Cannabis worked for six-year-old Kate Pogson when no other medication helped her. As someone with epilepsy, she suffered hour-long seizures once every two days before her family discovered the value of CBD-heavy cannabis oil, says her father Barry in an interview.
Robust is one way to define the current breadth of research that involves the cannabis and its chemical parts. Across the planet – namely in states and countries where medical cannabis is permitted – scientists are becoming increasingly invested in discovering the full potential of the cannabis plant. To date, those studies have focussed tightly on the isolating and use of particular cannabinoids, and the prospect that isolated cannabis molecules may hold the key to any number of conditions. With these advancements, researchers have been able to add significant scientific knowledge, data and innovation to the medical cannabis discussion.
Cannabis has been used by cultures the world over – from the hunters and gatherers of China, to the philosophers of ancient Greece – for thousands of years. With its roots in the Himalayan mountains, the cannabis plant has spread across the globe, its seed carried on the wind, often without the help of human hands.
In addition to the two most studied cannabinoids, THC and CBD, there are over 60 other cannabis molecules that have been isolated by researchers. While the list of clinical applications for particular cannabinoids remains short – CBG, CBC, CBN, and a handful of others – the prospect that others will produce therapeutic results is promising.
For two particular reasons, there are few topics being explored in the cannabis space more exhilarating than the endocannabinoid system. First, for a lack of research in the area, medical schools have almost exclusively omitted the system from the curriculum. Second, as drug policies have evolved, researchers have been allowed to study the system, and its inherent connection to cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
The proverbial line between culture survey and scientific fact is no more blurred than when discussing cannabis in the context of taxonomy. For decades now, patients have purchased cannabis-based products in line with the cultural characterization of an indica as sedating, sativa as energizing, and a hybrid strain falling somewhere in the middle. But many contemporary botanists argue this distinction is unnecessary, and used merely to serve market purposes.
While cannabis has been used for thousands of yards as a therapeutic agent, its commercial viability has only taken shape in the last century. Contemporary treatment is now characterized by a plethora of products in a variety of concentrations, traditional cannabis therapy revolved around one product: tinctures.
As medical cannabis has gained acceptance as a viable treatment option over the past two decades, so too has the list of symptoms the plant has been shown to help grown. No longer is the plant merely used to treat chronic pain or extreme conditions like HIV/AIDS, it now complements nearly every therapy option available.
As a flurry of new products have flooded the budding cannabis market in recent years, so too have those developments come to represent a wealth of hope for medical patients, or anyone looking for an alternative therapy. Where, traditionally, cannabis was consumed by inhalation – combusting flowers in a joint or pipe – the contemporary cannabis discussion is one characterized by advancement and sophistication.
In the simplest of terms, cannabinoids are the chemical compounds that lend cannabis its medical and recreational characteristics. These chemicals interact with the body’s cells when consumed to produce a range of therapeutic effects. Found in the plant’s trichomes, more commonly known as crystals, cannabinoids are, in essence, the heart and soul of the cannabis plant.
Terpenes are organic compounds that give cannabis strains their unique aromatic qualities. Synthesized with cannabinoids in the plant’s glandular trichomes, terpenes are responsible for the smell and taste characteristics – skunky, lemony, piney – that accompany respective cannabis varieties.
An assessment of the merits of cannabis therapy in sport, including a look at the use of medical cannabis and CBD by professional athletes.
The decision to adopt cannabis as a treatment option is, like most significant changes in life, very personal. Whether you’ve decided to incorporate medical cannabis into your routine to treat chronic pain, sleep issues, cancer symptoms or social anxiety, you’ve likely done so primarily for one reason: to feel better.
Can cannabis cure cancer? To date, there is no scientific evidence to back the theory that cannabis kills cancer cells. In fact, most responsible cannabis professionals – leery of a culture of misinformation – will caution patients to ignore that claim.
The list of sophisticated new cannabis products lining product shelves of this new space is extensive, and impressive. More often than not, these products serve as a responsible introduction to medical cannabis. Where pipes and bongs have a tendency to lend stereotype to any conversation of cannabis therapy, new delivery methods like oils, edibles and topicals tend to have exactly the opposite effect.
Cannabis treatment is a moot therapy option without a firm grasp on how to dose. This very fact has perhaps been best illustrated by the fact the medical community, until recently, has shied away from throwing full support behind the plant and its potential. However, as new products develop, and fresh ways of dosing have become available to patients, so too have the means of dosing surfaced. As a result, more and more practitioners have started prescribing cannabis- based concentrates.