The Amazing World of Cannabis
– The promise of potential medicines from using pot…
Believe it or not, we have our own cannabis-like substances that grow naturally in our bodies!
It is a fact that the human body actually produces its own ‘endogenous’ cannabinoids, which are formed in your brain and fit into a series of specialized receptors throughout the body.
This endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating balance in our body’s immune response.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a highly complex cell-signaling system that plays a role in a wide range of functions and processes, which include sleep, mood, appetite, memory, and reproduction.
Not much is known about this integral part of the human body, and for that reason, there is a lot of research still being carried out.
But what we do know is that the endocannabinoid system consists of two receptors; CB1 receptors, which are predominantly located in the nervous system, connective tissues, glands, and organs.
And the CB2 receptors are mainly in the immune system as well as the spleen, liver, kidneys, bones, blood vessels, lymph cells, endocrine glands, and reproductive organs.
That’s a large part of the body covered!
The natural endocannabinoid compounds stimulate and modulate these receptors, creating different tasks but with the same goal, homeostasis, which is the maintenance of a stable internal environment. Mix these natural endocannabinoids with extracts from the marijuana plant, and, now we’re talking!
Okay, so what’s this got to do with cannabis?
The cannabis plant is made up of over 100 cannabinoids that, when ingested, interact with the endocannabinoid system, which acts as a sort of communication network throughout the body.
This means the varying degrees of cannabis dosages consumed can affect the physiological as well as psychological processes in the body in different ways.
So, cannabis, also known as marijuana, as a medicinal plant, is still very much being explored.
There’s a lot of hype being touted around in the media, and this can overshadow the essential evidence-based research which is necessary to ensure whatever medicines or treatments being used are safe and unharmful.
Cannabis is an incredibly complex subject, particularly when in relation to the treatment of diseases or other medical conditions.
However, scientific studies carried out in relation to the chemicals found in marijuana, which are called cannabinoids, have resulted in two of the USA’s FDA-approved medications, which contain cannabinoid chemicals in pill form.
There is simply not enough medical evidence for cannabis to be routinely used for different medical conditions. Still, Alzheimer’s, cancer, arthrits, Crohn’s disease, anorexia, epilepsy, arthritis, PTSD, and MS are just a few of the many conditions that cannabis’ therapeutic properties are reputed to help with, in relation to pain.
It is suggested that cannabinoids might help with anxiety, psoraisis, inflammation, control nausea and vomiting, relax muscles, stimulate appetite, and weight gain.
Least controversial is the extract, CBD which is from the hemp plant, because this part of the marijuana plant has few, if any, intoxicating properties which can give the ‘high,’ cannabis is renowned for.
The ‘high’ is derived from the THC chemical, which is within the marijuana plant, so users don’t experience the psychotic episodes usually associated with the plant.
How do you take medical marijuana?
There are many ways in which people can administer cannabis for pain control, whether it’s by smoking or vaporizing or eating it.
However, for medical reasons, it is usually administered by applying it directly to the skin through a lotion, cream, gel, spray, or oil.
Cannabis can bring relief to many users who have terrible pain, and the medicines created with cannabis are reputed to have far fewer side effects than traditional medication.
It is because of this that many people argue that it should be legalized for medical purposes – but it is the fear of the THC element – the psychotic effects which hemp is known for, that the large drug companies are slow to take up the challenge of proving that the benefits outweigh the risks.
The two main cannabinoids from the cannabis plant that researchers are interested in for medical reasons are THC and CBD.
THC can help people medically with pain, inflammation, and muscle control problems, but it is still far from conclusive in its research.
CBD, however, is now in an FDA-approved liquid form of medication and may be useful in the reduction of pain and inflammation, as well as controlling epileptic seizures, and even in the treatment of mental illness and addictions.
Therefore, the transformation of cannabinoids from herbal preparations into highly regulated prescription drugs is a slow, but definitely happening phenomena.
Transdermal administration with the use of low-dosage skin patches and sprays, for example, is just one of the many ways into which researchers are investigating usage, mainly if the affected area of the body has localized symptoms.
There is no subject which is known as being a ‘double-edged sword’ than the use of cannabis for medical reasons.
Because of its psychoactive effects, the subject is controversial and has caused abuse and labeling.
However, topical CBD is hugely beneficial in treating symptoms in a number of neuropathic and psychiatric situations. It can rebalance the homeostasis within the body and bring great relief.
Because topical cannabis preparations are localized, they are unlikely to bring about many side effects.
The use of a topical can last up to 2 to 3 hours. Cannabis enters the body through the skin by the topical application of the plant extracts. It only penetrates a few layers of the skin, which is why it’s highly unlikely to produce any serious side-effects.
Another way it can enter the skin is with the assistance of a transdermal agent, which has chemical agents that help the cannabis penetrate the skin and to enter the bloodstream.
Therefore, CBD oil or cream is seen as far more effective than a THC prepared topical product.
Whichever way you look at it, cannabis extracts working alongside our own bodies’ natural immune system, can help sufferers of pain and conditions where previously there was nothing or very little.
What’s not to like?