The theureputic use of marijuana has a history spanning over 5000 years and recently it has been found to have anti-oxidative and neuro-protectional properties.
THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. When used, either through ingestion or inhalation, THC binds to specific receptors in the brain called cannabinoid receptors.
The cannabinoids found in cannabis have three major properties which are medically useful. These are
- an analgesic (relieves pain)
- an anti-emetic (relieves nausea and vomiting)
- an appetite stimulant (induces hunger)
Three important cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant are
- Cannabidiol (CBD)
CBD is a major constituent of medical cannabis. It represents upto 40% of the extracts of a medical cannabis plant and is a non-psychoactive ingredient. Cannabidol relieves convulsion, inflammation, anxiety, nausea, and inhibits cancer cell growth. Canabis Strains with a high CBD have been used to help people with MS, Frequent Anxiety Attacks and Tourette Syndrome.
This compound is the mechanism of the cannabis plant that reduces tissue inflammation. A Cannabiniod receptor called CB2 plays a vital role in reducing inflammation in humans and animals. ?-caryophyllene selectively activates the CB2 receptor and is especially concentrated in cannabis essential oil, which contains 12-35% ?-caryophyllene
This is another cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Like cannabidiol, cannabiogerol is not psychoactive but has been shown to lower blood pressure in rats.
The cannabis sativa medicating effect is often characterized as uplifting and energetic. The effects of a sativa
are mostly cerebral. They give a feeling of optimism and well being, as well as providing a good measure of pain relief for certain symptoms like those suffered by MS Sufferers.
The cannabis indica medicating effect is most often described as a pleasant body tingle. Indicas are said to be good for relaxation and stress relief, and for overall sense of calm and serenity. Indicas are also effective for overall body pain relief and often used in treatment of insomnia. They have been said to help many patients as an all night sleep aid. Some pure indica strains are very potent in THC and give a couch lock effect and is favoured by some medicinal users who can’t sleep because of pain and cannot be treated by anything else.