The cannabis plant as a medicine
Medicinal cannabis – buy it here
What is medicinal cannabis exactly? The term medicinal cannabis covers all types of products containing active ingredients of the cannabis plant that are used to treat illnesses and relieve symptoms. Medicinal cannabis can refer to natural cannabis oil (such as CBD oil), whole dried cannabis flowers (such as hemp), and CBD capsules made from synthetic cannabinoids manufactured in a laboratory.
The old age cure of cannabis
Using the cannabis plant as a medicine is not something new. Medicinal cannabis has been used since millennia BC. The oldest references date back to 2737 BC, in a Chinese medical plant book (the Shennong Pen Ts’ao Ching). The Chinese emperor Shennong used the resin of the cannabis plant as a remedy to treat constipation, gynaecological problems, gout, rheumatism, malaria, beriberi, and mental issues. There is also evidence of medicinal cannabis dating back about 3500 years. The old Payrus Ebers, one of the oldest surviving texts found in Egypt, appears to be recommended cannabis for strengthening toenails.
Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) a German writer and saint also mentioned cannabis as a medicine in her writings. In Napoleon’s time, cannabis was used as a painkiller, sedative, and against convulsions. It was used as a remedy, be it as cough syrup, medicine for indigestion, or painkiller. It was one of the most widely administered plant extracts in the world.
Medicinal cannabis suddenly disappeared from the market in the first half of the 20th century. Laws were passed banning cannabis as a medicine on the grounds that there were better and more effective remedies, and that cannabis was too dangerous. Many claim these were not the real reasons. However, we will not focus on why cannabis was really banned, there is enough information on the internet that you can investigate for yourself.
Modern cannabis research
In 1964, modern cannabis research began when the main psychoactive cannabinoid delta-9-THC was discovered. In 1980, researchers discovered that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is present in every mammal. The discovery and exploration of the ECS, its receptors, and ligands, led to better understanding of the effects of cannabinoids. To date, two cannabinoid receptors have been found in the body – CB1 and CB2. In 1992, an endogenous (made in the body) substance called anandamide, which is particularly common in the central nervous system, was discovered. Anandamide attaches itself to the CB1 receptor. Since 2011, parts of the marijuana plant may be used to produce medicinal cannabis in some countries.
In recent years, interest in the cannabis plant’s health benefits and medicinal properties has boomed. Everyday, new success stories emerge about people who have positive experiences using medicinal cannabis to treat everything from cancer to menstrual pain, Lyme disease, sclerosis, epilepsy, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, stomach/intestinal conditions, chronic pain, mental disorders, and much more.
Today, the medical use of cannabis is well-known, especially thanks to social media. However, it can be hard to separate the facts from the fiction and truly understand the seemingly endless flow of information regarding cannabis. We have made it a little easier for you by outlining the medicinal uses of cannabis oil below. There is still much research on cannabis that needs to be done. It will be exciting to see how it evolves. One thing is already clear – there are already too many research results on the positive effects of the cannabis plant to ignore medicinal cannabis any longer.
Why is the cannabis plant so special?
The cannabis plant, commonly known as the hemp plant, contains over 480 ingredients, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. The ingredient responsible for the benefits of the cannabis plant is cannabinoids. So far, 113 cannabinoids have been discovered in the plant. The two best known and most widely researched cannabinoids are THC and CBD. Tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC) which is known for its narcotic, intoxicating effect, and cannabidiol (CBD) which is non-psychotic and has the opposite effect of THC. For more information regarding the most important cannabinoids from the cannabis plant and the effects they have, take a look at our cannabinoid overview.
The effect of cannabinoids
Cannabinoids interact with the receptors found in the endocannabinoid system in the body. They are located, among other places, in the brain, nervous system, organs, tissues, and digestive tract. Cannabinoids occupy the CB1 and CB2 receptors and activate a signal transmission within the respective cell. Cannabinoids therefore act like a neurotransmitter or hormone in the body. The body also produces its own cannabinoid. However, cannabinoids from the cannabis plant differ as they mimic or replace the effect of a certain messenger substance in the body. Cannabinoids tend to affect the limbic system in the brain. This is the part of the brain associated with memory, perception and psychomotor. It also affects the mesolimbic system linked to the development of ‘happy’ emotions, as well as pain
Important: Medicinal cannabis (medicines with cannabis) is not the same as using cannabis directly as a medicine
What’s the difference?
As the headline suggests, medicinal products containing cannabis (medicinal cannabis) are not the same as using cannabis as a medicine. Read on for a clear explanation about these terms and important effects.
What is medicinal cannabis?>/p>
Plants cannot be patented. The pharmaceutical industry is therefore trying to artificially produce, or rather synthesize, the chemical compounds and substances of plants. Many chemical compounds of the cannabis plant have thus been successfully synthesized. Artificial cannabinoids are often used to make drugs. These drugs are not usually not only made from synthetic ingredients of the hemp plant, but also from other chemical compounds with possible strong side effects. However, there are also drugs that contain natural cannabinoids (extracted directly from the plant). Artificially produced substances are sometimes added to create a specific drug for a certain disease. Medicinal cannabis is illegal in some countries, but in many others it is available with a prescription from a doctor. Often, medicinal cannabis also contains the psychoactive drug THC (which is mostly only found in trace amounts in CBD oil).
We can conclude that medicines with cannabis are unfortunately often prescription drugs made with artificial cannabinoids manufactured in a laboratory. Medicinal cannabis is often not a natural product. CBD oil, on the contrary, is a natural product created from the active ingredients of the cannabis plant.
Cannabis as a medicine
Why are plant substances often synthesized?
The reason is simple: pharmaceutical companies are greedy and profit-orientated. Naturally occurring plant substances cannot be standardized as easily as artificially manufactured substances. Instead of taking a purely herbal medicine (in which the concentration of active ingredients may vary slightly), consumers sometimes prefer to know exactly what it contains, and what the side-effects are.
Cannabis as a medicine therefore differs from medicinal cannabis in that ONLY the natural active ingredients of the cannabis plant are used. Moreover, no chemicals or toxic substances (herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers) are added during cultivation. The plant substances that promote healing (cannabinoids) should be gently extracted from the plant. The extract is then often added to a tincture or oil (mostly hemp seed oil). This ensures that all ingredients from the plant are preserved and the medicine remains as natural and effective as possible. You can read more about the extraction process here.
What types of medical cannabis exist?
Cannabis as a medicine can be consumed in many different ways. However, most forms are illegal as they contain high levels of the psychoactive substance delta-9-THC. Delta-9-THC falls under the Narcotics Act in many countries due to its psychotic effect. However, products containing less than 0.2% of THC are legal in many European countries. Products can be bought in many forms such as:
- Evaporator (vaporizer)
- Liquid tinctures
- Food (cookies etc.)
- Cannabis oil
- and much more
Use of medical cannabis / cannabis as medicine
The potential positive effects of cannabis
Although there are already many studies and research on medicinal cannabis that confirm the positive effect of cannabinoids, detailed long-term clinical studies into the exact benefits are still lacking for most diseases. Modern research only started to take off recently. For this reason, it is only possible to speak of ‘potential’ positive effects. Many references to studies of cannabidiol (CBD) in various diseases can be found in our article on CBD oil.
Cannabis as a medicine has many beneficial effects on the human and animal body (read more on CBD oil for animals). Chronic pain and muscle spasms (including epilepsy) are the often associated with medicinal cannabis treatment. Nausea (for example resulting from chemotherapy), loss of appetite (e.g. from HIV/AIDS), and tics (such as Tourette’s syndrome) may also be helped by medicinal cannabis. Drugs containing cannabis have also been recommended to treat insomnia, anorexia, arthritis, migraines, and glaucoma.
The possible uses of cannabis as a medicine
Which diseases and conditions can medical cannabis help to relieve?
Medicinal cannabis is thought to have many beneficial properties to help reduce symptoms for a wide range of conditions and illnesses.
Nausea and vomiting
The endocannabinoid system is linked with the gut and digestion. It can help manage the acid levels in the gut and stomach, thus reducing nausea and vomiting.
Research has been conducted into how the endocannabinoid system affects the homeostatic and hedonic aspects of eating. CB1 receptors are often found in the regions of the brain which control appetite and increase the rewarding value of food. CBD oil is thought to also increase appetite. Promising studies suggest that CBD oil could help sufferers to control or even overcome anorexia and other eating disorders.
Studies conducted in 2006 and 2008 all concluded that CBD oil can reduce joint pain and inflammation for those suffering from arthritis. The anti-inflammatory properties could slow down or even stop the progression of arthritis. However, it is important to note that these studies were relatively small. It’s clear that CBD oil is could greatly improve the quality of life for people suffering from arthritis, but more research should be done.
The crippling pain caused my migraines can affect sufferers for hours or even days. Although painkillers can temporarily alleviate symptoms, they often have concerning side-effects. CBD oil has no known dangerous side-effects. Participants of a study in 2017 of the use of cannabis for headaches reported improvements and a better quality of life after taking a cannabis-nabilone formula for 6 weeks. However, the study focused on the effects of cannabis, not CBD oil. Although CBD should have a similar effect, more research needs to be done on the exact effect of CBD oil.
Cannabinoid receptors are involved in the ocular tissues which regulate IOP in the eyes, the direct cause of glaucoma. The cannabinoids in CBD oil could, therefore, be a promising way to alleviate. Its anti-inflammatory properties could potentially relieve pressure and protect the eye’s retinal cells.
Researchers believe that CBD interacts with receptors in your brain and immune system. By interfering with these receptors, CBD oil creates an anti-inflammatory and painkilling effect that could help manage pain. A review in 2008 showed how CBD oil may benefit those suffering chronic pain, such as back pain.
Although the use of cannabis as a recreational drug is often linked to mental health conditions, new research has shown that it can, in fact, be used as a cure for many psychotic conditions. CBD works in a totally different way to THC (the substance in cannabis thought to be a risk factor for psychosis). A recent study suggests that CBD oil can regulate abnormal activity in the brain, thus reducing psychosis.
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
It is widely believed that both THC and CBD could potentially modulate spasticity associated with MS, as well as manage pain, anxiety, inflammation, seizures, and other conditions. Moreover, research published in 2018 suggests that CBD could greatly improve mobility. An overview published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine discusses the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD in for sufferers of multiple sclerosis, although more exact research is needed.
The effects of CBD on epilepsy has been at the forefront of research into medical CBD. It has even led to much debate in many countries, and legalisation of medicinal cannabis in the UK. You can read more about epilepsy and CBD oil below.
The cases of Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley
Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley are young boys who suffer from severe epilepsy. In July 2018, Bill Caldwell’s Mum tried to bring him cannabis oil from Canada as it massively reduces his seizures and improves his quality of life. However, she was forbidden from bringing it into the UK. Similarly, Alfie Dingley’s parents campaigned to Theresa May to be allowed to give CBD oil to help reduce his seizures. After lobbying for permission to help their sons with cannabis oil, the home secretary permitted specialised doctors to legally prescribe cannabis. During the debate, the chief medical officer for England, Prof Dame Sally Davies, said patients with certain medical conditions should be given access to cannabis treatments.
This marks a shift in the attitude of many countries towards cannabis oil. Although research is still in the early stages, governments and medical professionals around the world are waking up to the potential benefits of CBD oil and forgetting the prejudgements towards cannabis as a recreational drug.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
The endocannabinoid system is linked to emotional memory processing and could, therefore, help sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A study in 2018 concluded that cannabinoids may interfere with memories of an event, thus reducing subsequent symptoms related to the traumatic situation. As multiple studies have already shown, CBD can positively help sufferers with other mental disorders. It is hopeful that PTSD sufferers could also benefit from taking CBD oil.
CBD oil can help diabetics in many ways. Insulin resistance happens when cells in the body reject insulin. Although researchers aren’t completely sure how CBD effects insulin resistance, they believe that its inflammatory properties can reduce it. Studies have linked chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. Therefore, diabetes symptoms could potentially be reduced by using CBD oil as inflammation is lessened.
Many properties of cannabis oil could reduce symptoms linked to cancer and chemotherapy helping improve the lives of millions of cancer patients. CBD oil is thought to reduce nausea, reduce or eliminate malignant cell growth, stabilise acute or chronic pain, and strengthen your immune system. Although CBD oil is no miracle cure for cancer, it can help ensure sufferers have a higher level of comfort.
It is widely believed that cannabis oil potentially aids the neurogenesis process. During Alzheimer’s disease, neural tissue is rapidly destroyed, leading to memory loss, cognitive loss, and personality changes. Laboratory evidence suggests that CBD oil could target the underlying process behind dementia as it affects the CB1 receptor in the brain.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) will be happy to hear that research has shown promising results for the use of CBD oil to reduce symptoms. The gut is closely linked with the ECS in the body. Cannabinoids in CBD oil, therefore, promote the bodies own cannabinoids to regulate itself, thus lessening symptoms.
A 2011 study in the UK suggested that cannabinoid receptors may affect the pathogenesis of chronic Huntington disease thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Although research is still relatively young, it suggests that CBD oil could be a useful treatment for Huntington’s disease.
The endocannabinoid system plays a major role in Parkinson’s disease which suggests that CBD oil could have therapeutic benefits for sufferers of Parkinson’s. The neuroprotective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids could help manage symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
As cannabinoids are thought to be beneficial for those suffering from neurological disorders, they may also help patients with Tourette syndrome to control their symptoms and ticks. Although studies have been small, they have found promising evidence to support this claim. For example, a clinical trial published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 2003 found that tick severity was significantly improved after taking cannabis oil among 24 patients suffering from Tourettes.
Anxiety and panic attacks
Studies on the effects of CBD on panic attacks and anxiety concluded that it is a promising drug for treatment. Cannabidiol has anti-anxiety properties that are non-psychotic leading many experts to suggest it as an alternative for treating anxiety orders.
As already mentioned, CBD oil can help regulate the gut to relieve symptoms of many gastrointestinal issues such as IBD, IBS and Crohn’s disease. Similarly, cannabis oil may relieve indigestion.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
CBD oil may help manage symptoms of ALS such as analgesia, muscle relaxation, saliva reduction, appetite stimulation, and sleep induction. This study concludes that, based on scientific data, cannabis may significantly slow the progression of ALS, and therefore the life expectancy of the patient. It believes that more detailed clinical trials are the logical next step.
CBD oil and autism
Plenty of research shows how CBD oil can be beneficial to sufferers of autism. Dr. Csaba Foldy, a researcher at Stanford University, conducted research in mice showing that neuroligin-3, a protein mutated in some individuals with autism, is important for relaying endocannabinoid signals. This suggests that the cannabinoids in cannabis oil could greatly help autistic individuals.
Possible side effects of medical cannabis
Medical cannabis typically has no strong side effects. The main side-effects of medicines containing cannabis are fatigue, dizziness, vomiting, and cardiovascular and psychoactive effects. However, normally these side effects regulate themselves within a few days. You should only drive or operate machinery once your body is accustomed to the medicine.
The side effect depends on the dose. The lower the dose, the weaker the side effects. Medicinal cannabis is very unlikely to lead to any long-term cognitive issues in adults as the dosage is too low. The dosage must be carefully measured for adolescents and children, as they are more susceptible to long-term therapy.
Although medical cannabis can help to reduce nausea and vomiting, it can also have the opposite effect. Otherside effects that can very rarely occur:
- muscle twitching
- dry mouth
- orthostatic dysregulation
Cannabis as a medicine is fairly safe and has only minor side effects. However, more long-term studies are needed. What is clear, is the enormous potential of medicinal cannabis to treat and help lessen symptoms for a huge range of diseases and conditions. We look forward to seeing what medical research will discover in the near future. When choosing the right treatment for you, take care to choose a herbal supplement rather than a laboratory-made, synthetic substance. Furthermore, cannabis as a medicine is not the same as drugs with artificial cannabis. You can read more about CBD oil here.
How to balance your body
Everyday life can have a toll on our bodies. Too much work, too little sleep, a poor diet, and constant engagement with technology can all unbalance the body. Small adjustments to your lifestyle can help to regulate and maintain balance, which is essential for a healthy life. Medicinal cannabis can play an important part in balancing and regulating the body and mind. Balance in the body is obtained by numerous factors:
Water is one of the most vital substances for life. Regularly drinking 1.5 – 3 litres per day helps to flush toxins from the body. However, don’t over do it. Drinking too much water can flush out all the natural salts and minerals in the body. Herbal teas and organic juices with no added sugar also count as healthy nourishment for the body. As we are sure you are already aware, alcohol, soda, and too much caffeine should be avoided
A balanced diet can lead to a balanced body. The saying you are what you eat rings true now as always. Take a look at your diet. Are you getting enough vegetables? Are you eating protein? Are you consuming enough healthy fats from whole nuts, seeds, and grains? Hemp seed oil products are a great way to ingest enough fat and protein.
It’s no secret that sleep is vital for the body and our general well-being. During sleep, the body regenerates and protects itself. If you lack sleep, your immune system can become weakened and you are therefore less able to fight viruses, bacteria, and diseases. The amount of sleep needed varies from person to person, but experts generally recommend somewhere between 7-9 hours. If you suffer from sleeplessness, CBD oil can help you to sleep.
Being active helps the body to stay fit and healthy. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sweat it out in the gym. Exercise can be incorporated into your daily life. Why not cycle to work, go out and play with your kids, or take the dog for a walk? Or maybe, you enjoy practicing yoga. All activities that increase your heart rate and get your blood pumping are great to ensure you are balanced and healthy.
Meditation may seem hard and confusing, but it plays an important part in balancing the body. A happy mind leads to a happy body. If you’re not sure where to start, try downloading an app or watch a video on youtube. You can find plenty of guidance on the internet to get you started.
Last but not least, CBD oil can be used to help achieve balance in the body. CBD oil naturally influences the endocannabinoid system which is largely responsible for achieving and maintaining balance. Implementing CBD oil into your daily routine is an easy step towards achieving a healthy and balanced life.
Medicinal cannabis: FAQs
Is medicinal cannabis legal in my country?
The medical use of cannabis has been legalised in many countries around the world such as: Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, the UK, and Uruguay. The legality in the USA depends varies by state. As of June 2018, it is legally available in 31 states. The benefits of cannabis oil as a medicine are slowly reaching politicians around the world.
Can I self-medicate with cannabis oil?
More and more people are choosing to self-medicate with CBD products. As long as the CBD oil only contains trace amounts of THC, it is completely legal to buy and use it. However, CBD oil is not a miracle medical cure. You shouldn’t replace prescribed medication with CBD oil without consulting your doctor first. Our products can help to alleviate many symptoms, but they do not offer a miracle cure.
Can I use medicinal cannabis during and after pregnancy?
Some women report that medicinal cannabis is effective to reduce nausea during pregnancy. However, further research needs to be done on the effect of the medicinal cannabis on the baby. Pregnant women should always consult their doctor before using medicinal cannabis. Moderate amounts of THC could have long-term effects on the child.
Where to buy medicinal cannabis oil
Our online shop offers a wide range of cannabis oil that you can use for medicinal purposes. Our team works hard to ensure we only offer the best and safest products on the market. Our oils are organic. We only source products from manufacturers who use the C02 or oil extraction methods as this ensures that the highest possible amount of active ingredients as it is the most gentle way to extract the cannabinoids.
Be sure to only buy your CBD products from reputable suppliers such as CBDoilselect.com. Many other companies offer unorganic products that are created using ethanol extraction. These are not as effective or natural as the products found on our website. Moreover, the product does not contain more than trace amounts of THC.