Who in today’s world has not heard of Cannabis? The green three leafed plant that is quite the controversy these days? Oh you haven’t heard?
Well, maybe you will recognize it better when I call it . . . marijuana.
Now you understand! Everyone knows of marijuana, but few know of the plant it is obtained from i.e. Cannabis sativa. What even fewer people know is that this cannabis plant has many healing properties, so many that it has led to thousands of people demanding the legalization of marijuana. Let’s get to the depth of it!
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants in the family Cannabaceae. The number of species within the genus is disputed. Three species may be recognized: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis; C. ruderalis may be included within C. sativa; or all three may be treated as subspecies of a single species, C. sativa. The genus is indigenous to central Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
The plant is also known as hemp, although this term is often used to refer only to varieties of Cannabis cultivated for non-drug use. Cannabis has long been used for hemp fibre, for hemp oils, for medicinal purposes, and as a recreational drug. Industrial hemp products are made from cannabis plants selected to produce an abundance of fiber. To satisfy the UN Narcotics Convention, some cannabis strains have been bred to produce minimal levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive constituent. Many plants have been selectively bred to produce a maximum of THC (cannabinoids), which is obtained by curing the flowers. Various compounds, including hashish and hash oil, are extracted from the plant.
Cannabis plants produce a group of chemicals called cannabinoids, which produce mental and physical effects when consumed.
Cannabinoids, terpenoids, and other compounds are secreted by glandular trichomes that occur most abundantly on the floral calyxes and bracts of female plants. As a drug it usually comes in the form of dried flower buds (marijuana), resin (hashish), or various extracts collectively known as hashish oil. In the early 20th century, it became illegal in most of the world to cultivate or possess Cannabis for sale or personal use.
Source – Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis
Cannabis was used in Taiwan for fiber starting about 10,000 years ago. Emperor Shen-Nung, who was also a pharmacologist, wrote a book on treatment methods in 2737 BCE that included the medical benefits of cannabis. He recommended the substance for many ailments, including constipation, gout, rheumatism, and absent-mindedness. The Ebers Papyrus (c. 1550 BCE) from Ancient Egypt describes medical cannabis. The ancient Egyptians used hemp (cannabis) in suppositories for relieving the pain of hemorrhoids.
Surviving texts from ancient India confirm that cannabis’ psychoactive properties were recognized, and doctors used it for treating a variety of illnesses and ailments, including insomnia, headaches, gastrointestinal disorders, and pain, including during childbirth.
The Ancient Greeks used cannabis to dress wounds and sores on their horses and in humans, dried leaves of cannabis were used to treat nose bleeds, and cannabis seeds were used to expel tapeworms.
In the medieval Islamic world, Arabic physicians made use of the diuretic, antiemetic, antiepileptic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic properties of Cannabis sativa, and used it extensively as medication from the 8th to 18th centuries.
In the early 1900s cannabis was popular both as a recreational and a medicinal compound, and there are suggestions that Queen Victoria was given cannabis by her doctor to relieve period pain. The development of superior alternatives, such as the invention of the syringe for rapid drug inducement and the development of aspirin, alongside the failure to develop a standardised product and the poor rate of absorption from oral inhalation, led to the reduced use of cannabis in medicine. In January 2004, the Home Office downgraded cannabis from a Class B to a Class C drug for all purposes, but this decision was reversed in May 2008 by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith who announced that cannabis was to be reclassified as a Class B drug. In June 2010 the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) granted GW Pharmaceuticals a licence to market the first cannabis-based prescription medicine in the UK.
In a human study of 10 HIV-positive marijuana smokers, scientists found people who smoked marijuana ate better, slept better and experienced a better mood. Another small study of 50 people found patients that smoked cannabis saw less neuropathic pain.
Medical marijuana and some of the plant’s chemicals have been used to help Alzheimer’s patients gain weight, and research found that it lessens some of the agitated behavior that patients can exhibit. In one cell study, researchers found it slowed the progress of protein deposits in the brain. Scientists think these proteins may be part of what causes Alzheimer’s, although no one knows what causes the disease.
A study of 58 patients using the derivatives of marijuana found they had less arthritis pain and slept better. Another review of studies concluded marijuana may help fight pain-causing inflammation.
Studies are contradictory, but some early work suggests it reduced exercise-induced asthma. Other cell studies showed smoking marijuana could dilate human airways, but some patients experienced a tight feeling in their chests and throats. A study in mice found similar results.
Animal studies have shown some marijuana extracts may kill certain cancer cells. Other cell studies show it may stop cancer growth, and with mice, THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, improved the impact of radiation on cancer cells. Marijuana can also prevent the nausea that often accompanies chemotherapy treatment used to treat cancer.
Some animal and small human studies show that cannabinoids can have a “substantial analgesic effect.” People widely used them for pain relief in the 1800s. Some medicines based on cannabis such as Sativex are being tested on multiple sclerosis patients and used to treat cancer pain. The drug has been approved in Canada and in some European countries. In another trial involving 56 human patients, scientists saw a 30% reduction in pain in those who smoked marijuana.
In a small pilot study of 13 patients watched over three months, researchers found inhaled cannabis did improve life for people suffering from ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. It helped ease people’s pain, limited the frequency of diarrhea and helped with weight gain.
Medical marijuana extract in early trials at the NYU Langone Medical Center showed a 50% reduction in the frequency of certain seizures in children and adults in a study of 213 patients recently.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness. Scientists have looked at THC’s impact on this disease on the optic nerve and found it can lower eye pressure, but it may also lower blood pressure, which could harm the optic nerve due to a reduced blood supply. THC can also help preserve the nerves, a small study found.
Using marijuana or some of the chemicals in the plant may help prevent muscle spasms, pain, tremors and stiffness, according to early-stage, mostly observational studies involving animals, lab tests and a small number of human patients. The downside — it may impair memory, according to a small study involving 20 patients.
Medicinal marijuana is either smoked or the extracts are taken orally.
The basic principal for dosing medical marijuana is to start with a low dose and to go slow in taking more until the effect of the first dose is fully realized, because the effects of cannabis are not always immediately felt. Starting low and going slow allows patients to accommodate for the different experiences they may have.
Cannabis has a wide margin of safety and there is limited risk of overdose. However, caution is warranted until a patient fully understands the effect that the cannabis may have. Dosage varies greatly among patients, even when treating the same condition.
Another famous product obtained from Cannabis is the cbd oil.
Cannabidiol oil is used for health purposes, but it is controversial. There is some confusion about what it is and the effect it has on the human body.
Cannabidiol (CBD) may have some health benefits, but there may also be some risks. It is also not legal in every state.
This MNT Knowledge Center article will explain what CBD is, what it can be used for, the potential risks, the legality of CBD, and how to use it.
What is CBD oil?
CBD is one of many compounds, known as cannabinoids, that are found in the cannabis plant. Researchers have been looking at the potential therapeutic uses of CBD.
Oils that contain concentrations of CBD are known as CBD oils. The concentration and uses of different oils vary.
Is CBD marijuana?
CBD oil is a cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant.
Until recently, the most well-known compound in cannabis was delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the most active ingredient in marijuana.
Marijuana contains both THC and CBD, but the compounds have different effects.
THC is well-known for the mind-altering “high” it produces when broken down by heat and introduced into the body, such as when smoking the plant or cooking it into foods.
Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. This means that it does not change the state of mind of the person who uses it. However, it does appear to produce significant changes in the body and has been found to have medical benefits.
Most of the CBD used medicinally is found in the least processed form of the cannabis plant, known as hemp.
Hemp and marijuana come from the same plant, cannabis sativa, but they are very different.
Over the years, marijuana farmers have selectively bred their plants to be very high in THC and other compounds that interested them, either for a smell or an effect they had on the plant’s flowers.
On the other hand, hemp farmers have not tended to modify the plant. It is these hemp plants that are used to create CBD oil.
How CBD works
All cannabinoids, including CBD, attach themselves to certain receptors in the body to produce their effects.
The human body produces certain cannabinoids on its own. It has two receptors for cannabinoids, called CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors.
CB1 receptors are found all around the body, but many of them are in the brain.
The CB1 receptors in the brain deal with coordination and movement, pain, emotions and mood, thinking, appetite, and memories, among others. THC attaches to these receptors.
CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. They affect inflammation and pain.
It used to be thought that CBD acts on these CB2 receptors, but it appears now that CBD does not act on either receptor directly. Instead, it seems to influence the body to use more of its own cannabinoids.
Because of the way that CBD acts in the body, it has many potential benefits.
Natural pain relief or anti-inflammatory properties
People commonly use prescription or over-the-counter drugs to relieve pain and stiffness, including chronic pain.
Some people feel that CBD offers a more natural way to lower pain. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD significantly reduced chronic inflammation and pain in some mice and rats.
The researchers suggest that the non-psychoactive compounds in marijuana, such as CBD, could be a new treatment for chronic pain.
Quitting smoking and drug withdrawals
There is some promising evidence that CBD use may help people to quit smoking. A pilot study posted to Addictive Behaviors found that smokers who used an inhaler containing the compound CBD smoked fewer cigarettes but did not have any additional craving for nicotine.
Another similar study posted to Neurotherapeutics found that CBD may be a promising substance for people who abuse opioids.
Researchers noted that some symptoms experienced by patients with substance use disorders might be reduced by CBD. These include anxiety, mood symptoms, pain, and insomnia.
These are early findings, but they suggest that CBD may be used to avoid or reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Epilepsy and other mental health disorders
CBD is also being studied for its possible role in treating epilepsy and neuropsychiatric disorders.
A review posted to Epilepsia noted that CBD has anti-seizure properties and a low risk of side effects for people with epilepsy.
Studies into CBD’s effect on neurological disorders suggest that it may help to treat many of the disorders that are linked to epilepsy, such as neurodegeneration, neuronal injury, and psychiatric diseases.
Another study published in Current Pharmaceutical Design found that CBD may have similar effects to certain antipsychotic drugs and that it may be safe and effective in treating patients with schizophrenia.
More research is needed to understand how this works, however.
Helps fight cancer
CBD has been studied for its use as an anti-cancer agent.
A review posted to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology notes that CBD appears to block cancer cells from spreading around the body and invading an area entirely.
The review indicates that this compound tends to suppress the growth of cancer cells and promote the death of these cells.
Researchers note that CBD may help in cancer treatment because of its low toxicity levels. They call for it to be studied along with standard treatments, to check for synergistic effects.
Patients with chronic anxiety are often advised to avoid cannabis, as THC can trigger or amplify anxiety and paranoia in some people.
However, a review from Neurotherapeutics suggests that CBD may help to reduce the anxiety felt by people with certain anxiety disorders.
The researchers point to studies showing that CBD may reduce anxiety behaviors in disorders such as:
post-traumatic stress disorder
general anxiety disorder
social anxiety disorder
The review notes that current medications for these disorders can lead to additional symptoms and side effects and that people may stop taking the drugs because of these unwanted effects.
CBD has not shown any adverse effects in these cases to date, and the researchers call for CBD to be studied as a potential treatment method.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is caused by inflammation when the immune system attacks cells in the pancreas.
Recent research posted to Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation found that CBD may ease the inflammation in the pancreas in type 1 diabetes. This may be the first step in finding a CBD-based treatment for type 1 diabetes.
Acne treatment is another promising use for CBD. The condition is caused, in part, by inflammation and overworked sebaceous glands in the body.
A recent study posted to the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD helps to lower the production of sebum that leads to acne, partly because of its anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
CBD could be a future treatment for acne vulgaris, the most common form of acne.
Initial research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that CBD was able to prevent the development of social recognition deficit in subjects.
This means that CBD could potentially prevent people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s from losing their ability to recognize the faces of people that they know. This is the first evidence that CBD has potential to prevent Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.
Cannabis is legal for either medicinal or recreational use in some but not all states. Other states approve CBD oil as a hemp product without approving the general use of medical marijuana.
Laws may differ between federal and state level, and current marijuana and CBD legislation in the United States can be confusing, even in states where marijuana is legal.
There is an ever-changing number of states that do not necessarily consider marijuana to be legal but have laws directly related to CBD oil. This information is up to date as of July 24, 2017, but the laws frequently change.
The laws vary, but they generally approve CBD oil as legal for treating a range of epileptic conditions at various concentrations. A full list of states that have CBD-specific laws is available here.
Different states also require different levels of prescription to possess and use CBD oil. In Missouri, for example, a person must show that three other treatment options have been unsuccessful in treating epilepsy.
If you are considering CBD oil as a treatment for a suitable condition, talk to your local healthcare provider. They will have an understanding of safe CBD sources and local laws surrounding usage. Research the laws for your own state. In most cases, a prescription will be required.
Many small-scale studies have looked into the safety of CBD in adults and found that it is well tolerated across a wide range of doses.
There have been no significant side effects in the central nervous system or effects on vital signs and mood among people who use it either slightly or heavily.
The most common side effect noted is tiredness. Some people have noticed diarrhea and changes in appetite or weight.
There are still very little long-term safety data available, and, to date, tests have not been carried out on children.
As with any new or alternative treatment option, a patient should discuss CBD with a qualified healthcare practitioner before use.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved CBD for the treatment of any condition. It can be difficult to know whether a product contains a safe or effective level of CBD or whether the product has the properties and contents stated on its packaging and marketing.
How to use
CBD oil is used in different ways to relieve the symptoms of different conditions.
Some CBD oil products can be mixed into different foods or drinks, taken from a pipette or dropper, or are available as a thick paste to be massaged into the skin. CBD can also be purchased in capsule form.
Other products are provided as sprays that are meant to be administered under the tongue.
Here are a few recommended dosages, although these may vary between individuals based on other factors, such as body weight, the concentration of the product, and the condition being treated.
Due to the lack of FDA regulation for CBD products, seek advice from a medical professional before settling on any particular dosage.
All dosages relate to taking CBD oil by mouth. These can include:
Chronic pain: Take between 2.5 and 20 milligrams (mg) by mouth for no more than 25 days.
Epilepsy: Consume between 200 and 300 mg of CBD by mouth daily for up to 4.5 months.
Movement problems associated with Huntington’s disease: Taking 10 mg every day for six weeks can help ease movements.
Sleep disorders: Take between 40 and 160 mg.
Schizophrenia: Consume between 40 and 1,280 mg CBD by mouth daily for up to 4 weeks.
Glaucoma: One dose of between 20 and 40 mg applied under the tongue can help to relieve pressure in the eye. However, caution is advised – doses greater than 40 mg might actually increase pressure.
As regulation in the U.S. increases, more exact doses and prescriptions will start to emerge.
After discussing dosage and risks with a doctor, and researching regional legal use, it is important to compare different brands. There are a range of different CBD oils available to purchase online, with different benefits and applications.
Read all sorts of inspiring stories here.
Some of our favorite stories are –
1- Stefanie LaRue: Cancer Survivor and Medical Marijuana Advocate
Stefanie gives the term “breast cancer survivor” a new meaning. Every day she celebrates the time she may not have had.
In 2005, Stefanie’s world came to a halt. Her boyfriend discovered a lump in one of her breasts. At first, she was misdiagnosed by three different doctors and was told that she was too young for breast cancer. After all, she was only 30 years old at the time.
Stefanie was sent home several times with several rounds of antibiotics, which is quite telling of younger folks being misdiagnosed. By the time she could be tested thoroughly, the cancer had spread to her bones. Doctors diagnosed her with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer, which is cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body. The prognosis was grim: she was given a year to live, at most.
When chemo began to take too much out of her life, she turned to other methods.
“I did my homework. I researched as much as I could. I watched. I listened. I read. I contacted. I prayed. Most of all, I believed. I weighed my options, which were essentially chemotherapy or cannabis oil, and I decided to take the natural route this time…”
Stefanie followed the Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) protocol until she was cancer-free. “Cannabis oil killed all of the tumors in my body. My monthly lab and quarterly scan results are proof that the cannabis oil treatment worked,” she says. Her doctor, who had previously been skeptical, now credits these “alternative” treatments as the reason for her speedy recovery.
Now that her cancer is gone, Stefanie takes a maintenance dose of .5 gram of concentrated cannabis oil per day and it seems to be working. Her last scan in December of 2014 showed no signs of cancerous tumors.
2) The Woman Who Says She Beat Her Lung Cancer With Cannabis Oil
When 54-year-old wife and mother Sharon Kelly began experiencing sharp pains on the left side of her body near her ribs, she thought it was a result of a strong massage she’d had sometime earlier, and failed to give it much thought. After several days passed and the pain failed to subside, she began to think she might be suffering from something more serious, and as it turns out, she was right.
Only a few days after noticing the pain, Kelly was diagnosed with non-small-cell lung cancer, and in the weeks to come, her prognosis only worsened. Kelly was told that the cancer in her body had made its way to her lymph nodes and the lining of her stomach, and that she could expect to survive for somewhere between six and nine months. Understandably devastated by the news, she pleaded with her doctors to start treatments like radiation or chemotherapy in hopes of changing her prognosis.
Without adequate help from the medical community, Kelly’s youngest daughter turned to the internet and began reading numerous testimonials from cancer patients who had found relief with cannabis oil, an alternative treatment method used by many chronic-disease sufferers. With nothing left to lose, Kelly decided to try it for herself, and began taking a small dose orally several times a day.
After seven months of cannabis oil treatment, Kelly’s scans indicated she was completely cancer-free, shocking her oncologist and others familiar with her case. Now, 13 months after her initial diagnosis, Kelly remains cancer-free, and credits the use of cannabis oil for not only her otherwise unexplained recovery, but also her ability to live out the rest of her life amidst the love and comfort of her family.
3 – Medical Cannabis Helps Jeremy Manage His Seizures
“Medicinal cannabis is saving Jeremy’s life. Such a statement seems rather dramatic doesn’t it? Honestly, there is no other way to say it,” says Jeremy’s mother, Lyn.
Jeremy, an Australian boy who contracted a virus which resulted in Acute Viral Encephalitis when he was just six years old. During this time, Jeremy had to be hospitalized for over a month and was intubated when the doctors could not find a way to control his seizures and the detrimental activity going on in his brain.
In a drug-induced coma for five days, under the watch of supervised health care professionals, Jeremy continued to seize.
At one point, the doctors came out and told his family members that he might not make it. All they could do is wait, hope, and pray that he would make it through the night.
He did survive the attack, although he was left with devastating brain injuries.
his parents came to the decision, after much research, to give cannabis a try. Taking this matter into their own hands, Jeremy’s family did this alone, as their neurologist did not believe cannabis would help Jeremy at the time. Even though nothing had worked for Jeremy yet, it wasn’t an easy decision for them to try something that was considered “taboo” in their country.
From the very first dose of whole plant cannabis oil, Jeremy began sleeping through the night peacefully. He did not wake up, get out of bed, or refuse to go to sleep like normally. Since Jeremy began consuming cannabis, the continual twitching and spasms that were wrecking his body each and every day were not occurring anymore.
According to his family, Jeremy has not suffered a bout of toxicity, or any other unwanted side effects, since switching to whole plant cannabis therapy.
However, it’ is not all sunshine and rainbows for Jeremy since switching to cannabis. He still suffers from some tonic clonic seizures now and then, but does recover much quicker than he used to. According to his mother, “Jeremy’s complex partial seizures are no where near as frequent, and he is beginning to go to the bathroom by himself for the first time, after years of being totally reliant on us for assistance.”
He is reported as being much more alert than ever before, with a significant improvement in his behavior, alertness, and overall mood. Jeremy now understands what behaviors are warranted and no longer aims to hurt others around him. “Cannabis has definitely made him less violent/angry at the world. It really has changed his life,” says his mother, Lyn.
4 – South Carolina Girl Gets First Dose Of Cannabis Oil To Help Treat Her Seizures
A six-year old South Carolinian girl, Mary Louise, is suffering from pediatric epilepsy. Fortunately, she lives in a state where she can access cannabis in oil form.
Given the justifiable concerns around getting children “high,” lawmakers in many other states are taking extra precautions in crafting legalization statutes. In effect, many state politicians are opting to only legalize CBD (cannabidiol), the cannabinoid they feel they can “trust,” a definite step in the wrong direction after multiple studies have proven that the entourage effect of cannabinoids plays a significant role in the efficacy of cannabis as a viable treatment.
As such cannabis oil is quickly climbing the charts as the most effective (and least harmful) treatment option for patients suffering from pediatric epilepsy. Many parents with children suffering from pediatric epilepsy are now turning to cannabis oil in an effort to save their children from the damage caused by seizures, and the adverse long-term/short-term side effects of the pharmaceuticals they are otherwise relegated to use for treatment.
It’s gotten so bad, families living in states where cannabis is still illegal are being forced to stop their lives and relocate to cannabis-friendly states like Colorado, where they can legally access a cure for their loved ones.
Having said that, South Carolina passed their CBD-only law for epileptic children in March 2014, and those children are finally getting access to some of the medicine they need. Mary Louise’s mother, Jill Swing, spoke with The Island Packet of Hilton Head on her daughter’s progress. Before Mary Louise began treatment, Swing says her daughter was suffering more than 100 seizures during a 45-minute therapy session.
After her first dose of CBD oil, her seizures dropped to 19 during a similar session. That’s an 81% decrease in symptoms; a dramatic improvement in her condition.
Formerly, Mary Louise was known as a quiet child, but now she is coming out of her shell and talking up a storm. Cannabis can give people their lives back. Children, most of all, deserve a fighting chance at a healthy and happy life. As adults, it’s our responsibility to provide them with that opportunity. Why would we limit a child’s potential by depriving them of the plant that can cure their condition without harm?
Weed is popular worldwide, but not for its medicinal uses. Its medicinal benefits are reaped by only a few but thanks to many protests marijuana is now legal in countries like Canada and England. On the other hand, countries like India continue to treat it at illegal.
Cannabis, or marijuana, is famous as a recreational drug, used commonly to ‘get high’ hence its legalization has become a topic of great controversy. Some countries have legalized it, like Canada, because of its medicinal uses, while others have refused to do so.
Will you try?
In your younger days, maybe you had already tried smoking pot. But to try it in a medicinal way, given the risks of smoking marijuana, will you give it a shot?