Cannabis is gaining popularity as it becomes legal in more and more countries over time. The most important factor is the inclination towards its medicinal benefits. The following text is going to provide you with a very clear idea about the medicinal benefits of cannabis.
Sources and Components of Cannabis
Cannabis is a plant that makes some substances full of compounds called cannabinoids. There are more than 100 of these chemicals in cannabis. They have been known to cause drug-like reactions in your body.
However, two important compounds that are proved to have markable benefits are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most common cannabinoid found in cannabis products. Both CBD and THC work with the receptors that release neurotransmitters in your brain. It’s also available in oils, edibles, tinctures, capsules, etc.
CBD and THC interact with cannabinoid receptors in the body to help treat or limit the effects of various conditions. The most remarkable difference between CBD and THC is the lack of psychoactive effects for CBD, which does not typically cause the characteristic euphoria that is usually seen with THC. So, this is the reason, a person taking medicinal THC is likely to experience a sense of excitation while the person taking CBD will not feel “high”.
Effects of THC on the Body
THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. It’s what makes people feel “high” or “euphoric”.
There are two types of cannabinoid receptors in our bodies. THC binds with receptors present in the brain that control pain, mood, and other feelings. That’s why THC can make you feel euphoric.
THC is used to help with the following:
- Pain: Many cultures worldwide have been using cannabis for pain relief in their chronic ailments since long ago. Neuropathic pain is one of the challenging pains to treat with conventional drugs. However, recent studies have elucidated the intricate role of THC in the relief of neuropathic pain. This is the reason, there is growing interest seen in the use of medical cannabis for neuropathic pain.
- Glaucoma: Studies suggested that taking 6-8 doses of cannabis in the form of THC helps reduce intraocular pressure. There is also a high risk of cannabis dependence in this regard.
- Muscle spasticity: Pain and muscle spasms are the most common reasons that medical cannabis containing THC is being recommended. Studies show significant improvement in various types of pain and muscle spasticity as in Parkinson’s disease, seizure activity in Dravet syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and various other neuropathic disorders. Reported adverse effects are typically not serious, with the most common being dizziness and exhaustion.
- Insomnia: Cannabis has even been used to safely treat insomnia and anxiety in children with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Low appetite: Cannabinol compounds help decrease the appetite and thus can be useful in weight loss.
- Nausea: It helps reduce symptoms related to cancer and side effects related to cancer treatment, like nausea, vomiting, and pain, etc. Dronabinol and nabilone are indicated for the treatment of nausea and vomiting especially chemotherapy-induced vomiting.
- Anti-depressant effects: Oils containing cannabis have also shown antidepressant-like effects in several animal studies.
- Treatment of acne: Owing to its anti-inflammatory activity, it has proved to help with acne in several groups of individuals. It helps prevent sebaceous gland cells from secreting excessive sebum, exerts anti-inflammatory actions, and prevents the activation of so-called “pro-acne” agents like inflammatory cytokines.
- May benefit heart health: There are several benefits for the heart and circulatory system, including the ability to lower high blood pressure are shown by the use of oils containing cannabis. High blood pressure or hypertension is linked to higher risks of several health conditions including stroke, myocardial infarction, and metabolic syndrome.
- Antipsychotic effects: Studies suggest that people with schizophrenia and other mental disorders can be given cannabinoid oil that works by reducing psychotic symptoms.
- Other benefits: Many of the substance abuse cases have been treated for long with THC and related drugs. It is also proved to have some anti-tumor effects and helps prevent the prevalence of diabetes.
A person consuming THC-containing cannabinoids may experience some temporary side effects. These can include:
- Dry mouth
- Red eyes
- Slower than average response times
- A general feeling of being high
- Memory loss
- Issues with coordination
- Increased heart rate
Cannabis is a naturally occurring plant that produces different compounds. Two of these compounds THC and CBD are snatching attention in the medical world owing to their medicinal benefits. THC is more likely to cause euphoria than CBD. However, the other medicinal benefits of THC and CBD are no different without any systemic side effects.
Some of the proven advantages of the use of oils containing cannabis extracts are pain relief, reduction in the intensity of muscle spasms in several neuropathic disorders, reduction in IOP, anti-depressant effects, and much more.