Several pharmaceutical drugs based on cannabis in purified and standardized – CBD and CBG form have been made available for medical use.
This article reviews the evidence supporting the safety and efficacy of using raw herbal cannabis as medicine.
Cannabis In A New Light
New legal frameworks and extensive emerging clinical research have opened many doors to further research on cannabis and the compounds it makes. In just a few years, we have gone from having a mere and basic understanding of the plant’s compounds to discovering crucial connections between cannabinoids and human psychology and their effects on our bodies.
Although we have just begun to dig at the surface of clinical research for the medical and health applications of cannabis, this exploration is incomplete without collaborating with organic chemists, medical doctors, clinical experts, biologists, agronomy experts, botanists, pharmacologists, drug formulation and therapeutic product design.
The potential for new and advanced medications and wellness products derived from cannabis is promising and could be huge in the future. The suitable applications include reducing or relieving pain, quelling nausea, and easing seizures or the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. In addition, researchers are investigating various conditions that might respond well to cannabinoids and other compounds extracted from cannabis. These range from skin conditions to severe mental health issues such as PTSD and anxiety.
Cannabis-derived products are assured of becoming one of the most significant new consumer segments in the U.S. These products have made their way into several rising consumer trends and a renewed emphasis on quality of life among health-conscious demographics, including health and wellness as a lifestyle category, a developing demand for plant-based therapies and natural alternatives to prescription drugs.
As science advances, our ability to isolate various cannabinoids and mix and match formulations could create personalized health and wellness products. However, consumer packaged goods companies will still need to have solid research data generated by chemists, extractors, and other laboratory professionals, to turn this vision into a reality.
Much remains unknown even as scientists work to reveal the complete picture of the potential health benefits and risks of cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD). That’s’ what makes this an exciting area for scientific inquiry and commercial opportunity. Still, it is also why responsible scientists must rein in the misinformation and unsubstantiated claims swirling around CBD and another cannabinoid at the moment.
Studies & Clinical Trials
Cannabis contains CBD, a chemical that impacts the brain, making it function better without giving it a high, along with THC, which has pain-relieving properties. Both substances can be obtained and improved for use through short path distillation.
There have been several studies over the years that suggest multiple health benefits that cannabis can provide.
Cannabis consumers can get the following health benefits from it:
Cannabis has proven anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Inflammation plays a significant role in Alzheimer’s and motor neuron disease, Parkinson’s, AIDS, dementia, multiple sclerosis, autism, schizophrenia, etc.
The anti-cancer properties of THC, CBD, CBG, and other cannabinoids have been well established over the years. Scientists have long been investigating these since the early 1970s and have found more than 1100 papers on cannabinoids and cancer that they have published. It is also well documented that medical cannabis aids with the strong side effects of cancer cures, such as lack of appetite and nausea.
Medical cannabis is most widely used for the condition of chronic pain. It seems to be intensely successful in neuropathic pain, for which opioids, NSAIDs, and other pharmaceutical medicines are not as effective. It also appears to decrease the required dose when used with opioids.
THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids have different analgesics and pain perception effects. However, patients commonly report that even if the pain is not eliminated, cannabis helps them deal with it by altering their perception and focusing elsewhere.
There is a considerable number of good value evidence that includes clinical trials with placebo controls that help show the efficiency and safety of cannabis in treating chronic pain.
Bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease ulcerative colitis are widely and successfully treated with cannabis.
Research suggests many dramatic improvements in symptoms shortly after cannabis use, e.g., cessation of rectal bleeding and increased appetite.
MS is a condition that has been chiefly associated with the therapeutic use of cannabis.
There are many different ways of using cannabis, and the method can determine the effects of the drug.
Smoking or inhaling: A sense of joy can start in a few minutes and rise after 10-30 minutes. The feeling will then normally wear off in about 2 hours.
Ingesting: If a person consumes a product containing cannabis by mouth, they will usually feel the effects within 1 hour, and the rest of the sensations will peak after 2.5 – 3.5 hours. Another study suggests that the type of edible you choose to take affects the time it takes to feel the full effect – it is said that hard candies kick in quicker.
Topical: These are transdermic patches that allow the right ingredients to enter the body over a prolonged period. This stead infusion can benefit people using cannabis to treat pain and inflammation.
The Bottom Line
The future of medical cannabis is promising and brings exciting new research forward each day. However, even as researchers and experts in the fieldwork reveal the complete picture of the potential health benefits – and risks, overall, evidence suggests that cannabis is safe and moderately effective in neuropathic pain with preliminary evidence. These new developments will make a massive difference in the lives of patients.