The Importance of Medical Cannabis Oil
The Cannabis plant has been used medicinally for about 5,000 years and was prescribed by doctors in the US up until 1942 when it was then made illegal.
Its most popular uses have been for the treatment of pain, nausea and vomiting. This is perhaps what it is best known for even today – its popularity for reducing the side effects of chemotherapy a plus for cancer patients.
Medical Cannabis oil came under the spotlight in 2013 when a child named Charlotte Figi was given CBD oil (a non-psychoactive derivative of Cannabis oil) to successfully treat the seizures she suffered up to 300 times a week. Her seizures dropped to 2-3 per month and the attention her case received worldwide helped to change the conversation around the use of medical Cannabis oil for a variety of ailments.
We know this much to be true - we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of the medical potential of the Cannabis plant.
Medical Cannabis is used for treating a variety of diseases and conditions. Technically there is no difference between medicinal and recreational Cannabis, however if Cannabis is taken for medicinal reasons, always be sure to use the highest quality product – for example, it should be farmed using chemical-free and organic practices wherever possible and should be lab-tested to ensure it is safe.
For more information about Cannabis we have tons of great information in our blog on everything you need to know about CBD oil in South Africa.
Cannabinoids in medical Cannabis
The Cannabis plant contains over 100 different active compounds called cannabinoids, each having a different effect on the human body. The most well-known of the cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These are the compounds most used for their medicinal properties.
THC is psychoactive and produces the high sensation associated with Cannabis. CBD is non-psychoactive.
Amongst many other reasons, THC may be used to ease pain, nausea and inflammation while CBD may be used to ease pain, inflammation, sleep disorders and anxiety.
Cannabinoids are similar to the chemicals in our bodies called endocannabinoids that are involved in regulating appetite, memory, movement and pain.
The science behind medical Cannabis oil
The endocannabinoid system, which was an unknown part of the body’s functions, up until its recent discovery in 1988, is responsible for regulating immune response, communications between cells, appetite, metabolism and memory.
It is made up of a collection of receptors as well as specialised lipids and enzymes that help to regulate basic functions and respond to illness or imbalance. This is done by helping to balance and maintain homeostasis. In this way, the endocannabinoid system helps your body to function at its optimal condition.
The cannabinoid compounds in the Cannabis plant connect with the endocannabinoid system’s special receptors and influence their behaviour. These receptors are found in your brain and your immune system. Exactly how this process works is still largely unknown, and further research is needed.
The uses of Medical Cannabis
Medical Cannabis oil, which contains the cannabinoids THC and CBD amongst many more, are active compounds similar to your body’s natural compounds, the endocannabinoids, controlling appetite, movement, memory, and pain. By influencing these functions, cannabinoids are able to provide relief to a number of different ailments.
The main benefits of Cannabis include reducing anxiety, inflammation and pain, controlling nausea and vomiting, slowing tumour growth, relaxing spasming muscles, stimulating appetite and weight gain.
Research is currently being conducted into how Cannabis can help to treat or improve the severity of a variety of illnesses and ailments. The list is extensive and includes:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Appetite loss
- Crohn’s disease
- HIV/Aids and Multiple Sclerosis
- Eating disorders
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Mental health disorders (including PTSD, schizophrenia)
- Nausea, Pain
Side effects are minimal and have included diarrhea, changes in appetite/weight, and fatigue.
So little is still known about how Cannabis influences our body’s functions, but research is promising for the wide applications this plant could have on the treatment of so many illnesses.
This is why it’s of the utmost importance that healthcare professionals involved in the treatment and care of patients using medical Cannabis undergo proper education and training.
Cheeba Africa offers a variety of courses designed to do exactly that (visit our Cheeba Academy for details). To ensure our courses are of the highest standard, we have proudly partnered with US-based Cannabis online education platform Medical Marijuana 411 for all our medical Cannabis courses.
Medical Marijuana 411 was founded in 2009 and is one of the most trusted online resources for medical cannabis education, working with a community of physicians, patients, and researchers. Their online education platform is based on peer-reviewed research and is a source of unbiased information.