Did you know the US Dept. of Health
and Human Services holds a patent on
CANNABINOIDS AS ANTIOXIDANTS &
US Pat. No. 6,630,507
SOME COMMON TERMS:
Cannabinoiods – a class of chemical compounds
that activate specific receptors in the brain. At
least 85 have been isolated from the cannabis plant
alone, all exhibiting varying effects; THC is the most
CBD (Cannabidiol) – non-psychoactive cannabinoid
known for its cancer-fighting properties as well
as relief of epilepsy, inflammation, anxiety, cough,
congestion, and nausea. CBD can be used to
modulate the psychoactivity of THC, reducing
anxiety and paranoia but amplifying the medicinal
Decarboxylation – the process of removing
a carbon molecule from CBDA/THCA thereby
“activating” it into CBD/THC for cannabinoid
receptors. Decarboxylation happens when cannabis
is heated by smoking or vaporizing, and when
cannabis is cooked into oil/butter.
Terpenes – compounds that modify the effects
of THC and other cannabinoids, and impact the
medicinal effect of the strain as well as smell and
taste characteristics. Terpenes are being used
to fingerprint and identify each strain to better
understand their physiological impacts.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) – cannabinoid known
for its psychoactive properties and relief of pain and
MEDICAL USEFULNESS OF THE
Even if you have never touched cannabis, there are
cannabinoids in your body. Your endocannabinoid
system is a central regulatory system that affects a
wide range of biological processes, including appetite,
pain sensation, mood, sleep, and memory. Experts
believe that the main overall function of this system is
to regulate homeostasis.
Homeostasis is a key element in the biology of all
living things and is best described as the ability
to maintain stable internal conditions that are
necessary for survival. Most of the clinical conditions
patients present are a result of a failure to achieve
homeostasis, making the endocannabinoid system a
unique target for medical applications. Thus cannabis
has the potential to treat not only the symptoms of
disease, but the disease itself.
THE OTHER CANNABINOIDS
Marijuana contains its own inherent cannabinoids
that mimic and enhance those in the body with
varying, complex effects. These phytocannabinoids
and their sidekicks, the terpenes and flavonoids,
create an “entourage effect,” a team effort that
regulates, modulates, stimulates and protects
virtually every cell in the body.
Recent findings based on pre-clinical and human
studies show that Cannabidiol, or CBD, has anti-
inflammatory, antipsychotic, anticonvulsant,
anti-tumorigenic and pain-relieving properties. CBD
has also been shown to be effective against cancer,
Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and multiple
sclerosis. It helps prevent and treat heart disease,
diabetes and stroke. It even appears to improve
psychological conditions like schizophrenia, social
anxiety disorder, depression and ADHD, often
working better than the drugs typically prescribed,
and with virtually no side effects. CBD has even
been shown in vitro to be effective against
the difficult-to-treat bacterial infection MRSA
(methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
Another non-psychoactive cannabinoid,
Cannabigerol (CBG) has been shown to relieve
interocular pressure, making it useful against
glaucoma. Its anti-inflammatory properties have
been shown effective against gastrointestinal
disorders like IBS.
Cannabis is one of the most diverse plant species on
the planet, so all marijuana is not the same. The trick
to benefitting the most from this medicinal plant is
matching the right strain to the right patient ailment
and consuming it in the most effective way. This may
take a little trial and error before you find the right
combination for your unique needs. The good news
is that any negative side effects are generally mild,
especially compared against the horrific ones that
are associated with many pharmaceutical drugs.
BEYOND THE BUD:
METHODS OF MEDICATING
Some patients are apprehensive about smoking, but
studies have shown that marijuana smoke alone is
not associated with lung disease. However, there are
a number of alternative ways to medicate that are
healthier and more discreet.
Vaporizers gently heat the plant matter or
concentrate without combustion, so there is no
smoke and vastly reduced odors. There are many
types of vaporizer, ask a dispensary professional for
guidance on which is right for you.
Edibles are an excellent option, offering more precise
dosage control and longer-lasting relief. It may take
up to two hours to feel the effects, so use caution
until you know what works. Once the dosage is right,
edibles are safe, effective, and discreet.
Tinctures, drinkables, and other sublingual
applications have the advantages of an edible, but
are much faster-acting. Juicing raw cannabis leaves
is another option.
Concentrates (hash, wax, oil) are a higher potency
alternative which can be “dabbed” alone or on top of
flowers. Most require specialized equipment, please
consult a dispensary professional to learn more.
Note this is a general guide; terpenes, methods
of consumption, and even time of harvest will all
alter marijuana’s effects on the mind and body.
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