The Cannabis plant in the field of medicine serves multiple purposes and is a renewable resource as it grows like weed. Hence legalization of it has been in process. The Ayurvedic tradition considers cannabis as a medicinal herb. And it is always in combination of other sativa-medicinal herbs cannabis.
Medical cannabis contains a substance called the Cannabinoids that act on cells in the body, even on the brain cells. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are the two main cannabinoids used in medicine. It is the Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, which causes the psychoactive effects of “getting high” while the Cannabidiol or CBD is an effective substance reducing seizures in some people with epilepsy
Cannabis in treating Seizures
Over the past few years’ clinical studies and anecdotal reports suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) could potentially help control seizures. Seizures are sudden, electrical disturbance in brain that can disturb or change your behaviour, feelings, even the level of consciousness. CBD is a compound in marijuana that does not produce intoxication, but appears to interact with cannabinoid receptors in the brain. But a lot of experiment and laboratory studies on this haven’t been possible due to federal regulations and limited access to cannabidiol. But the studies conducted so far show that specific plant-based CBD product in treating specific groups of people with epilepsy who have not responded to traditional therapies. Even in its preclinical model the CBD has been a substance of cure even for seizures induced by maximal electro-shock. But these anti-seizure effects of CBD are confirmed through based on patient or parenteral reports without adequately structured data collection. Well controlled randomized trials are currently in process.
Cannabis in treating Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Another major surprise element that we see in cannabis medical effects is that, cannabis as a treatment for autism spectrum disorders appears to be beneficial. Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that affects communication and behaviour that begins early in childhood and lasts throughout a person’s life. It has various manifestations and symptoms. These days 1 out of 59 children are affected with ASD. Symptoms such as anxiety, abnormal behaviour, sleep problems, and epilepsy substantially impact the quality of life for these individuals.
Looking at the research conducted from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Soroka University Medical Center we see that the reports that after six months of treatment (between the years 2015-2017), 80% of participants have reported some level of improvement. The study also shows that the cannabis oil medication helped in improving the quality of life for them. The mood and ability to perform activities like dressing, taking shower independently had a significant improvement. It also helped in increasing the concentration and improving sleep. Such clinical evidence to evaluate the benefits, risks, and effects of medical cannabis use for those with ASD, have only just begun.
Stated above are just two main medical uses of cannabis. The history of use of cannabis for medical purposes goes back to 2,700 B.C. (according to literatures). The plant originated in Central Asia in the foothills of the Himalayas. Nowadays cannabis is cultivated mostly in the tropical and subtropical parts of India. Biljana Dušić, MD who is the counsellor of Ayurvedic medicine- Aditi Ayurvedic counselling studio states that The Ayurvedic names of cannabis are “vijaya” – ‘the one who conquers’ and “siddhi” – ‘subtle power’, ‘achievement’. The plant is divided into three parts the Bhang which is the leaves, Ganja is the flowering tops and the Charas which is the name for the plant resin. All three parts have different medicinal purpose in Ayurvedic therapies and remedies. This plant holds a sacred position in the Ayurvedic treatments traditionally. And most Ayurvedic practioners feel that violent defamation this sacred plant in most countries has been a major restriction for clinical experiments and uses.
Telemedicine in cannabis
As far fetched these terms might sound together, the reality is shifting. While cannabis legalisation policies still remain a hindrance, many places across the world are gradually seeing cannabis being legalised. As both telemedicine and cannabis are rather contemporary subjects, it remains to be seen the evolution of telemedicine in cannabis.
Telemedicine refers to the provision of remote clinical services, via real-time two-way communication between the patient and the healthcare provider, using electronic audio and visual means. In layman’s language, it is online appointment and treatment of the disease of a patient by a doctor.
Medicinal cannabis as well as telemedicine, merge of these relatively new concepts, has been done, as their evolution has been happening on a parallel note. Having said that, telemedicine in cannabis has a lot of scope, that is yet to be studied and explored. In this article, we look at few of the results that have been arrived at, to gain some insight into this relatively new fusion of the concepts.
Telemedicine in India
In a country like India, where 65 percent of the population is rural, telemedicine has proved to be an extremely effective and efficient method of treating people from a distance, as rural India has been bereaved of good health facilities providing a scope for improvement of the telemedicine sector.
In a developing country like India, it is the need of the hour that the new innovations made in the health and wellness sector, reaches to the poor in India, as they need it the most.
Ayushman Bharat Scheme, a government infused finance scheme for the health sector in India, has directed a significant amount of its funds for building infrastructure for the growth of telemedicine in India. It remains to be seen, how patients from the rural areas, react to this modern way of treatment.
Cannabis and telemedicine: A partnership
The link between telemedicine and medicinal cannabis is coming up with medicinal cannabis emerging as a potential therapy for nicotine, alcohol and opioid use disorders. And since these disorders are primarily associated with psychotherapy, giving it over online is convenient.
Studies have revealed that amongst patients availing treatment using telemedicine, patients with drug related disorders have the highest patient satisfaction. Since telemedicine is a cross platform, cross devices method of treatment, the treatment is possible with an immediate effect, across long distances.
Although telemedicine in cannabis, has not yet experienced a full fledged growth, mainly due to the limitations imposed on policies based on both telemedicine as well as cannabis. Setting up a telemedicine appointment as well as prescribing medicinal cannabis, both require a validated license. Doctors not only need to meet the clinical and legal guidelines for each program, they also need to follow their state medical board’s recommendations on how to mix the two. The future of telemedicine in cannabis is hinged on how these policies will be eased in the future.
Word from Hempstreet
As you would have understood about telemedicine in cannabis through this article, it is a topic that is on the path of experimentation and research. In an initial stage like this, it is very important that while purchasing from a cannabis dispensary, make sure you have a full proof prescription after consultation, including the dosage and the form of medicinal cannabis in which it should be consumed, be it CBD oil, cannabis tinctures, etc. In future, with systematic guidelines put in place, let us hope that everyone can avail this opportunity and benefit from the same.
Health benefits offered by THC
THC, or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of the cannabinoids found in cannabis. THC, has been fighting a long drawn battle against its bad reputation. While it is infamous for being the component in cannabis that makes one “high”, its benefits have long been sidelined. Medicinal cannabis is made up of over 500 chemical compounds ranging from cannabinoids, terpenoids, etc. to fatty acids. From amongst the 61 cannabinoids that have been identified, THC happens to be one of the cannabinoids that is significantly studied, along with CBD, or cannabidiol. Although there is no denying that THC is psychoactive, this article will help you understand the health benefits offered by THC. With cannabis legalisation surfacing as an obstacle every now and then, it is interesting to see how the benefits of THC have managed to reach users in certain parts of the world.
THC has the chemical formula C21H3oO, with a molecular mass of 314.464 g/mol. While the chemical composition does not differ much from CBD, the arrangement of atoms within THC is different from that of CBD.
These cannabinoids function in a similar manner like that of endocannabinoids, that are produced by our own body. This collateral property of cannabinoids allow them to attach to the receptors present in the body and produce the effect.
Benefits of THC
THC is the cannabinoid responsible for protecting the plants from insects and pests. Historical evidence suggests that THC metabolites were found inside a tomb in Israel, where it was used as an aid by a women for giving birth. Since then, studies have suggested the medicinal use of THC for various diseases. While CBD remains to be the holding ground for medicinal cannabis, CBD without THC cannot produce the desired effect. Let us look at few of the health benefits offered by THC.
- Anti-inflammatory: This condition is associated as a symptom with a whole range of diseases, from arthritis and asthma to pain caused due to chemotherapy. THC has been effective as an aid for each of these diseases, as THC has successfully managed to combat the condition of inflammation.
- Chronic Pain relief: THC has potential uses in treating and alleviating chronic pain. Be it mental pain or physical, anxiety or broken ankle, THC always comes to the rescue and provides a ‘feel-good’ feeling. It is also competent for treatment of muscle spasticity, i.e, easing the pain of spasms in multiple sclerosis.
- Glaucoma: While there have been research results that have pointed out the effect of THC, as an aid for the treatment of glaucoma, any substantial proof is yet to be established.
- Low appetite: THC is also responsible for bringing back appetites – a crucial part of healing for those living with HIV and the side effects of cancer therapy.
- Insomnia: THC has proven to be a potent sleeping aid, with little to no side effects. Results reflect that THC has been able to refurbish a person’s sleep cycle due to its analgesic and anti-anxiety properties that provides the user an enhanced and stree-free sleep. This is mainly due to the property of THC which reduces the amount of REM sleep, or sleep full of dreams and nightmares. This has also made THC particularly useful for PTSD patients.
- Anti oxidant & Anti convulsant: As a powerful anti oxidant, THC has proven efficacious in protecting the skin. THC’s anticonvulsant properties, allows it be a part of almost all medicines that are used to cure seizures.
Ways to take THC for health benefits
THC can be taken in many ways, however the best one for the health are through; Cannabis Oil, Cannabis tinctures, Cannabis edibles and Cannabis capsules.
Through the article, we looked at various health benefits offered by THC. However, before consuming it is advised to consider the possibility of side effects as well as the consultation of a doctor or physician. Seek for reliable sources of information and scientific evidence and decide upon the dosage, before purchasing medications from the cannabis dispensary.
What are cannabis terpenes?
Certain elements of cannabis are highly necessary for an enhanced experience and a better understanding of the kind one consumes. A well-known quality of cannabis is that it affects the mind and behavior when consumed. The main compound that produces such psychoactive effects on individuals is THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Extensive research has been done on this compound. However, there exist a large number of other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenoids in medicinal marijuana that play an important role in helping understand cannabis and its effects. Not a lot of people know about the terpenes present in cannabis. Through this article, we would understand what are cannabis terpenes, and why they matter.
Introduction to terpenes
Are you wondering what terpenes are? Well, you are already familiar with them! Terpenes are the aromatic organic hydrocarbons that are found in a number of plants. The cannabis plant has a variety of compounds and chemicals, and about 140 of them can be classified as terpenes. Often the terms terpene and terpenoid are used synonymously, despite them having different meanings. The difference between the two is that terpenoids are terpenes that are denatured due to chemical modification or oxidization, while terpenes are hydrocarbons.
Terpenes are produced inside the glandular trichomes of the secretory cells of cannabis, with the help of exposure to light. In simple words, they are the aromatic oils that cause different cannabis plants to have distinctive flavors such as: citrus, mint, pine, berry, etc. In cannabis plants, terpenes act as a repellant for predators, and help lure pollinators. Factors such as the climate, age, fertilizers, soil, and exposure to light, influence the development of terpenes in plants. Terpenes are important elements that help distinguish the effects of different cannabis strains.
Different terpenes serve different purposes, for instance, certain terpenes might have relaxing and calming effects on individuals, while some might help them focus properly. Myrcene, one of the known terpenes is present in strains such as Blue Dream and Granddaddy Purple, and helps users relax. Limonene, pinene, linalool, caryophyllene, humulene, etc. are some other known terpenes. Although basic information about terpenes is available, the subject needs more research.
Why are terpenes important?
Terpenes are important for a number of reasons, some of which are discussed below.
- Hightened effects: A paper published in 2011 explored the way in which cannabinoids and terpenes work together in order to boost the effects of each other in our bodies’ endocannabinoid system or the ECS. Therefore, terpenes can help increase or decrease the effects of CBD, THC and other compounds in the body. Terpenes also affect the high and lead to the entourage effect on individuals. For instance, myrcene helps increase the effects of THC.
- Medical benefits: Terpenes have certain medical benefits. Myrcene helps those struggling with insomnia and fatigue, and acts as a sedative. It is also anti-inflammatory, and helps alleviate pain. Another terpene called Limonene has energizing effects on people, and acts as an anti-depressant. It is also used in aromatherapy.
- Taste and Flavor: Terpenes help accentuate the natural flavor of cannabis and vape oils. They help us experience the citrusy, the pine, the berry, and the mint aroma. They are used in essential oils as well.
Word from HempStreet
The information provided above helps one understand what terpenes are and the effects they have on consumption. Terpenes enrich the cannabis plants as well as other plants. They play an important role in the survival of multiple plant species. However, due to minimal research, a lot of its benefits remain unknown. More research is needed in the field, in order to uncover the potential medicinal and therapeutic benefits of terpenes.
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