General Information – Medical Cannabis

Medical Cannabis for patients
13 december 2019

Medical cannabis

Cannabis has been used for thousands of years. In the past, its medicinal use was one of the most important purposes. This special plant quickly travelled all over the world. What started out as something innocent soon changed in America around the 1930’s. An opium law was soon made for cannabis.

This spread further around the world, as a result of this plant becoming illegal, more and more crime was being committed for cannabis. At that time, recreational use was also the most popular. Medicinal marijuana has only become increasingly popular in the last ten years, mainly because more and more research into cannabinoids (cannabis) has been started. The results have shown that the plant can be effective in various conditions in a positive way (according to the Dutch cannabis agency).

Medicinal cannabis is used in the following complaints / disorders:

  • Pain, muscle cramps and muscle twitching in multiple sclerosis (MS) or spinal cord damage;
  • Reduced appetite, emaciation and weakening in cancer and AIDS;
  • Nausea and vomiting as a result of medication or radiation in cancer, HIV infection and AIDS;
  • Prolonged pain of a neurological nature (cause is in the nervous system), for example due to damage to a nervous system, phantom pain, facial pain or chronic pain that persists after the healing of shingles;
  • Tics in Tourette’s syndrome;
  • Therapy resistant glaucoma.

Marijuana weed in jar MS and cannabis best coffeeshop vondelpark amsterdam

How does cannabis work?

What makes cannabis so special are the cannabinoids that ensure the positive effects of the cannabis plant. The two best-known cannabinoids are CBD and THC. The most important psychoactive cannabinoids, THC and CBD were discovered in 1964.

Since then, we have learned more about how cannabinoids work. For example, cannabinoids activate so-called cannabinoid receptors that attach themselves to two receptors in our human body: the cb1 and the cb2 receptors. Cannabinoid receptors are naturally sensitive to a body’s own substance, anandamide, which is released in much lower concentrations. This causes the body to relax and become intoxicated.

In 1992 it was discovered that the body itself produces cannabinoids, the so-called endocannabinoids, which also attach themselves to the CBD receptors (e.g. anandamide) to release this substance in much lower concentrations in your body, where your body relaxes.

Medicinal cannabis maybe not as bad as you think.

The legalization of medicinal cannabis in Canada and America (certain states) is causing many changes in the medical world. In America many opiates (painkillers) are prescribed, these are often bad for the body and many people die from it. Research has even shown that an average of 40,000 people a year die from these (heavy) painkillers in America. Researchers say that medicinal cannabis may be a healthier alternative. The University of Massachusetts and Colorado State University recently published a study on the subject. They say the following

“Our main discovery is that access to recreational cannabis also significantly reduces opioid mortality. This is most evident in [problems surrounding] synthetic opioids”.

The researchers say that making medicinal cannabis more accessible in pharmacies has caused people to choose cannabis over painkillers. The authors of this study saw a decrease in the mortality rate of the people who survived these painkillers in the following years. In addition, earlier research was conducted by other researchers who saw that medicinal cannabis may be able to overcome other painkillers.

What’s next?

There is so much development going on in the medicinal cannabis industry that there is still a lot to be done for this helpful plant. Especially because of the legalization in countries like Canada, new and positive results can be achieved through the many studies that are carried out nowadays. We all know the marijuana in our reliable coffeeshops, but the higher purpose of this special plant has probably not yet been discovered.

Follow-up research

 

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