Nowadays, researchers working on medicinal fields have been trending to focus on one unconventional component- cannabis. Many doctors like the Florida marijuana doctors are using cannabis as a medicine. Being a grade-1 restricted substance, cannabis is almost a strict no-no for the researchers courtesy to the government. But still studies exist and so we delve in the medicinal impacts of this wondrous chemical.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is a derivative substance extracted from the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica). This plant usually grows wild anywhere and in any climate, though recently many indoor hydroponic plants have evolved for more controlled and productive cultivation, and various types of cannabis strains are also available which are most famous in the market.
Almost all parts of the plant are potent and are used to make various forms of cannabis. Cannabis is most commonly used in three forms, i.e. marijuana, hashish and hash oil. Marijuana is the least potent of these three forms. It is made from dried flowers and leaves of the plant. Hashish or hash is the product of the resin or gum secreted by the plant. Hash oil is the most potent cannabis product which is extracted from hashish.
The main psychoactive and euphoric content of cannabis that gives the so-called “high” in cannabis users is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Apart from this, cannabis also contains certain other chemical components like cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN) etc. that have more or less certain psychoactive and medicinal properties.
Medicinal Properties of Cannabis
Though cannabis is a grade 1 restricted substance, recent studies have revealed that cannabis is actually a quite helpful and wonderful substance when it comes to health. Recent studies suggest that cannabis and its chemical components can do a major deal in treating many major diseases.
- A study published in the journal “Molecular Cancer Therapeutics” have shown that cannabidiol has the power to turn off the “ID-1” gene, which is responsible for tumor malignancy, and hence helpful in cancer treatment.
- Cannabis seeds are a powerhouse of minerals, vitamins, potassium, iron etc. They are an extremely healthy supplement for the human body. They are just as healthy as foods containing vitamin E!
- Cannabis also has been reported to work on diabetes. Chemical compounds like cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have been reported to control blood insulin levels, blood glucose level and hence work on diabetes.
- Cannabis has been found as a most promising drug in the case of Alzheimer’s. According to a cell study, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) shows competitive inhibition against the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Acetylcholinesterase induces amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) aggregation, causing Alzheimer’s disease.
- The most common use for cannabis for medical purposes can be cited as relief against chronic pain. Widely used in the 1800s, cannabis still remains a great boon to people suffering from chronic pains and proves to be effective in such as lower back pain relief, which is a leading cause of disability in modern times. Certain studies show that cannabinoids have a substantial analgesic effect. This is why certain medicines like Sativex has been developed from cannabinoid derivatives and being used successfully.
- Use of CBD for anxiety, depression issues and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been going on for long. A review article “Medical cannabis and mental health: A guided systematic review” published in the Clinical Psychology Review has gone through this matter and reported that marijuana, the cannabinoids to be precise, evidently can relieve depression, anxiety, and PTSD conditions.
- Though it is unbelievable, cannabis smoking reportedly improves lung health, prevents asthma and has a real positive effect on the breathing capacities of our lung and thus the respiratory system.
- Terpenes, the fragrant oils that give cannabis its aromatic diversity, have many medicinal impacts similar to the cannabinoids.
- Research work on 420-CBD on animals has been going on since the 1940s. These chemicals are found to be psychoactive and many medical impacts have been discovered.
Medical marijuana has been attracting the attention of the public and the researchers for long. Legalization of the substance is a lengthy procedure, but sure this may be the revolution in the history of medicine.