Medicinal Marijuana: Everything you need to know

Medical Marijuana

There are many prejudices surrounding marijuana which commonly leads to doubts and confusion about its medicinal use.

When medical cannabis is mentioned, reference is made mainly to the Cannabis Sativa plant, which has been used to treat different diseases in traditional medicine in many cultures for hundreds of years.

Cannabis Sativa contains more than 70 different substances, substances called cannabinoids, which are found in different amounts depending on the specific strain of the plant.

That is why it is important to carefully choose well depending on the specific needs of each person.


What cannabinoids are good for medicinal use?

One of the best known is 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly defined as THC, for its psychoactive effects (the “high” effect).

Surely you have heard of THC before? Let me explain a bit further in detail.

THC Cannabis
THC Marijuana

In the recreational use of marijuana, the strains with higher THC content are more sought for (obviously). Due to the larger demand, the commercialized seeds are usually of these varieties.

It is responsible for the use of cannabis to get a “buzz“, but also has different proven medicinal effects: stimulates appetite, reduces nausea and vomiting, is useful to mitigate tremors and spasms and is anti-inflammatory.

All plants, however, contain other active compounds that do not have such psychoactive effects as CBD (cannabidiol), CBC (cannabichromene) and CBG (cannabigerol).

These components are very desirable in medical marijuana, but nevertheless, they appear in smaller proportions.

In particular, CBD or cannabidiol produces effects that counteract those of THC, but also causes a sedative effect in most people.

It inhibits the transmission of nerve signals associated with pain and reduces the growth of cancer cells in certain types of cancer, like breast cancer, without affecting non-cancer cells.

In most varieties, the percentage of CBD is between 0.6% and 1%. Some purely medicinal varieties can reach 6%, but they are not very common although they can be found.

It is very interesting the synergy that occurs between THC and CBD, since together they enhance their analgesic effects while the effects of CBD counteract the alterations that THC causes in the senses, allowing patients who use therapeutic marijuana to function normally.


Can these marijuana products be purchased safely?

There are different laboratories whose products are approved by health agencies, although clandestine artisanal production is very common (like ours!). Approved dispensaries are also a safe place to obtain cannabis products.

Cannabis medical tray
Cannabis medical tray

Although commercial products are more expensive, they also offer more guarantees about quality and different preparations depending on the use that is going to be given to them.

The most well-known preparation is oil, although other preparations are also found such as milk, tincture, butter, ointments, tablets or even prepared in the form of food.


For what diseases is cannabis effective and how cannabis works?

Asthma

It is a chronic disease in which, during an attack, the bronchi contracts and the airflow to the lungs are interrupted.

The most interesting effects are bronchodilator and antispasmodic (decreases the involuntary contractions of the smooth muscle surrounding the bronchi) because it allows the bronchi to relax and the air to circulate again in a normal way.

In addition, asthma sufferers usually have a certain level of inflammation even between episodes of the disease. Recent studies show that viral or bacterial infections can also influence, and cannabis can act as an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory.

On the other hand, its analgesic effect diminishes the pain in the chest that is frequent in asthma attacks.

The most suitable form of administration is the oral one with prescribed doses to avoid the overdosage alternated with the inhalation with a vaporizer if acute attacks occur, thus diminishing the irritation of the mucous membranes.

Multiple sclerosis

Patients with multiple sclerosis suffer a permanent muscle contraction known as spasticity.

Cannabinoids interact with receptors, proteins located in the membranes of neural and immune tissue cells, called CB1 and CB2.

These interactions produce interesting effects that improve the symptoms of sclerosis:

  • reduces spasticity and pain.
  • stimulates the mechanisms of elimination of glutamate, a substance that damages neurons.
  • decreases the inflammatory response.
  • lowers the immune response that produces toxic substances that damage neuronal tissue.

Fibromyalgia

Highly incapacitating disease of which the exact origin is still not well known.

People who suffer from it have chronic pain, stiff muscles especially in the mornings and generally suffer from anxiety and depression.

It is thought that it has a neuropathic origin, that is to say, that it is caused by an alteration in the nervous system.

On the one hand, dysregulation of the neurotransmission, dopamine and serotonin systems is suspected mainly, and on the other, stress-regulating mechanisms (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis).

In the neural tissue, there are receptors (known as CB1) for both endogenous cannabinoids (those produced by our own body) and exogenous cannabinoids, and the cannabinoid system is involved in physiological functions that affect the regulation of dopamine and serotonin, as well as the regulation of the physiological stress response.

The application of medical marijuana can substantially improve the subjective feeling of pain: the pain would not disappear, but the person would be less sensitive to it.

On the other hand, the immune system has other receptors, the CB2, and there are studies that point to immune alterations as a probable simultaneous cause in fibromyalgia.

Glaucoma

Disease associated with an increase in intraocular pressure, which produces damage to the optic nerve and a gradual loss of nerve fibers in the retina.

Progressively the patient loses vision and the damage is irreparable if it is not treated in time, being able to reach complete blindness.

Marijuana consumed in the form of a cigarette or ingested as food reduces intraocular pressure by 25%. In addition to the well-known anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects that are very important in some variants of the disease.

The effects, however, last between 3 and 4 hours, and applied topically is not as effective, so some lines of research have focused on the formulation of an eye drop from cannabis that allows a direct application on the eye.

Migraines

They appear in the form of a throbbing headache accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and hypersensitivity to noise and light, disabling the sufferer to perform any task for hours or even days.

The use of medicinal cannabis helps to improve the life of these people by alleviating the symptoms by their analgesic effect, decreasing nausea and vomiting or even eliminating them completely, and it is not less important is its sedative effect, which allows improving the states of stress and anxiety that attacks often trigger.

In addition, they are an alternative for those in whom other treatments have not worked or for which the side effects of those medications and the time they take to take effect are not an option.

Although the mechanisms by which migraines appear are not entirely clear, they seem to be related to the production of serotonin and the sensitization of the vascular trigeminal nerves.

Cannabinoids interfere with the production of serotonin and inhibit the pain responses of these nerves.

Cancer

Recent studies have shown that THC is effective in the death of tumor cells thanks to the mechanism of “cell recycling” or autophagy.

Studies of this process by which the cell degrades and recycles components has earned its discoverer, Yoshinori Ohsumi the Nobel Prize for Medicine 2016.

It seems that THC is one of the factors that determines the activation of autophagy that leads to the death of tumor cells, not affecting healthy cells.

So far, the studies have been done in vitro or in animals, but scientists are very optimistic in view of the results obtained in the destruction of tumor tissue by these new therapies.

But cancer patients also have to deal with the effects of the aggressive antitumor therapies that they produce within 24 hours after treatment: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and discomfort in the mouth.

On many occasions, the hospital’s own smell already makes them feel this discomfort by association, and the success of medicinal cannabis is amply demonstrated to improve these symptoms.

In addition to that patients feel better, have more appetite and decrease their anxiety, which significantly improves their quality of life and their mood to face the disease.

The human body has receptors for cannabinoids, which makes the medicinal uses of cannabis offer a wide field of study for the following generations.

Although at the moment there is no scientific evidence on the healing properties of cannabis, it has been possible to verify the soothing effects on the symptoms of many of them.

Due to the illegality in which the plant has been maintained in most of the world, research on its medicinal use has been held back for years.

However, at present the medicinal use of marijuana has been legalized in many countries (and also recreational use in some of them) which has given a necessary boost for the study and application of cannabis derivatives in the health field, as well as the development of safe and quality products that adapt to the different pathologies.


How to grow medicinal marijuana?

At this point, it is more than certain that you have heard about medical marijuana. It’s often seen in the news nowadays.

Surely you have known about it thanks to the recommendation of a friend or relative, or through the news due to debates about its legalization or not.

However, you probably do not know everything that this thousand-year-old plant has to offer you.

In the first place, and setting concepts, we must bear in mind that with the terms “marijuana” or “cannabis” we are encompassing multiple preparations of the cannabis plant.

One of the characteristics of marijuana is the wide scope of its use, that is, its use is extended throughout all continents.

But do we know where this plant comes from?

This plant has been used historically for an infinity of uses that go from the manufacture of fabrics (with the fiber of the hemp) to the healing of wounds or relief of pains.

It was in the Middle Ages when he landed in Europe, coming from Asia. Already at that time, it was used in the Asian continent to treat the inflammation and irritation of the skin.

Cannabis in ancient China
Cannabis in ancient China

All this without forgetting that in the Tibetan Buddhist culture, cannabis was presented as one of the most venerated plants.

Going back to our days, when we talk about the benefits of medicinal cannabis, we must always remember that we are not speculating or talking about unfounded characteristics.

All the benefits of this plant have a scientific basis that is becoming more solid thanks to new studies and research.

As one point shows, in the early 2000s, a comprehensive study of many of the research that existed about marijuana and its properties determined that it was effective in treating symptoms of diseases ranging from acute pain, glaucoma, and even migraines.

As we see are symptoms of diseases that are quite difficult to treat, since they are often chronic pain.

To the sustenance of the scientific base sustained in research and medical studies must be added that many doctors approve the use of this medicinal plant.

In fact, a survey conducted in 2008 in the United States showed that 50% of doctors are in favor of its use.

Therapeutic marijuana: cannabinoids

It is a fact, marijuana is formed by therapeutic compounds that are treated, mostly, of cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids are organic compounds that activate cannabinoid receptors in the human body.

These will be responsible for transporting the beneficial qualities for our bodies.

Among the therapeutic uses of cannabinoids, we can find analgesic effects, effects to stimulate the appetite or palliatives of the vomiting produced by the chemotherapy sessions (among many others).

What is the difference between THC and CBD?

After knowing what a cannabinoid is and what it produces, you will also have to bear in mind that marijuana contains more than 60 types of cannabinoids and, therefore, we will have to choose which one best suits our needs.

Therefore, first of all, we will differentiate between two cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.

THC (or delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol): this cannabinoid is responsible for the psychotropic effects of marijuana (it is a psychoactive compound) and is used in the most social aspect of this plant.

It is, perhaps, the component with which the common public is most familiar.

Do not forget that it also has relief effects on pain and serves to treat diseases in which lack of appetite is a problem since the THC opens the appetite.

CBD (or cannabidiol): is the second most concentrated cannabinoid and together with THC are the two most abundant cannabinoids naturally.

In this case, we are facing a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has the most medicinal applications.

That is why when we talk about medical marijuana we are referring to marijuana with high concentrations of CBD.

In addition to the effects mentioned above, CBD reduces diabetes, it is used to treat alcoholism and post-traumatic stress.

It is also one of the best allies when it comes to treating rheumatoid arthritis and its characteristic pains.

As it is not a psychoactive substance, it is a totally safe substance and, as we have already seen, it is full of beneficial properties for human beings.

What diseases can you treat with medical marijuana?

Throughout this article have been mentioned many of the diseases that can be treated with medical marijuana.

In many cases, the treatment that produces is a reduction of the symptoms of the diseases, especially when acute pains are treated.

We have also seen that depending on some or other compounds it will be possible to act on one or other diseases.

That is why we are going to put on the table clearly which are the diseases that we can treat with this plant and which are the symptoms on which it acts the most.

8 diseases that medical marijuana can help

1. HIV / AIDS: the combination of drugs that AIDS patients have to take is a pump for the body. Very aggressive treatments that generate vomiting, problems in the digestive system and in the kidneys of the patient.

In them, medical marijuana helps cope with this therapy, ending with nausea, stimulating appetite and reducing muscle spasms, pain and fatigue.

In fact, in a study of 10 marijuana smokers affected by HIV, the scientists analyzed how people who use marijuana eat and sleep better, as well as being in a more stable psychologically and with a better mood.

They also saw how neuropathic pain decreased in these people.

2. Alzheimer’s: according to research carried out on Alzheimer’s patients, it has been detected how sick people who refused to eat gained weight after beginning to use medical marijuana.

The data were surprising because, in addition to gaining weight, those affected began to notice a decrease in behavioral disorders that had hitherto suffered.

In addition to the effects already proven, it is being studied whether cannabis acts as a neurogenerator in the case of these diseases that are characterized by causing the degeneration of neurons.

It is possible that one of the components of cannabis is capable of regenerating neurons.

3. Arthritis: bearing in mind that, as we already know, medical marijuana and CBD act against inflammation, the application they have in diseases such as arthritis or rheumatism will be perfect.

This will produce a better movement of the patient and a reduction of chronic pain.

4. Asthma: Cannabis is a natural bronchodilator that can replace the bronchodilators that patients use to open their airways (since asthma causes the obstruction of these).

While used bronchodilators cause side effects such as restlessness, muscle tremor or vomiting.

Marijuana helps the lungs breathe naturally. If asthma sufferers do not tolerate smoke well, there are other ways to consume marijuana without necessarily having to be through the lungs.

5. Cancer: due to the epidemic in which this disease is becoming in our days, studies on the subject do not stop evolving.

The benefits of medical marijuana in relation to this disease are more widespread among public opinion.

In the first place (as in the illnesses discussed above), cannabis serves to alleviate side effects produced by aggressive chemotherapy sessions. It ends with nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

Its consumption is advised before the chemotherapy sessions so that these symptoms do not even appear due to the prevention.

On the other hand, studies in animals indicate that marijuana (and its concentrated cannabinoids) can destroy cancer cells while leaving intact those that are healthy. It would be a way to reduce tumors.

6. Crohn’s disease: a study carried out in Israel with Crohn’s patients gave light on the benefits of marijuana on this disease.

In the clinical trial, we studied the reaction of 21 patients who had severe symptoms and no longer responded to other treatments (including steroids).

Five of the eleven patients who were given the plant showed complete remission of symptoms.

Therefore, in relation to this disease, it manages to relieve pain, limit the frequency of diarrhea and help in weight gain.

7. Glaucoma: it is one of the main causes of blindness. Due to the pressure in the eyeball, a blockage occurs in the ducts of the eye.

When retained liquids remain, damage to the eye can occur.

Marijuana becomes an effective solution to avoid this situation since it constricts the nerves so that the eye secretes less liquid, so it does not accumulate.

8. Multiple sclerosis: chronic disease for which there is no cure, but are there palliatives? Of course, and the more natural the better.

That’s where the important role of marijuana appears. Thanks to this plant you can treat the symptoms naturally, away from cortisones.

Cannabis will help control muscle tremors and coordination and, above all, it will alleviate those acute pains that accompany this disease.

Do not forget the healing power of marijuana and its effects on inflammation, nausea and sleep problems.

That is, you can use medical marijuana to relieve insomnia, pain, and inflammation of menstruation or daily migraine.

It is not necessary to be affected by any serious disease so that you can benefit from the properties of the sacred plant.

Since you know the properties and applications of cannabis, it’s time for you to know how you can get this plant that will bring natural solutions to most of your ills.

Medical marijuana cultivation

Another advantage of using medical marijuana to relieve the symptoms of your diseases is that, unlike what happens with chemical drugs, marijuana can be grown autonomously at home. Therefore, the process is even more natural.

What, you don’t know how?

As you may have imagined after knowing the different types of cannabinoids that marijuana plants possess, there are many varieties of the plant that you can find.

That is why the first step to start cultivating your own medical marijuana is to choose the seeds you are going to cultivate well since it will depend on having some compounds or others and that is more or less indicated for your disease.

It should be noted above all in the percentages of CBD or THC possessed by each variety.

Varieties of Marijuana

  • Cannabis Indica: the varieties that are within this group usually have a sedative effect. The body relaxes and muscle tension is reduced. This is why these varieties are more suitable for treating muscle spasms and tremors such as those mentioned above (caused by multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease). Also its sedative effect will be successful on chronic pain and swelling produced by arthritis. With it, we will find the dream and calm the anxiety.
  • Cannabis Sativa: in this case, they produce a cerebral or euphoric effect that is experienced both in the mind and in the body. They are the most effective varieties for the treatment of nausea and vomiting. They are also best suited to stimulate appetite and treat depression and migraines.
  • Hybrid Varieties: mixtures or crossings between varieties of the two groups mentioned become the solution for some patients. The combination of the effects of both strains will be the best option to calm some diseases. The effects of some varieties will complement or counteract those of the other variety. That is why a combination of both will be the best option in many cases. Depending on the ailment, one or another combination will be indicated.

5 Types of Cannabis Seeds

  • A-Train: has effects in patients with glaucoma since it decreases the ocular pressure.
  • White Berry: indicated to use when you do not have to move much since it is Indica type. It causes a sedative effect and helps with muscle spasms.
  • Dr. Grinspoon: It’s also relaxing. Indicated for patients with depression and for patients suffering from nausea.
  • Blue Dream: within the varieties of Sativa this Blue Dream is framed with its powerful cerebral effect.
  • G-13 Haze: it is taken to fight depression and anxiety, as it causes an experience of happiness. It is a cross strain of Indica and Sativa, developed in Europe.

Let’s do it!

Once selected the strain that we are going to plant according to our needs, it is time to get down to work with all the preparations that are needed at the time of cultivation.

Although you need a particular strain, do not forget that the easiest to grow if you do not have much experience are the AK-48, the Northern Light, the Aurora Indica, the Jack Herer or the Super Lemon Haze.

Handful of Marijuana
Handful of Marijuana

As for the seeds, it is also advisable to buy feminized seeds, in order to increase the harvest.

The female plants produce the buds that will make your harvest much greater than if you plant male plants.

Do not forget that if the plants are subjected to stressful situations they can become hermaphroditic and therefore they will not produce all the feminine buds that you expected.

To avoid stress you have to create a suitable environment for cultivation.

If you choose a room as an environment, you must first clean and condition it as the plants need a warm and humid environment, so if you leave wood, carpets or clothes inside the room, they may become moldy.

In that room you will mount the necessary lights for the crop, since they need long hours of light exposure (or solar in the case that it is an outdoor crop) and good temperatures (between 22 and 25ºC).

Although the plant needs exposure to the light already mentioned, it has periods in which total darkness is necessary, so you should opt for a room that you can completely darken in this period.

Perhaps, it would be advisable to opt for an electric timer.

Finally, it is necessary to maintain the circulation of the air to eliminate heat and control the optimum point of humidity.

And do not forget to choose a good substrate that is specifically designed for marijuana that contains the necessary nutrients.

It will always be good to add some coconut peat to retain moisture and facilitate drainage.

Keep in mind that the plant must be taken care of and respect its cycles so that we get to obtain the desired result.

That is why you should inform yourself and learn from your mistakes little by little.

Once caught the trick it will be easy to get your own medical marijuana.

As you see the benefits of medical marijuana are many and are available to all thanks to self-cultivation.

The best way to learn is to read and investigate all the properties and applications of the plant.

A more natural way to end all the symptoms of your illness!


Medical marijuana: products and effects

Cannabis or medicinal marijuana is the concept that is changing the perception of this plant throughout the world.

Little by little, it begins to gain followers thanks to the benefits it produces in the therapies of some diseases.

Many countries have already included this substance in medical treatments to try to relieve acute pain.

The active chemical components of marijuana contain numerous properties and not all are harmful or psychoactive.

It is scientifically proven that they can benefit in many cases patients who are suffering very high damage.

In addition, medical cannabis can be complemented with medical treatments, it is fully adaptable although it does not cure any disease on its own.

These are the main benefits that cannabis can cause in medicine:

  • It reduces symptoms in chronic diseases, let’s say it is useful in many cases to combat nausea and abdominal pain.
  • It is advisable to reduce the permanent pain in migraines. This type of ailment causes a very intense pain that is reduced with medicinal cannabis.
  • The Association Against Cancer claims to delay tumors in the brain and lungs, among others.
  • Delays Alzheimer’s thanks to the blocking of the enzyme responsible for this pathology.
  • It can combat episodes of anxiety, as long as they are taken in small doses. It is also quite likely to significantly reduce depressive symptoms.

To carry out these treatments, the cannabinoids of the plant, mainly cannabinol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are used to relieve pain in certain pathologies.

What is CBD (Cannabinol)?

It is a cannabinoid that is usually distributed in the form of fluid, cream or chewable.

It has a very special function and is to stimulate the nervous system of the body.

Researchers have shown in several studies that CBD oil perfects the functions of the body and are also considered nutritional supplements.

Unlike THC, the main psychoactive component of marijuana, the CBD is not, for this reason, it has aroused great interest in the medical community.

The CBD has an effect on one of the pathologies most suffered by society, anxiety.

It helps to counteract these kind of episodes when administered alone, that is, without THC.

In the psychoactive aspect also goes well. Scientists say that this substance contains antipsychotic properties, or at least reduces the psychotic effects of THC to some degree.

The CBC oil contains about 0.2% THC, which is legal. It can be bought and sold in many countries of the world, especially it is used in treatments for children with episodes of epilepsy.

CBD Oil Hemp extracts
CBD Oil Hemp extracts

Which products are derived from medical marijuana?

Next, we show you the different products that come from marijuana.

This plant can be consumed in many different ways and each time there are different products:

  • Oils: marijuana oils are one of the best therapeutic methods with this substance. It is consumed orally and is able to fight many diseases or at least delay their effects. It contains a high amount of CBD and very little THC, which is increasingly used in children’s treatments.
  • Food: it is also possible to consume medicinal cannabis through food. There is a small variation in how long the effects last with respect to the other methods. And is that the effects of taking marijuana through food are more durable. This method is highly recommended in chronic pathologies, which require continuous medication. You must take into account and be careful with the amount that is administered since you will discover late if you have consumed the indicated amount.
  • Drinks: Marijuana infusions are well known all over the world, although they can also be eaten with milk. When we take medicinal marijuana in infusion, it is necessary to add oil and butter so that the cannabinoids can be easily dissolved. In this case, the effects will be noted in a half-hour but can be maintained up to 8 hours. By means of drinks, it is also complicated to find the exact dose. It should be noted that the concentration of cannabinoids in the distillates is very high.

Other different methods of consumption of cannabis

  • Patches: using patches is also an increasingly common method. They are placed on the skin easily and their function is to relieve pain, nausea and even anxiety. They are gradually releasing cannabinoids and the effects are totally different from other methods of cannabis use. The effects begin to be noticed from the time and can remain around 48 hours. [check out this Cannabis Menstrual Tampon]
  • Creams: these types of products are used for skincare. Medical cannabis cream is very similar to making marijuana butter. But instead of using dairy, some type of Vaseline or coconut oil is used.
  • Vaporizers: This is a very common method for the consumption of medical marijuana. Because there is no combustion, it does not produce toxic gases that can affect the health of the respiratory system. First, we must vaporize the glands of the resin, it is the element that makes when we inhale have a clearer effect. It is 15 minutes after inhaling when you feel the maximum effect that remains between two and three hours.

Society evolves little by little and medical marijuana is a great example of this. A poorly conceptualized plant for decades begins to gain good fame thanks to its therapeutic properties.

Many times we judge before knowing something in detail, and this is what has been done with marijuana for decades. It has been criminalized and accused, among other things, of causing crimes.

But the world is changing and now scientists have realized that inside there are many more benefits than negative effects.

The concept of medicinal cannabis has taught society a lesson. Prejudice does not lead us anywhere, it is necessary to eliminate the taboos of the past to ensure good development in the future.

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