Growing up, marijuana was demonized as a gateway drug and was given a bad rap.
Who would’ve thought the day would come when cannabis would be legalized and prescribed by doctors for various ailments?
Today, there are over 2.5 million people using medical marijuana and 92% of medicinal cannabis users say it works.
Nearly half of the US has already made laws allowing the use of cannabinoid remedies. If you’re curious how a plant once labeled a harmful drug has been given the leeway to patients, then continue reading.
We’ll review what cannabis really is and how it heals the body.
So What is a Cannabinoid?
Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds released by cannabis plant. This is what gives relief for various illnesses, such as anxiety, pain, inflammation, and nausea.
The way it works is by acting like the natural compounds our body produces, known as endocannabinoids. When this is released, it helps maintain internal health and stability.
In a nutshell, the endocannabinoid system helps the body regulate in an effort to create homeostasis within the body. Whenever there’s a deficiency or some other issue found in the endocannabinoid system, it causes adverse symptoms and physical issues.
When you consume cannabis, the cannabinoids within it bind to your receptors throughout your CB-1, primarily located in the brain and central nervous system and CB-2 receptors primarily located in the gut, alleviating the problems. Certain cannabinoids bind to one or the other, altering the type of effects it has on your body and health.
This is all possible because we, all mammals, have what's called an Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This is the largest self-regulatory system in the human body. The ECS helps to regulate things such as mood, sleep, appetite and hormone production.
Adding Cannabinoids Into Medicine
Because of the helpful effects of cannabis, you’ll find it being used in various legal prescriptions. There are now synthetic versions of cannabinoid medicines, such as Rimonabant, Nabilone, and Marinol.
Although these prescriptions provide some positive effects, it doesn’t quite compare to the therapeutic benefits of herbal cannabis. Inside the cannabis plant, there are over 100 known cannabinoids, which have shown to have medicinal value.
What’s the Relation Between Marijuana, Hemp and Cannabinoids?
Well, cannabinoids are found within the cannabis plant which includes marijuana and hemp (two completely different plants part of the same plant family). One form of this compound is known as THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). This is what’s responsible for getting you “high.”
As mentioned, there are various other cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant, such as:
- Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)
- Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA)
- Cannabidiol (CBD)
- Cannabudivarin (CBDV)
- Cannabigerol (CBG)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
- Cannabuchromene (CBC)
- Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
Each of these have varying effects on the body. The medications designed using them target specific symptoms of illnesses. For example, CBD, which is different than THC, binds to your CB receptors in therapeutic ways without getting you high as CBD has no psychoactive effect.
This allows it to help patients suffering from endocannabinoid deficits like migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, PTSD, liver disease, metabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular problems.
Treating Yourself with Cannabis
This is becoming increasingly popular, as more and more people learn of the unique benefits of the cannabis plant. If you live in one of the 24 states that have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana, then you walk into a dispensary to enjoy the therapeutic effects of cannabis.
If you're not in a state that is friendly to medical marijuana, you can also seek out CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC which is technically legal in all 50 states at the federal level. Be sure to do your research on the product you're buying. Consider where the product is being sourced, as the law currently states that the CBD oil must be sourced from hemp plants outside of the US. In addition, the oil must come from the stock of the mature hemp plant.
Other considerations when purchasing CBD oil include extraction methods, for example, finding a source that uses CO2 extraction vs. alcohol or butane is a much cleaner extraction method. Is the product lab tested (even better, triple lab tested)? Does the product have a lot and/or batch number? You want to make sure your product is safe. You want to know what's inside of the bottle and if you do like the product, you want to be confident that when you go back to purchase your next supply, it will be the same quality and consistency as the last bottle you purchased.
Good luck on your journey. For additional help, don’t hesitate to contact us!