Let’s talk Cannabis. This is to facilitate education to everyone. I don’t want it to be a political topic, or a discussion of personal beliefs. If we go there, the content will become muddled and no one will benefit. Its meant to be educational for anyone that’s curious about it. Also, any other input by others will help build on ideas, techniques, etc.
I do apologize in advance for the scientific nature of this discussion, but I feel knowledge is power. Even if you do not wish to understand anything beyond the basics, some exposure to the science will aid in your understanding. Don’t get visions of Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong. That completely discounts how beneficial, important, and medicinal it can be to us.
I may do this is a series of topics depending on the response. Guess we’ll see. There’s so much information that could be discussed, it may be easier to digest and discuss that way.
Also, if anyone wants to send me a private message about any of this, feel free. I respect the confidentially portion of that.
Obviously, I must proclaim beforehand:
This article and any subsequent comments are intended for educational purposes only. I’m not advocating, nor acknowledging the use of any illegal substances. This is not to be taken as medical advice, and you should consult your physician. Know the laws applicable for where you reside. Knowledge or suggestions of any forthcoming topics are in no way indication or admittance of use or abuse and should not be interpreted in that manner.
Medicinal Use of Cannabis – Part 1 Introduction: Example of Available Research.
The Itunes bookstore has a free book – It was a free download when I read it:
“Medical Marijuana and Other Cannabinoids” Mark Arose BS, MA – Course #95170
If you don’t wish to download or don’t have time for a read, there’s a few telling quotes that I will throw out from the literature:
1. Studies have confirmed that THC produces 20 TIMES the anti-inflammatory potency of aspirin and TWICE the potency of hydrocortisone. Unlike NSAIDS (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) it has not demonstrated COX inhibition.
2. CBD produces actions different from THC. It is non-psychoactive and studies suggest beneficial anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain), antipsychotic (yes it actually “competes” with THC essentially), antiemetic (nausea), anxiolytic (anxiety), and antiepileptiform (epilepsy) effects.
3. Other therapeutic mechanisms have been found. Neuroprotective properties such as inhibition of glutamate neurotoxicity and antioxidant activity that surpasses ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and tocopherol (Vitamin E) have been studied.
4. Cannabis possesses over 489 compounds from 18 different chemical classes and at least 100 cannabinoids. The relative concentrations of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids in any plant are influenced by strain, soil, climate, and cultivation techniques.
5. Smoking cannabis has been shown to NOT have carcinogenic affects on the lungs as does tobacco. It actually modulates tumor necrosis factor, which is why is it studied for treating cancers.
Medical Use of Cannabis – Part 2 – The Basics
THC (Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol) – responsible for greatest psychoactive potency; also expresses the greatest analgesic activity. This is the chemical portion responsible for the notorious “head high” associated with cannabis.
CBD – (Cannabidiol) beneficial effects as listed above. Does not affect memory and actually curtails psychoactive THC effects by competing for the main CB1 receptor site.
Cannabis Sativa – phenotype of cannabis plant highlighted by high amounts of THC, lower (if any) CBD, and primarily producing energetic cereberal highs and analgesia.
Cannabis Indica – Due to generally higher levels of CBD, resulting effects are more of a body relaxation, sedation, and sleepy effect.
Hybrid – Strain of cannabis resulting from pollination of a sativa stain with a Indica one, resulting in a balance of both. Hybrids are usually classified in percentages upon testing offspring strain (80%sativa, 20% Indica/ 60/40%, etc)
Strains – Locations and origins of cannabis. Strains are tracks through an ancestry of pollination attempts in crossing 2 strains or phenotypes to create a completely new offspring. In the past, high THC was the goal to achieve the maximum high and consequently, CBD was “bred out” to a very minimal amount because medical benefits weren’t mainstream as it is becoming today. Medical growers have gone backwards to reintroduce higher CBD levels through selective breeding due to the onslaught of medical demand
Medical Use of Cannabis – Part 3 : Understanding the Terminology
Buds – female cannabis plants grow and produce flowers. The flowers mature and slowly fill resin sacs and create trichomes that contain the aforementioned medication(s). They are smoked via heat combustion which activates the chemicals. Time of onset can be from second to minutes.
Extraction – There are methods to extract the chemicals and cannabinoids to introduce for alternative purposes of consumption (ie. tinctures, vape oils, etc)
Edibles – Any orally ingested food item containing activated cannabinoids. Time of onset can be 1-1.5 hours after ingestion. One downside is that since the liver must metabolize, there is a reduced potency when compared on a weight basis when compared to buds on a gram-to-gram basis. However, due to this metabolism, the resulting effects are often different – a longer lasting effect on the body.
Tincture – Liquid suspension of activated cannabinoids for oral consumption.
Oil – Infused cannabinoids into a type of glycerin suspension for use with a vaporizer/electronic cigarette
Medical Use of Cannabis – Part 4 – Putting it all together
So what does all this truly mean? Understanding the most basic fundamentals of cannabis can be beneficial to understanding enough to use or possess proper education for judgment without having to be an expert. If you look at pipeline drugs like prescription Sativex or medical grades of marijuana recommended for MS, you will find that the ratio of THC/CBD is the prominent factor for treatment effects.
There is a push for strains of equal distribution of THC/CBD or lower THC/higher CBD preferred depending on what your focus of treatment may be.
Why do I mention “activating” the cannabinoids? Believe it or not, if you simply ate a tremendous amount of marijuana buds, you wouldn’t experience much effect at all.
Depending on the reaction to this topic, we can delve into many specifics and possibilities depending on your achieved goal or preferred choices for medicating.