Medical Cannabis refers to the use of Cannabis as a physician recommended herbal therapy. The Cannabis plant from which the cannabis drug is derived has a long history of medicinal use, with evidence dating back to 2,737 BC. The green herb, Cannabis sativa, or true hemp, has been used for its medicinal value for at least over 10,000 years in Taiwan, over 3700 years in Ancient Egypt, over 1500 years in Ancient India and over 2000 years in Ancient Greece. Native Americans also used the substance long before Columbus arrived on this continent.
Constituent Chemical Compounds
Cannabis contains over 300 compounds. At least 66 of these are cannabinoids, which form the basis for medical and scientific use of cannabis. Cannabinoids have an analgesic effect and they also function as appetite stimulants, antiemetic, and antispasmodics. Five cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and are the most important. They are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol(CBN), β-caryophyllene(BCP), and cannabigerol (CBG).
Effects and application
Studies show cannabis or cannabinoids may be useful in treating ADD / ADHD,AIDS, anorexia, anxiety, alcohol abuse, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, collagen-induced arthritis, asthma, , ataxia atherosclerosis, bipolar disorder, cachexia, colorectal cancer, chronic pain, cramps, Crohnʼs, depression, dystonia, epilepsy, digestive diseases, fever, gliomas, glaucoma (progressive blindness), hepatitis C, Huntington's disease, HIV, insomnia, migraine, MS, nausea, neuralgia, neuropathy, PMS, leukemia, skin tumours, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Parkinson's disease, pruritus, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), rheumatism, sickle-cell disease, sleep apnea and many, many others.
The main use of Cannabis is in treating the symptoms rather than curing the illness or disease. In some cases, the Cannabis may prevent the affliction from causing further damage. Since many health problems exhibit similar symptoms, Cannabis can be used for a wide variety of illnesses and diseases. It also acts as a stress reducer, an expectorant and a topical antibiotic. In addition, a person suffering from more than one affliction may find more relief in Cannabis therapy because he need only take one medication instead of multiple prescriptions. The most outstanding attribute of Cannabis is relief from physical and mental suffering. However, its effectiveness may vary from person to person. Effectiveness also depends on quantity of dosage. While some patients may respond favorably to small dosages, others may require more to experience relief from symptoms.
The prescribed standard dose of Cannabis ingested by smoking under the Compassionate Investigational New Drug (IND) Program by the National Institute On Drug Abuse is approximately two ounces per week or a half pond per month or six pounds in a year. This long-term dosage has proven to be safe and effective, with no unacceptable side effects. While many patients need just three pounds per year, still others may require up to nine or twelve pounds or more per year. Dosage varies from person to person and their pattern and method of ingestion.
Dosage also varies with the means of ingesting Cannabis. The means of ingestion also affect patient dosage. Smoking Cannabis provides rapid and efficient delivery. ‘Vaporizing’ may require double the dosage in comparison to smoking, and eating it requires three or five times the smoking dosage. Patients usually prefer a combination of two or more methods. However, when eaten, Cannabisʼ effects are spread out over a longer period of time which is particularly good for sleep or situations where smoking is impractical or impossible. Consumable goods spoil over time, there is a learning curve to prepare recipes, and not every attempt produces usable medicinal effects. Making kef, hash, tinctures, oil, extracts, topical salves and liniment all require ample amounts of cannabis. An accurate scale is necessary to measure, track and titrate their personal dosage and supply of Cannabis.