Written by Natalie Gray
In continuing efforts to present excellent integral wellness care a lot of medical cannabis advocates are providing educational material for the people. The purpose of this learning is to educate us on the old and advanced scientific ideas and understanding of medical cannabis so that we may better benefit from its various medicinal properties. Understanding the pharmaceutical qualities of the plant will positively make its utilization more effective and efficient and less difficult for those who are new to this ancient herbal medicine— Cannabis.
Encourage and recognize
Encouraging us to better recognize and understand medical cannabis are the improvements in laboratory analysis coupled with the continuous research taking place around the globe. Many of this research is directed at picturing the therapeutic effects of the different chemical compounds in cannabis— cannabis seeds, buds, leaves, and the whole plant itself especially the cannabinoids and terpenoids.
Understanding the compounds
Another key to better understanding of medical cannabis is an awareness that the chemical composites available in the plant changes with how the plant is treated and prepared. Possible therapeutic benefits will change if the cannabis is treated or administered in raw (unheated), heated or aged (degraded) form. Also knowing that the different compounds in cannabis may accentuate each other in synergistic or opposing ways is important— the cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) will decrease to some degree the psychotropic effects of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), while the terpenoid (a-pinene) will synergize the bronchodilator impacts of THC. This complexity of synergy means that medical cannabis should be viewed in the light of herbal medicine, where to extract the active ingredient will not necessarily result in the full range of therapeutic effects or may create unwanted side effects that normally do not occur when the whole herb is offered. Cannabinoids are primarily derived from three sources:
Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoid compounds produced by the plant; The phytocannabinoids are composed of the three best-known species of the cannabis plant Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis sativa is by far the most common as it has the highest levels of the potent psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Agricultural methods have succeeded in refining the varieties of cannabis plants (females bred alone, hydroponic methods) harvested to maximize the THC content. Indeed, courses in the cannabinoid profile of cannabis over the years have biased concurrent cannabis towards high THC and low Cannabidiol (CBD) content. While there is large variability in the level of these cannabinoids— commonly referred to as cannabis potency, some information does show that CBD may enhance or hinder the psychotogenic and anxiogenic effects of THC.
Endocannabinoids are chemicals that happen normally in the human body. Following the development of the bioactive compound in cannabis, it was learned that THC acted by binding to particular plasma membrane proteins labeled the “cannabinoid receptors”— neurotransmitters generated in the brain or in surface tissues, and act on cannabinoid receptors.
Cannabinoids are synthesized in the laboratory are structurally comparable to phytocannabinoids or endocannabinoids and work by similar biological mechanisms.
The pharmaceutical preparation of the cannabis plant for research and clinical objectives has allowed the constituent ingredients to be adjusted for research purposes to examine which combinations of the elements provide the best treatment for differing medical conditions. This is important as it is the psychoactive components and the stability of the constituents and the route of administration of the drug that produces the risk of harm to self and others.
Finally, understanding that each strain of cannabis— big bud strain, the white strain, and others have probably vastly diverse proportions of cannabinoids and terpenoids wherein often represented in terms of color, smell, and taste means that one wants to be strain specific when considering cannabis as medicine. This is a challenging step, but one that advanced laboratory examination and scientific research are now making possible.
The beginning of the future
Advocates are working in this direction and hopes that the awareness will assist caregivers and receivers in deciding an option as to which strain, in what form, and applied in which way, will be most advantageous to them.
Cannabinoids are the active compounds obtained within the cannabis plant. The plant’s chemotype resolves the ratios of these different compounds. THC continues as the most widely known cannabinoid; however, CBD is immediately on the radar of patients. CBD presents the therapeutic effects of cannabis, without the psychoactive effects of THC, allowing a quick look into the future of medical cannabis.
The clear view of the future
The future is clear for medical cannabis patients. As we go into the post-legalization era, the various advantages of medical cannabis will be distinguished from recreational cannabis. Medical cannabis will grow much more particular, with products that take the interest of the many genetic active compounds discovered in cannabis.
As innovative research in medical cannabis becomes available, the educational material will be revised to display the latest insights and discovery. In this way, the better understanding and use of medical cannabis will continue to improve in effectiveness in order to match the needs and maximize the wellness of the patient.
Natalie Gray is a Biochemical Engineer. She works in the Research and Development team that focuses on the design and construction of unit processes. She is a recreational marijuana supporter and her love for organic chemistry brought her to medical cannabis. She grows her own flowers, working on different projects and study everything above and under cannabis roots.
- February 06, 2019
- George Infused