Medical cannabis. The basics.

Medical cannabis. The basics.

Medical cannabis is becoming increasingly accepted and recognised. Barriers and prejudice against medical cannabis are decreasing. Each year new countries draft better laws and rules. But what exactly are the basics of medical cannabis? Which conditions can it really help with and why do people use it?

What is medical cannabis?

Medical cannabis is simply cannabis that is used to help people cope with medical problems. Cannabis buds, or extracts made from them, contains a range of compounds called cannabinoids. These have various physical and psychoactive properties which can help reduce pain, lift your mood and reduce the symptoms of pain and discomfort in a number of conditions. Because of decades of prohibition, there has been limited medical research. Partly due to prejudice being replaced with science, and partly through medical necessity that is all now starting to change.

How can medical cannabis be used?

Medical cannabis can be taken in a variety of ways, you can ‘eat’ cannabis (or concentrated extracts) in capsules, tablets, liquid drops etc. You can use skin patches, oral (or skin) sprays or cannabis edibles. You can vaporise or smoke the dried cannabis buds. Or you can smoke/vaporize pure/diluted oils and resins from the cannabis plant. Many medical users find vaporizers are a modern, smoke-free and easy way to enjoy cannabis. A vaporiser gently ‘toasts’ the cannabis without actually igniting it, many medical cannabis users prefer vaping cannabis to smoke. This Dutch Passion blog explains the benefits of vaping.


Medical cannabis for pain relief

The general pain relieving property of cannabis is probably the main benefit that most medical cannabis users would report. It’s not just the physical pain which cannabis can help with; cannabis can lift your mood in quite a special way. It is a great mental tonic for people living through difficult times, or those suffering an ongoing medical difficulty. When cannabis is inhaled through smoking or vaporizing, the levels of cannabinoids in the blood rise faster than when cannabis edibles are used. Smoking/vaping allows blood cannabinoid levels to peak within three minutes and produces an analgesic effect in seven minutes as shown in this 2017 study of controlled trials by the University of Haifa [1]

Woman in pain


Medical cannabis for cancer treatment

Cannabis is used for several different effects, each of which can be useful. Firstly cannabis is a great help with the prevention and control of nausea. Chemotherapy can be a difficult experience. Being able to reduce the amount of nausea can be a great relief for some people. Cannabis is also an appetite stimulant. Losing weight, and not having sufficient appetite to regain weight can be an area where cannabis may help. Cannabis is also a good way to help sleep, especially if taken just before bed. Being able to sleep well, eat better and feel less nauseous can be a great help for people battling cancer. Some people like to supplement chemotherapy with cannabis oil, taking up to a gram of oil per day. This study [2] from the National Institute of Health indicates that reduced levels of antiemetic (anti-nausea) drugs were required during chemotherapy when patients were given cannabis. This paper [3] from the American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine states that cannabis is effective in cancer care and is far safer than Opioid based medicines.

Can medical cannabis help to relieve nausea and vomiting?

Many cannabis users tend to be low or moderate alcohol users. But if you do get the occasional hangover, cannabis can be a good way to regain freedom from the overwhelming feeling of sickness and misery. It can also help your stomach calm down long enough to absorb some breakfast. As mentioned in the paragraph above, cannabis helps many people reduce their feelings of sickness and nausea, it can help people eat and drink more.

Medical cannabis and HIV/AIDS

California first legalized medical cannabis in 1995, and many suffering from HIV/AIDS would use cannabis to help them with appetite enhancement, pain relief and as a sleeping aid. Today, cannabis is still widely used by HIV patients.

VIH patients

Medical cannabis and Parkinson’s Disease

Lots of Patients with Parkinson’s Disease found that cannabis can help with pain, tremor reduction (less shaking), sleep and resting. This recent Dutch Passion blog was written specifically about Cannabis and Parkinson’s Disease.

Modern uses of medical cannabis

Perhaps one of the more controversial modern uses of cannabis has been in cases of Dravet’s Syndrome and childhood epilepsy. Some high profile cases have shown that some children don’t readily respond to traditional steroid-based treatment, but do respond well when treated with cannabis. Often this is in the form of cannabis oil, administered orally. In the cases of Charlotte Figi (USA) and Billy Caldwell (UK), these cases have been highly influential in persuading politicians to change their countries respective laws. Lyme disease patients also use cannabis to help reduce symptoms.

 Prescribing medical cannabis


Future uses of medical cannabis. Cannabinoid therapy

Cannabis is much more than THC and CBD. There are many different cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant, and most of them have had incomplete clinical research. Medical science will soon be able to unlock the various properties of these cannabinoids, such as CBG, THCV, CBDV and many others. And soon there will be new cannabis varieties which will be selectively bred to be rich in these minor cannabinoids. It’s quite possible that some of these new cannabinoids will have important new medical properties.


Medical Cannabis varieties. Which feminized seeds are best for medical cannabis?

At Dutch Passion, we believe that all cannabis varieties have medical useful properties. For some people, THC rich feminized cannabis seed varieties will be preferred. But for other medical cannabis users, CBD rich cannabis seeds will be preferred. Much depends on the individual, their needs and preferences.

Grow medical cannabis yourself from cannabis seeds

If you are not lucky enough to have legal medical cannabis for sale in your country, then you have two choices. You can buy it yourself, or grow it yourself. Growing your own medical cannabis is easy, lots of people do it safely and successfully. Growing your own cannabis is easy, whether you are using CBD rich seeds, feminized seeds or autoflower seeds.

[1] "Efficacy of Cannabis-Based Medicines for Pain Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials". Pain Physician. 20 (6): E755–E796. PMID 28934780. By Aviram J, Samuelly-Leichtag G (September 2017)

[2] "Safety and Toxicology of Cannabinoids". Neurotherapeutics. 12 (4): 735–46. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0380-8. PMC 4604177  PMID 26269228. By Sachs J, McGlade E, Yurgelun-Todd D (October 2015)

[3] "Cannabis in palliative medicine: improving care and reducing opioid-related morbidity". The American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care (Review). 28 (5): 297–303. doi:10.1177/1049909111402318. PMID 21444324. By Carter GT, Flanagan AM, Earleywine M, Abrams DI, Aggarwal SK, Grinspoon L (August 2011)

Medical cannabis. The basics.
November 23rd 2018
Categories : Cannabis Plant

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