Not all Cannabis is the same, we encourage lab testing get to know your medicine. We will cover what the health benefits are to different cannabinoids & how they relate to you. Since inhalation of smoke from cannabis may irritate the mucous membranes, it is not a recommended form of administering cannabis; however it is the fastest delivery system. We suggest alternative delivery systems like orally administering the medicine by applying oil to patients’ gums, eating candy/lozenges, taking capsules, or by juicing cannabis.
I would say most everyone has heard of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). It was the first to be isolated and synthesized in 1964. There are over 400 compounds in cannabis, including nearly 60 cannabinoids that have been discovered and isolated (with 85 cannabinoids known to exist). Did you know that THC is not the only or the most medicinal cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant? The ten most researched are ∆9-THC, ∆8-THC, CBD, CBC, CBN, CBL, CBE, CBG, CBND and CBT. The three cannabinoids we will cover are THC, CBD, CBN, and their medical uses, effects, and differences. The genetic make-up of cannabis allows for a total of 30% of its mass to be cannabinoids. When one cannabinoid is present in a large quantity, the others must be present in smaller quantities to make up for the relative ratio.
THC is the most well known cannabinoid to date, probably due it causing the psychoactive effect, the mind-altering effect, or “high”. It also may help treat wasting symptoms such as nausea and vomiting caused from HIV/cancer or many other associated conditions.
- The more THC in the strain of cannabis, the more you will feel the psychoactive effects.
- THC causes a wide range of effects ranging from peaceful to paranoid, which can slightly vary from person to person based on differing biochemistry. For the most part, the high felt is euphoric. THC by itself may cause paranoia and temporary psychosis, however, any sense of danger is strictly perceived harm, as THC does not affect primary brain stem functioning required to sustain life. Some recent investigations show that THC in low doses improves the effectiveness of other anti-nausea drugs when given together. Clinical trials of THC, show a beneficial effect against spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries. Among other positively influenced symptoms were pain, insomnia, epilepsy and nausea. THC also seems to help with lesions of the brain. Medicinally, THC has been shown to have anti-depressant properties and stimulates the appetite, which, if you love someone who is sick, you know that all you wish is that they could eat.
- On average, cannabis buds harvested and dried properly will contain approximately 15% THC. By selecting certain seeds or breeding cannabis plants, you can moderately alter this percentage, allowing you to obtain higher or lower levels of THC based on your needs.
- Recommended dosages vary by person, but a good reference point is to start low and work up until you notice relief (5mg of THC is a good starting point).
- CBD is the second most researched of the cannabinoids. It is non-psychoactive and works in conjunction with THC. CBD increases your current mood and can make you more energetic. link to Fact Sheet for GW Pharmaceuticals drug called “SATIVEX”. http://chealth.canoe.ca/drug_info_details.asp?brand_name_id=2000&rot=4
- Studies have suggested a wide range of possible therapeutic effects of cannabidiol on several conditions, diseases, and disorders; including inflammation, pain, anxiety, nausea, Multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, convulsions, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, epilepsy, and it may even help patients dealing with schizophrenia.
- CBD in conjunction with other cannabinoids such as THC, has been known to kill cancer cells without harming normal, healthy cells.
- Typically CBD is present in cannabis plants in much lower concentrations than THC, mostly due to breeding over the last 50 years in which people have been breeding the CBD out in order to achieve a higher THC level. CBD is usually less than 1% in street marijuana but with medical grade cannabis you can see levels closer to 15%.
- CBD contains high levels of antioxidants and neuroprotectives that make it a great preventive health herb.
- Research by Pamela DeRosse, a scientist at Long Island’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, suggests that schizophrenia patients who smoked marijuana had faster brain processing speed, greater verbal ability and better memory than patients who didn’t smoke — not attributes usually associated with being high. The reason this works for patients with schizophrenia is that, although ∆9-THC can cause hallucinations and paranoia to be worse in schizophrenia patients, CBD has antipsychotic properties that counteract the ∆9-THC (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2005559,00.html#ixzz1taWzUrQq).
- CBN is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid like THC, only one tenth the psychoactive effect of THC. You will find very little CBN in fresh cannabis as it mainly develops over time. As THC degrades (oxidizes) in storage, while drying, in excess heat, and with light exposure, it converts into CBN.
- The human body contains cannabinoid receptors, as part of our endocannabinoid system. Cb2 receptors are mainly contained in the immune system, while the cb1 receptors are mainly in the brain (central nervous system). CBN, as well as the other cannabinoids, are fat soluble and are stored in fat.
- CBN increases the body high and gives off more of a mellow and dreamy analgesic effect which increases feelings like dizziness, grogginess, and disorientation. It has been found to slightly lower blood pressure and heart rate. Much like THC, increased amounts of CBN has been associated with increased feelings like anxiety, paranoia, and nervousness.
- High amounts of CBN should be avoided. We always recommend proper handling and storage. Cannabis is a medicine, let’s treat it as so!
What does all this mean for a medical marijuana patient?
This means you need to ask questions. Ask about how it was grown and ask to be shown the lab testing results which display the percentages of these cannabinoids. It will still take a bit of trial on your part because it’s yet unclear on how exactly all these cannabinoids (60) and organic compounds (450) interact together. It is recommended that you keep a diary/journal of the meds you’re trying. Make sure to report both positive and negative effects felt and the length of time it lasted. It can then be used analyze what compounds benefit you the most so that you and/or your caregiver can know how to best grow your medicine and which strains would work the best for your medical maladies. In regards to THC and CBD, some strains of cannabis may be right for you and some may not be.