Medical Cannabis

The most studied cannabinoid for its therapeutic effects for various ailments and/or symptoms.

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Medicinal Cannabis

Cannabis has accompanied mankind for many years. Having various properties, it is being used as a source of food, raw material to create textiles, paper and fuel.

Besides its recreational use, the medicinal profile of the plant is generating that it is considered as one of the most valuable crops since ancient times.

The first records of medicinal use appear in the Shennong pharmacopoeia for 2737 BC, but archaeological studies also indicate that it had been used for many centuries.

Some peoples link it as part of their spiritual or cultural traditions. In ancient cultures such as the Greek, Arab and Indian, it is found to have been used to relieve pain and rheumatism.

Infographics on Medicinal Cannabis

Differences between cannabis sativa, indica and ruderalis | Kalapa Clinic
Differences between cannabis sativa, indica and ruderalis

Medicinal Effects of Cannabis

The indications for the use of Medicinal Cannabis are multiple, due to the role of the Endocannabinoid System and its link in the functioning of our organism.

Thanks to the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System and the presence of cannabinoid receptors in various systems, it is possible to metabolise the active principles of Cannabis, including cannabinoids but not forgetting terpenes and flavonoids, which are now also part of various medical investigations.

Much research remains to be done on the properties of cannabis, but there are several studies that demonstrate its benefits from a clinical point of view.

When prescribing medical cannabis, scientific evidence should be taken into account, as well as possible side effects or complications that may be caused by interactions with other medications being taken.

Studied therapeutic effects

  • Anxiolytic
  • Analgesic
  • Antiemetic
  • Antiepieptic
  • Antitumor
  • Antioxidan
  • Anti inflamatory
  • Antipsychotic
  • Inmunomodulators
  • Antibacterial y Antifungal
  • Neuroprotective
  • Antirheumatic
  • Sleep inducer
  • Antiespasmodic
  • Appetite stimulant
  • Prevention of Abstinence Syndrome

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Key concepts about Medicinal Cannabis

  • Cannabinoid .- A chemical substance present in Cannabis that can activate physiological processes in the body in deustoronominal animals.
  • Endocannabinoid System .- Neutral transmitter system of intercellular communication present in different areas and tissues of the body and helps in the regulation of various metabolic processes.
  • Cannabinoid Receptors (CB) .- Receptors in nerve cells present in the Central Nervous System and in peripheral tissues of the immune system
  • CBD .- Cannabidiol. Non-psychotropic cannabinoid, with proven mechanisms of action and therapeutic indications.
  • THC .- Δ9-THC o delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Cannabinoid with psychotropic effects CBD antagonist.
  • Synthetic Cannabinoids.- Synthetically created molecules that mimic the effects of cannabinoids such as THC

Medicinal Cannabis (MC) was part of 18th century Western medicine for the relief of multiple symptoms.

Basic knowledge about the performance of medical cannabis in the human body

In the cannabis knowledge section you will find extensive information about the cannabis plant and its active ingredients.

The cannabis plant contains over 100 cannabinoids, including the well-known cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Meanwhile, research has also shown that other ingredients in the cannabis plant, such as terpenes and flavonoids, can enhance the medicinal effect (entourage effect).

Research on cannabinoids led to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system and several endocannabinoids (the body’s own cannabinoids) that act as neurotransmitters in this system.

The endocannabinoid system can also be influenced pharmacologically through the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2.

In addition to basic information about the cannabis plant, information can also be obtained about medicinal varieties of cannabis, different forms of administration and possible side effects and interactions.

  • Endocannabinoid System
  • Cannabinoid Receptors
  • Cannabinoids
  • Entourage Effect
investigación del cannabis medicinal
“The variety of components in medicinal cannabis and its complex effect on the endocannabinoid system makes research difficult. Dr. Janosch Kratz. Kalapa Clinic

Diseases that can be treated with Medical Cannabis

Throughout the different investigations that have been carried out since the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System, it has been seen that not in all cases a positive response is achieved with the same intensity, but there is a list of diseases where benefits have been demonstrated with its use.

Sometimes, there are pathologies that cannot be treated with a cannabinoid alone. The synergy between different cannabinoids also produces the entourage effect, very useful for treating diseases where a single component is not enough. In this respect, several publications argue that THC explains the main medicinal benefits of cannabis, such as the analgesic effect. However, there are other studies that support that CBD and other components of cannabis achieve synergy with THC, enhancing its benefits, antagonizing adverse effects, and producing less toxicity than with THC alone.

Diseases and/or symptoms that can be treated with Medical Cannabis

  • Acne
  • Adiction
  • Alzheimer
  • Anorexia – Cachexia
  • Ansiety
  • Autism
  • Diabetes Type I
  • Chronic Pain: Inflamatory, Neuropatic, Metastatic
  • Side effects of chemotherapy
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases ( IBD)
  • Epilepsy and Refractory Epilepsy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • End-of-life stadiums
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Open-angle glaucoma
  • Insomnia
  • Lupus
  • Mygrane
  • Nauseas – Vomits
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson
  • Rheumatoid Polyarthritis
  • Psicosis
  • Psoriasis
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • ADHD, Hyperactivity

Benefits of Cannabis on a therapeutic level

Although the full benefits of medical cannabis are not fully known, there is research that has demonstrated its benefits from a clinical point of view.

For example, experts have highlighted its relationship with the immune system. It has been shown that in some immune system cell lines, CBD has the ability to inhibit the production of some cytokines (IL-8, IL-10, TNF-D, IFNJ).

These findings directly relate cannabinoids such as CBD to beneficial effects on inflammatory/autoimmune diseases.

Thus, CBD in conjunction with other plant components, has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic properties. There are also studies that have linked medidinal cannabis to chronic pain relief or to treat epilepsy, improve the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, among other diseases that affect the patient chronically.

In a disease such as cancer, CBD has a sedative effect in most cases and inhibits the transmission of nerve signals associated with pain. CBD has been shown to reduce the growth of human breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo in mice, and to reduce their invasiveness.

Types of therapies with Medicinal Cannabis

The function of the Endocannabinoid System, which regulates the proper functioning of the body’s physiological processes, allows cannabis to be used in 3 main ways:

  • Palliative Therapy .- The side effects of traditional treatments are lessened.
  • Concomitant Therapy .- It complements or enhances the treatment being carried out at that time
  • Curative therapy .- It decreases or eliminates the main symptoms or pathogens of a disease.

The risk level of Medicinal Cannabis use is low, but it is always advisable to use it for medicinal purposes with the appropriate professional accompaniment.

Contraindications of medical cannabis

The low toxicity demonstrated by cannabis, compared to other compounds, means that there are few possible contraindications.

Like any other substance, it is contraindicated for people who have had an allergy to cannabis or any of its elements.

In the case of pregnancy and nursing, there are not enough studies on the risks it can cause to the foetus or nursing baby. Cannabinoids cross the placenta and are also present in breast milk, so this is an absolute contraindication.

In terms of cannabis molecules, THC is contraindicated when there is a family or personal history of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or hallucinations. THC, due to its psychotropic effect, worsens the clinical pictures.

For people with unstable cardiac antecedents, THC is mainly contraindicated, as it generates tachycardia or may present arterial hypotension, completely destabilising.

Like any other substance, each clinical case must be studied to determine whether a particular cannabinoid should not be administered.

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