The medicinal use of cannabis has become more widespread in recent years as a result of scientific research, an increasing number of jurisdictions legalising the practise and wider dissemination of information on the subject.
Medicinal Use of Cannabis or Medical Cannabis?
Although the two terms are used indiscriminately, they actually mean the same thing. Cannabis is often used for therapeutic purposes without the necessary criteria to ensure medicinal quality. Medical Grade Cannabis is cannabis that has passed a quality control with standardised production, in compliance with international rules on herbal medicine. The term "medicinal use of cannabis" refers essentially to the purpose for which the product is used and not its quality.
Medicinal Effects of Cannabis
The potentially beneficial uses of cannabis can be seen in many diseases, given that nearly all organs and systems have sites where the plant's effects can be exercised through the action of its active principles (cannabinoids).
By knowing the beneficial effects of cannabis and cannabinoids on health, we can understand its medicinal use as an:
- Protector and repairer of nerve tissue
- Muscle relaxant
- Anti-nausea and anti-vomiting treatment
- Appetite stimulant
- Anxiolytic & Antipsychotic
- Sleep inducer
- Immune regulator
- Preventor of Relapse and Withdrawal Syndrome
Diseases where improvements can be achieved with the medicinal use of cannabis
The same degree of positive response cannot be achieved in all cases, but benefits have been shown in the following conditions:
- Parkinson's disease
- Alzheimer's disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Tourette's Syndrome
- Crohn's disease and other inflammatory intestinal conditions
- Nausea – Vomiting
- Anorexia – Cachexia
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Chronic pain: neuropathic, metastatic, inflammatory
- Rheumatoid Polyarthritis
- Type I Diabetes
- Hashimoto's thyroiditis
- Side effects of chemotherapy
- Accompaniment of radiotherapy and chemotherapy
- HIV-AIDS and Wasting Syndrome
- Terminal stages
- Open-angle glaucoma
We still have much to learn about these uses. However, given that the level of risk associated with medicinal use of cannabis and cannabinoids is low, interested parties can explore these possibilities, provided the products are of known composition and have undergone quality control and if they are used under proper medical supervision.