Medicinal Cannabis has been on the news a lot recently, and it’s not because it gets patients ‘high’. Although Euphoria is a side effect of smoking cannabis this effect is nearly entirely dissociated from the medicinal benefits. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the substance in cannabis that causes the user to get “high”, but we now know that THC isn’t responsible for the medicinal effects of cannabis. So then, why are some people calling cannabis a “miracle cure”?
Nearly all medicines act by exerting an effect on specific receptors. Cannabis contains substances that act on the cannabinoid receptors, which are distributed throughout the human body and brain. In fact, the cannabinoid receptor is one of the most abundant receptors in the central nervous system. Humans express two subtypes of this receptor, and it’s through modulating the activity of these receptors that cannabis exerts effects. The CB1 receptor subtype is distributed throughout the brain, and the CB2 receptor subtype is found in the body (mainly expressed by cells in the immune system).
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) selectively targets and activates CB1 receptors in the brain causing euphoria, blocking memory formation, and reducing the rigor of activity. Cannabinol is the substance found in cannabis that activates CB2 receptors, and it’s this receptor subtype that’s responsible for many of the medicinal effects. Cannabinol may have a higher therapeutic value than tetrahydrocannabinol, however, neither of these substances underlie the true value of medicinal cannabis.
It is believed that cannabidiol (CBD) is the substance responsible for the true benefit of medicinal cannabis. THC and cannabinol are found in the highest concentrations in the flower of the plant, but neither of these substances is necessary to benefit from cannabis, so companies have turned to an alternative source. Cannabidiol is found in high concentration in the seeds of the plant while THC and cannabinol concentration is very low. By pressing the seeds of the cannabis plant hemp oil is produced, and it’s hemp oil that can be used to treat a wide range of ailments.
In simplest terms cannabidiol stabilizes cannabinoid receptors, boosting the immune and mental health of users. To be specific cannabidiol acts on both CB1 and CB2 receptor subtypes, exerting a small stimulatory effect on the receptor while blocking full activation by other molecules. This alternative mode of action allows cannabidiol to exert a positive and desired effect with a low chance of causing side effects.
People use hemp oil to treat almost anything. This is because hemp oil is has a low carbohydrate content, high omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, and cannabinoid receptor activity. So forget fish oil. While using it to treat “almost anything” may be excessive, users report benefits of hemp oil use in the treatment of: insomnia, epilepsy (there is evidence in support, although its efficacy as an anticonvulsant has not been demonstrated clinically), chronic pain (such as that caused by arthritis), an appetite enhancer (especially beneficial to AIDS and cancer patients), suppression of tumor growth (although whether it has a positive or negative effect on prostate cancer is still unknown), improving skin health, immune system support, varicose veins, diabetes, regulation of cholesterol, and demyelination disorders.
It’s possible that Hemp Oil could be of benefit to you, but there are two things to do before you consider ordering Hemp (CBD) Oil. The first thing is checking the legality of Hemp (CBD) Oil in your state. Cannabis is not legal in all 50 states as of now, in fact, it’s legal in only 15 states so check your local laws before even considering its use. The second and most important factor to consider is whether this is healthy for you as an individual. Before starting any supplement or medicinal treatment you should consult your primary physician, he or she knows what is best for YOU. Informative articles such as this one are purely informative, and as such provide a good basis for you to play an active role in your healthcare, but under no circumstance replace the support and approval of a medical doctor.