Cannabis sativa is a species of plant with thousands of varieties and a varying amount of phytocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids found in plants. There are over 100 phytocannabinoids in cannabis which interact with our bodies endocannabinoid system. The most commonly known phytocannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
CBD is used to treat anxiety, pain, sleep and epilepsy, whereas THC treats pain, nausea, muscle spasm relief and sleep. Both CBD and THC are psychoactive. However, CBD does not cause euphoria or sedation whereas THC does.
The cannabis plant has a long history of medicinal use dating back thousands of years in cultures globally. Nevertheless, the use of medical cannabis has not been rigorously tested due to restrictions resulting in limited clinical research and limited evidence base to define the safety and efficacy of cannabis as a medical treatment. However, preliminary evidence shows cannabis can be an effective medicine for a variety of conditions.
The UK legalised cannabis medicines in November 2018 due to Billy Caldwell, the boy behind this campaign and Academy.
Medical cannabis can be administered through a number of methods including capsules, lozenges, tinctures, patches, sprays, edibles and vaporizing or smoking dried buds.
The Endocannabinoid System is an internal body system which regulates a wide range of processes. It plays a role in a range of bodily functions but there is still a lot of research to be conducted. The ECS plays a role in digestion, inflammation, chronic pain, memory, muscle formation, sleep, mood and motor control.
There are cannabinoid receptors on the surface of our cells throughout the body and brain. Our body makes natural endocannabinoids all the time. However, phytocannabinoids (found in the cannabis plant) can assist our body in functioning by stimulating the endocannabinoid receptors. This is why medical cannabis can have such a wide range of benefits and applications due to the vast amount of functions the endocannabinoid system is involved in.