The focus on natural products for treatment has rapidly increased as the medicinal use of cannabinoids has drawn a lot of attention in the healthcare sector across the world.
For a better understanding of the medicinal use of cannabinoids, it is good to first understand the term “cannabinoids.”
Cannabinoids refer to the compounds that have active ingredients found in Cannabis (Marijuana) or were synthesized from those chemicals.
There are several sites such as Homegrown Cannabis Co. website that also provides relevant information on cannabis and its cannabinoids, yet in this article, we provide you with a comprehensive overview of cannabinoids.
Three Categories of Cannabinoids
A component of the central and peripheral nervous systems, endocannabinoids signal molecules released from one cell to other nearby cells by activating their receptors for cannabinoids.
Unlike dopamine, they are not soluble in water and do not enter cells as vesicles do.
Endocannabinoids play a vital role in a number of physiological processes, including memory, appetite, pain-sensation, mood, neuroprotection, immunity, stress recovery, and homeostasis.
In addition, the ECS is also involved in triggering motivation or reward after locomotor activity, such as voluntary exercise (such as the Runner’s High).
An artificial, mind-altering chemical that is sprayed on dried plants to make them able to be smoked or sold as liquids that can be vaporized.
Using synthetic cannabinoids recreationally can lead to serious health risks.
More than ten thousand calls were received by poison control centers in the United States between 2012 and 2014.
This are natural compounds found in marijuana plants.
They are made by decarboxylating their 2-carboxylic acids (2-COOH), a reaction that is triggered by heat, light, or alkaline conditions.
It provides its mind-altering properties because THC is the primary phytocannabinoid in Cannabis.
How the three Categories of Cannabinoids Work
When we talk about how they work, we are actually talking about how the endocannabinoid system works.
In that, cannabinoids typically affect a person’s body systems through the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS was named that way due to the essential substances that the body naturally produces, which resemble plant-based cannabinoids.
When you take the cannabinoids, it activates the endocannabinoid system, which helps in homeostasis. Homeostasis regulates many of our body’s essential functions such as:
- Heart rate
- Hormone levels and fertility
- Memory and concentration
- Body temperature
- Hunger and digestion
- Immune function
- Awareness of your senses
- Motor control
Factually, endocannabinoid facilitates communication with the body’s nervous system to enable the effective function of the body system within acceptable parameters.
In that case, when a person consumes cannabinoids, it helps in treating innumerable medical complications.
The only difference between body endocannabinoids and cannabinoids is that our endocannabinoids work in precise coordination with only the system that needs guidance at that time.
On the other hand, when a person consumes cannabinoids, it floods all over the body making both desirable and undesirable changes at the same time as it causes healing of some chronic illnesses, yet can lead to some undesirable changes. That is why we have medicinal use of cannabinoids
How to Use Cannabinoids
The dosage of cannabinoids is not yet set. In other words, there are no standard dosages that have been identified for cannabinoids. Therefore, your doctor will give you the best advice before using this product.
So ensure that you visit your doctor before using cannabinoids for your safety. There are also innumerable forms and preparations of cannabinoids that are available to use. You can choose between these:
- Topicals, such as creams and balms
- Isolates (purified crystalline form)
Remember that products other than CBD isolates might have the distinctive skunky smell and taste of marijuana so don’t be surprised with the smell.
CBD oils and isolates may be added to food or beverages or taken sublingually (under the tongue) and then swallowed.
The product can be divided into two full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products.
Full spectrum cannabinoid means that they contain all the cannabinoids of the hemp plant while “broad spectrum,” means that they contain most of the cannabinoids but not any THC substance.
Medicinal Use Of Cannabinoids
In terms of medicinal use, THC and CBD affect patients differently, and each one has differing benefits based on the medical condition they are being treated for.
CBD stops the formation of microorganisms, while THC enhances appetite.
On the other hand, CBD decreases anxiety, eases psoriasis symptoms, acts as a bone stimulant, relieves rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, and is antibacterial.
Despite THC’s recreational properties, the medicinal value of the cannabinoid does not cover as many ailments as marijuana’s less psychoactive counterpart.
As cannabis enters the body, it interacts with cell membranes known as cannabinoid receptors, which are responsible for its physiological and behavioral effects.
The comprehensive medicinal use of cannabinoids can be understood by knowing the benefits of cannabinoids.
The Benefits Of Cannabinoids?
Different preparations of THC and/or CBD have been found to have myriad positive effects on the body. Presently, they are used for several purposes, and they are expected to be used for more in the future.
Current use of cannabinoids
Some of the current uses of cannabinoids include:
- Alleviating pain and inflammation, especially chronic forms, from diseases such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, glaucoma, neuropathy, and Crohn’s disease
- Increasing appetite to prevent the extreme weight loss of AIDS
- Improving muscle control/lessening spasticity in conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease
- Controlling epileptic seizures, especially in children
- Treating mental illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, and multiple anxiety disorders
- Treating addiction, including smoking cessation
Are They Legal?
The scientific evidence for each of these uses varies. As of now, marijuana uses have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but the FDA has approved some pharmaceuticals containing cannabinoids.
Numerous states have made marijuana legal for medical or recreational use, yet its is still considered illegal at the federal level.
Future Applications Cannabinoids
According to early studies, cannabinoids may be helpful for combating cancer by:
- Various cancer cells can be eliminated by this treatment
- Other cancers are reduced in size
- One of the most serious types of brain tumors can be slowed by blocking the growth of cancer cells
- Chemotherapy nausea relief
- Radiation treatments can be made more effective
In addition, these substances are under investigation for their potential use in treating immune-related diseases, such as autoimmune diseases
It has been proposed that cannabinoids could be beneficial for eliminating pain and inflammation as well as regulating the immune system in autoimmune diseases (such as MS, lupus, and Crohn’s disease).
What is CBD and THC
Cannabis and hemp both contain compounds called cannabinoids.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most prevalent cannabinoids in the cannabis plant that is not psychoactive, while THC is the predominant psychoactive cannabinoid.
In addition, it is one of the main cannabinoids in hemp plants. The therapeutic benefits of CBD have been studied, as it does not produce the known high of THC.
With CBD, the user does not feel “high,” and the effect is described as “relaxation without intoxication.”
From a medicinal standpoint, studies over the last four years have demonstrated CBD’s potential to be an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotectant, anxiolytic, antidepressant, analgesic, antitumor, and antipsychotic.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) appears in the Marijuana plant and provides the popular „high“, which can be either a „body high“ or a „head high“, depending on the type of marijuana used.
There is also a temporary lapse of memory and attention as well as euphoria and relaxation. For more information about THC click here.
A cannabinoid receptor family is designated by the abbreviation ‘CB’, and receptors are numbered by their discovery order, denoted by a numerical subscript (e.g. CB 1 , CB 2)
Two types of cannabinoid receptors exist.
- Cannabinoid receptor type 1
The basal ganglia of the brain, the limbic system, the cerebellum, the reproductive system of both males and females, and the retina and anterior eyeball.
- Cannabinoid receptor type 2
The highest density is found in the spleen, which is part of the immune system. It is these receptors that provide cannabis with its therapeutic benefits.
Possible Side Effects of Cannabinoids
Every coin has two sides, therefore, there are some potential side effects of cannabinoids that are considered to have fewer and milder side effects.
Some people think that “natural” products are side-effect free, no these products have some potential side effects Therefore, product such as cannabinoids can cause side effects and may interact negatively with other drugs.
The side effects may depend on the type of cannabinoids you take. Below are some of the potential side effects based on the product.
Side Effects of Marijuana and THC
Marijuana may negatively impact your body by overstimulating parts of the brain, which may be due to the presence of THC in it. It may cause the following
- Impaired memory
- Difficulty thinking
- Mood changes
- Altered senses such as colors appearing brighter.
- Altered sense of time
- Impaired motor skills
When marijuana is taken in high doses or with regular use of highly potent strains, it may cause;
Marijuana can cause several problems to teens and kids as it can negatively impact their learning, thinking, and memory.
CDC shows that it may also prevent the brain from building essential connections between different areas of the brain.
Potential side effects specific to smoking marijuana may include;
- Increased phlegm, and
- A higher risk of lung illness and infection.
The benefit of marijuana or THC is that they do not cause overdose, which makes them especially attractive as an alternative to opioids for chronic pain.
Side effect of CBD
There is more research being done to find out other possible side effects of CBD. But some that have been reported include
- Dry mouth
- Altered drug-processing liver enzymes
- Low blood pressure
- At high doses, increased tremor in Parkinson’s disease
The WHO reports that possible side effects of CBD may include the stimulation of the immune system at low levels, yet suppression of the immune system at higher levels and altered hormone levels in some patients. However, this side effect can be utilized to treat autoimmune diseases.
Importantly, CBD is not addictive and does not cause an overdose.
Possible Groups at Risk
It is very important to note that individuals with liver or kidney disease and elderly individuals may develop potential complications and should be closely monitored by doctors while taking cannabinoids.
In addition, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use THC and CBD.
This is because doctors allude that marijuana use during pregnancy may affect the development of the baby’s brain, including causing low birth weight and increase the risk of premature birth and, possibly, stillbirth.
Therefore, it is advisable not to use this product.
Wrapping it Up
There are several medicinal use of cannabinoids in the recreational and health sector because of its stronger active plant compounds that help stimulate the body’s immune system.
They help alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, including treating addiction, alleviating pain and inflammation, especially chronic illnesses such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, glaucoma, neuropathy, and Crohn’s disease.
It also helps increase appetite, improves muscle control, and controls epileptic seizures among others.
But before using cannabinoids, it is important to seek advice from your doctor or health care providers. Because this information is not for medical use.