Medical cannabis, or medical marijuana, can refer to the use of cannabis and its cannabinoids to treat disease or improve symptoms; however, there is no single agreed-upon definition. The rigorous scientific study of cannabis as a medicine has been hampered by production restrictions and other federal regulations. There is limited evidence suggesting cannabis can be used to reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, to improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, and to treat chronic pain and muscle spasms. Its use for other medical applications is insufficient for conclusions about safety or efficacy.
The results of the three large European cohort studies have been confirmed in two smaller New Zealand birth cohorts. Arsenault and colleagues (2002) reported a prospective study of the relationship between adolescent cannabis use and psychosis in a New Zealand birth cohort (n = 759). They found a relationship between cannabis use by age 15 and an increased risk of psychotic symptoms by age 26. The relationship did not change when they controlled for other drug use, but it was no longer statistically significant after adjusting for psychotic symptoms at age 11. The latter probably reflected the small number of psychotic disorders observed in the sample. Fergusson et al. (2003) found a relationship between cannabis dependence at age 18 and later symptoms that included those in the psychotic spectrum reported at age 21 in the Christchurch birth cohort. Fergusson and colleagues adjusted for a large number of potential confounding variables, including self-reported psychotic symptoms at the previous assessment, other drug use and other psychiatric disorders, but whether the association represents a link between cannabis use and psychotic symptoms specifically, or more general psychiatric morbidity, remains unclear.
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Cannabis impairs psychomotor performance in a wide variety of tasks, such as motor coordination, divided attention, and operative tasks of many types; human performance on complex machinery can be impaired for as long as 24 hours after smoking as little as 20 mg of THC in cannabis; there is an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents among persons who drive when intoxicated by cannabis.
While there are more unknowns than knowns at this point, Grant says he doesn’t discount all the anecdotal CBD reports. “You hear somebody say, ‘Hey, I gave this to myself and my kid and we feel a lot better,’ and we should never dismiss that kind of information,” he says. He points out that many modern medicines were discovered when researchers followed up on exactly this sort of human trial-and-error evidence. “But we still need to do the studies that confirm whether all the good things are true, and how much to give, and how to give it,” he says. “These are all questions that need to be answered.”
A 2015 meta analysis found that, although a longer period of abstinence was associated with smaller magnitudes of impairment, both retrospective and prospective memory were impaired in cannabis users. The authors concluded that some, but not all, of the deficits associated with cannabis use were reversible. A 2012 meta analyses found that deficits in most domains of cognition persisted beyond the acute period of intoxication, but was not evident in studies where subjects were abstinent for more than 25 days. Few high quality studies have been performed on the long-term effects of cannabis on cognition, and results were generally inconsistent. Furthermore, effect sizes of significant findings were generally small. One review concluded that, although most cognitive faculties were unimpaired by cannabis use, residual deficits occurred in executive functions. Impairments in executive functioning are most consistently found in older populations, which may reflect heavier cannabis exposure, or developmental effects associated with adolescent cannabis use. One review found three prospective cohort studies that examined the relationship between self reported cannabis use and intelligence quotient (IQ). The study following the largest number of heavy cannabis users reported that IQ declined between ages 7–13 and age 38. Poorer school performance and increased incidence of leaving school early were both associated with cannabis use, although a causal relationship was not established. Cannabis users demonstrated increased activity in task-related brain regions, consistent with reduced processing efficiency.
The plant was first given its taxonomic identification by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 and thoroughly described to Westerners in the 1800s, when the medical doctor William O'Shaughnessy gave a report to the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta in India in 1839. The doctor described its effects on people and did a few case reports on "gunjah," the Indian name for the drug.
Australia's National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC) states that the buds (flowers) of the female cannabis plant contain the highest concentration of THC, followed by the leaves. The stalks and seeds have "much lower THC levels". The UN states that leaves can contain ten times less THC than the buds, and the stalks one hundred times less THC.
At sufficient doses (400-600 mg), CBD can alleviate situational anxiety, such as public speaking. Interestingly, cannabis cultivars, or strains, that are high in CBD and low in THC are better than other cultivars for alleviating depression. But when used over a long period of time, any kind of cannabis could make depression worse. Although clinical trials in people haven’t yet been completed, there is very compelling “petri dish” evidence that CBD can reduce inflammation, for painful conditions such as Crohn’s disease, and fight some cancerous tumors. There is a massive amount of scientific research being done on CBD right now, and we are likely to see many medical breakthroughs in the next decade.
However, if it was sourced from actual marijuana (i.e. cannabis that contains more than 2% THC by volume), then it is technically illegal. Most of the best CBD oils for pain that you find in dispensaries in states like Colorado, California, and Washington (as well as other states where weed is legal) will have been extracted from marijuana plants — not industrial hemp plants. Unfortunately, this means that these products are not allowed to be sold online and shipped across state lines to “non-legal” states.
It’s also worth noting that more and more people now use cannabis for medicinal purposes, as it is known to offer pain relief for some chronic conditions, as well as stimulate the appetite for people who are sick and may not feel like eating (such as cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy). Despite evidence that cannabis has medical benefits, you should always discuss your options for medical treatment with your doctor and use medical cannabis under their supervision.
CBD e-liquids are made for vaporizers or electronic cigarettes. Usually, hemp extract or pure CBD is mixed with a classic e-liquid base called PG/VG. The e-liquids are then inserted into a cartridge or atomizer for an electronic cigarette. You may see the CBD vape oil used interchangeably with CBD e-liquids, so keep that in mind and don’t vape your regular CBD-rich oil unless you want a not so enjoyable experience.
One of the main benefits of using CBD for pain relief is the fact that it doesn’t cause the same dependency that people get from using pharmaceutical pain medication. People have been looking into alternative pain medication for a long time – in fact plant-based treatments such as turmeric and frankincense have been used for a long time as natural therapies for pain. Cannabidiol is one such treatment that has a long history as a pain medication. Only recently the medical sector has acknowledged its use as a legitimate treatment for a variety of ailments including chronic pain.
CBD does not appear to have any psychotropic ("high") effects such as those caused by ∆9-THC in marijuana, but may have anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic effects. As the legal landscape and understanding about the differences in medical cannabinoids unfolds, experts are working to distinguish "medical marijuana" (with varying degrees of psychotropic effects and deficits in executive function) – from "medical CBD therapies” which would commonly present as having a reduced or non-psychoactive side-effect profile.
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