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Therapeutic Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: A Brief Introduction

We explore the therapeutic effects of cannabis and cannabinoids and the use of cannabis use as medicine throughout history.
Therapeutic effects of cannabis
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A most fascinating plant

Marijuana is one of the most fascinating plants known to man. Cultivated for thousands of years, it’s famed for the many beneficial effects it can have on the human body. This is mainly thanks to the cannabinoid content.

Cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, are naturally found within cannabis and hemp flowers, and they can trigger a range of therapeutic effects.

In this guide, we’ll look at how cannabis has been used for therapeutic purposes throughout history. We’ll also examine some of the many therapeutic effects that you may experience when using cannabis, like pain relief and sleep management. Read on to learn some of the ways cannabis can help soothe and heal both mind and body.

History of therapeutic use

The effects of cannabis use has been documented throughout history. There are records of ancient civilizations, thousands of years ago, growing and using this plant for medicinal purposes. In fact, the first report of cannabis being used medicinally comes from China, some 5,000 years ago. Emperor Shen Nung, widely regarded as the father of Chinese medicine, listed cannabis in his famous Chinese pharmacopoeia.

What-is-a-cannabis-landrace-strain
Cannabis was used as medicine in ancient China

Shen Nung and other leading Chinese scholars of medicine suggested that cannabis could be used to soothe various conditions, from malaria to childbirth pains. In the centuries afterwards, other reports can be found across Asia, Africa, South America, and Europe. It’s clear that a lot of scholars, doctors, and naturalists throughout the ages considered this to be an important plant.

From the 19th century onwards, cannabis use became more mainstream in many parts of the world. It was popular in Britain in the 1840s, for example. And by the 1850s, it was part of the United States Dispensatory, too. From there, lots of home remedies and medicines were created with cannabis as a key ingredient. Such remedies could be used for things like period pains, migraines, insomnia, and so on.

hemp or marijuana

The ever-changing legal status of cannabis in places like the US put an end to many of these remedies, for a time. However, as medical marijuana laws have started to soften in recent years, cannabis is once again becoming a major player in modern medicine. It can be used to treat and soothe chemotherapy-induced nausea, chronic pain conditions, anxiety and depression, and many more.

What are the benefits of marijuana?

So, what kinds of positive effects can you expect to see when using cannabis? Here’s a list of some of the main therapeutic benefits associated with this plant.

Chronic pain relief

One of the main effects of cannabinoids that are commonly associated with CBD and marijuana use is pain relief. Many patients report that cannabis can help to alleviate aches and pains throughout their bodies. This can make it an effective treatment for a range of chronic pain conditions, like fibromyalgia and arthritis.

Experts have opined that medical marijuana may interact with pathways in the brain that control the pain response. Because of this, patients who use marijuana may find that severe pain symptoms are easier to live with.

Reduced inflammation

It’s not just pain that cannabis can help to soothe. Inflammation, too, may be reduced and relieved with the aid of medical marijuana. Indeed, some studies have shown that cannabis can soothe inflamed areas throughout the body.

It is believed that CBD is one of the key cannabinoids involved in this process. This is why a lot of people turn to CBD products, like CBD oil, to soothe inflammatory conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. To find the right cannabis product for you, speak with experts at a trusted marijuana dispensary.

Neurological and mental disorders

These days, many people struggle with at least some form of mental health condition, like depression or anxiety. There are also many patients out there with neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and PTSD.

Cannabis may be able to help with this as it can interact with the limbic system. The limbic system is part of the brain that controls emotions. As cannabis interacts with the limbic system, it can help to soften some negative emotions, like anxiety and stress, as well as depressive symptoms.

CBD as a nootropics

Sleep management

Many individuals also struggle with sleep disorders. It’s common for people to have bouts of insomnia, where they are unable to sleep, for example. Or you might struggle with restlessness in the evenings, due to excess stress or aches in your body.

Cannabis and CBD can be a crucial tool in helping patients manage their sleep, by helping to soothe symptoms that keep people awake, like pain and stress. It can also promote general feelings of relaxation, making it easier for a person to drift off to sleep.

Cancer

These days, cannabis is well-known as a supplementary treatment given to people with cancer. At this time, there’s insufficient evidence to prove its antitumor effects in humans so, it may not cure cancer, but it can help to alleviate some of the symptoms, greatly improving the quality of life for, especially, advanced cancer patients.

For example, studies have suggested that cannabis is powerful at easing nausea and promoting appetite. This can be helpful for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and suffering from chemotherapy-induced nausea and a general loss of appetite. It can also help with the pain and stress of living with cancer.

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a neurological condition in which the body’s immune system actually attacks the body’s own brain and nerve cells. Some limited evidence suggests that cannabis may be able to ease some of the symptoms of this condition, by decreasing inflammation, protecting nerves from damage, and easing spasticity. This all contributes to an improved quality of life for patients living with MS.

MS patients also often struggle with sleeping problems, often feeling stiffness and general aches throughout the body. Medical marijuana may make it easier for MS patients to rest at night through a reduction in symptoms across the board.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a more common condition than you might think, affecting 1 in every 100 people in the United States. It causes seizures, which can occur unexpectedly at any time. Scientific research, observational studies, and anecdotal evidence suggest that medical marijuana may be able to help treat or reduce the severity of epilepsy symptoms.

Cannabis for epilepsy treatment could help a patient suffer less frequent seizures. There haven’t been lots of studies into this, however, reports suggest that patients do tend to see at least partial improvement in the rate of seizures when they use cannabis or CBD products.

Final word

These are just some of the many therapeutic uses of cannabis in the modern world. And as new research is carried out and more clinical trials are completed, we may discover even more ways in which this miraculous plant can help people.

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