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Cannabis Bud Plant

Using Cannabis as Medicine: A Guide to Managing Symptoms Without Getting High

Cannabis Bud Plant

Table of Contents

Introduction

Have you heard about medicinal cannabis? For many, the notion of using cannabis as a medicine might seem daunting, especially when all they know about it is getting “high.” But did you know that there is a way to manage symptoms without getting high? In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about using cannabis as a medicine.

We’ll begin by defining what medicinal cannabis is, its brief history, and the medical benefits that come with it. Next, we’ll explain how to consume cannabis without getting high by breaking down the differences between THC and CBD and ways to consume it. We’ll also discuss various medical conditions that medicinal cannabis can manage, like chronic pain, anxiety, epilepsy, cancer, and MS.

It’s essential to consider some things before using medicinal cannabis, like the legal status, potential side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and delivery. We’ll guide you on what to consider. Lastly, we’ll show you ways to access medicinal cannabis, like getting a prescription, medical marijuana programmes, dispensaries, and delivery services.

We hope this guide helps alleviate your concerns and provides you with everything you need to know about using cannabis as medicine. So, let’s dive in!

What is Medicinal Cannabis?

Medicinal cannabis, also commonly known as medicinal Cannabis, refers to the use of the Cannabis plant or its extracts to treat symptoms of various medical conditions. Though cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, it’s only in recent times that its medical benefits have been seriously researched and explored.

The plant contains various chemical compounds, most notably THC and CBD, which interact with receptors in the brain and body to produce various effects. THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis and is responsible for the “high” associated with recreational use. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t cause psychoactive effects but has a range of therapeutic benefits.

The use of medicinal cannabis is based on the idea that the compounds within the plant can help manage symptoms such as pain, nausea, and seizures. These compounds can be consumed in various ways, including smoking, vaporising, edibles, and oils.

Historically, cannabis has been used medicinally since ancient times. In the early 19th century, cannabis extracts were widely used to treat conditions such as pain and inflammation. It wasn’t until the 20th century that cannabis was made illegal in many countries, leading to a decades-long ban on research into the potential medicinal benefits of the plant.

However, in recent years, the increasing demand for medicinal cannabis has led to a relaxation of this ban in some countries, allowing researchers to investigate the potential therapeutic benefits of the plant.

Research has shown that medicinal cannabis can help manage symptoms associated with a variety of medical conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, seizures, and cancer. Additionally, cannabis has shown promise in treating symptoms associated with Multiple Sclerosis, Glaucoma and inflammatory bowel disease.

While medicinal cannabis has potential benefits, it is important to consider the potential side effects and interactions with other medications. Medicinal cannabis is not legal worldwide; hence, research and education are important in deciding if it is a great fit for an individual.

Cannabis Without the High

One of the primary compounds found in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has been found to have several medical benefits when used in the right dosage. THC can help manage pain, stimulate appetite, and reduce nausea. When used in the correct dosage, patients can adjust to the effects of THC and remain fully functional while consuming medicinal cannabis.

Medicinal cannabis is often associated with the psychoactive effects that come from THC, the chemical compound that makes you feel ‘high’. But did you know that THC is just one of the many compounds found in cannabis and that there are ways to consume cannabis without getting high?

 

Some patients can find benefits from another cannabinoid found in cannabis – CBD. The main difference between THC and CBD is that THC is psychoactive while CBD is not. This means that while THC will give you the ‘high’ feeling, CBD will not. In fact, many people have reported using CBD to manage symptoms of anxiety, pain, and other medical conditions.

One of the most popular ways is through CBD oil, which can be ingested or applied topically. Other options include edibles that are specifically made to contain only CBD or strains of cannabis that are high in CBD and low in THC.

It’s important to note that while CBD may not have psychoactive effects, it still has the potential to cause side effects or interact with other medications. Talking to your doctor before trying new treatments is always a good idea.

Medicinal cannabis has been found to help alleviate symptoms of various health conditions. Research has shown that the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant can be used to manage a range of symptoms without the user feeling “high”. Here’s a breakdown of some common medical conditions that can be treated with cannabis:

Chronic Pain:

Chronic pain is one of the most well-known uses for medicinal cannabis. Cannabinoids present in the plant have been found to reduce inflammation, which can lead to pain relief for individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, and neuropathic pain.

Anxiety and Depression:

Cannabis has been shown to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Cannabinoids such as CBD have been found to have a calming effect, which can help alleviate worry and stress in individuals suffering from these conditions. However, it’s important to note that cannabis use can also contribute to anxiety and paranoia in some individuals.

Epilepsy and Seizures:

Cannabis has been found to be effective in reducing the frequency of seizures in individuals with epilepsy. CBD, in particular, is effective in reducing the severity and frequency of seizures in both children and adults.

Cancer:

Medicinal cannabis is commonly used in the management of cancer-related symptoms such as pain, nausea, and appetite loss. THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, has been found to be effective in reducing pain and nausea in individuals undergoing cancer treatment. Additionally, cannabinoids such as CBD have been found to have anti-cancer properties.

Multiple Sclerosis:

Cannabis use has been found to alleviate symptoms of multiple sclerosis in some individuals. The cannabinoids found in cannabis can help to reduce inflammation and muscle spasms, which are common symptoms of the condition.

Glaucoma:

Glaucoma is a condition that results in increased pressure within the eye, which can lead to vision loss. Cannabis has been found to be effective in reducing intraocular pressure, which can help manage symptoms of glaucoma.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease:

Cannabis has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to alleviate symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Additionally, cannabis use can help to improve appetite and reduce nausea in individuals suffering from these conditions.

Medicinal cannabis can be a powerful tool in managing the symptoms of various health conditions. However, it’s important to consider the potential side effects and drug interactions before trying medicinal cannabis. It’s also important to consult with a healthcare provider before using medicinal cannabis to ensure that it’s safe for you.

What to Consider Before Using Medicinal Cannabis

Medicinal cannabis has been shown to provide relief for a wide range of conditions. However, before you consider using it, several factors must be considered.

First and foremost, the legal status of cannabis varies by location, so it’s crucial to research the laws in your area before proceeding.

Like any medication, cannabis can also have potential side effects, including dry mouth, dizziness, and an increased heart rate. It’s important to be aware of these before starting treatment.

Cannabis can also interact with other medications, so it’s essential to talk to your doctor if you’re taking any other drugs. Lastly, dosing and delivery methods can vary and impact the effectiveness of cannabis. Trial and error is usually required to find what works best for you.

Remember, while medicinal cannabis can be a useful tool, it’s important to approach it with caution and consideration, given the legal and health ramifications.

How to Access Medicinal Cannabis

Accessing medicinal cannabis may seem daunting, but there are ways to obtain it legally in the UK. Clinics like Releaf offer online consultations and a handy medical cannabis subscription service. A prescription from a medical professional is necessary to buy medicinal cannabis legally in the UK. Research your local laws and regulations carefully before obtaining cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Conclusion

Cannabis has been used as medicine for centuries, and its therapeutic potential is gaining recognition. Medicinal cannabis can help in managing symptoms of chronic pain, anxiety, depression, cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and more. CBD-dominant strains have non-psychoactive properties and can be used without getting high. However, it is important to consider legal status, potential side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and delivery methods before use. Getting a prescription from a doctor and accessing medical Cannabis programs or dispensaries can provide safe and legal access to medicinal cannabis. With proper caution and understanding, medicinal cannabis can be a viable treatment option for many.

Glossary of Key Terms

Cannabinoids: These are naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant. The most well-known cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol): This is the psychoactive component of cannabis that gives you the ‘high’ sensation.

CBD (Cannabidiol): This is another cannabinoid found in cannabis. It has therapeutic properties but does not produce a ‘high’.

Psychoactive: A substance that changes brain function and alters perception, mood, or consciousness.

Inflammation: A biological response to injury or infection characterized by redness, heat, swelling, and pain.

Chronic Pain: Ongoing or recurrent pain, lasting beyond the usual course of acute illness or injury or more than 3 to 6 months, adversely affecting the individual’s well-being.

Multiple Sclerosis: A disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves.

Epilepsy: A neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to your eye’s optic nerve and worsens over time. It’s often linked to a buildup of pressure inside your eye.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: An umbrella term used to describe disorders involving chronic digestive tract inflammation.

Science Behind How Cannabinoids Like THC and CBD Work in the Body

Our body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a complex cell-signalling system that plays a role in regulating a range of functions and processes. These include sleep, mood, appetite, memory, reproduction, and fertility.

The ECS is composed of endocannabinoids, which are similar to cannabinoids but are produced by your body. It also includes receptors that these endocannabinoids bind to. There are two key receptors: CB1 receptors, mainly found in the central nervous system, and CB2 receptors, mainly in your peripheral nervous system and immune cells.

THC interacts with the CB1 receptors in your brain, which produces the ‘high’ feeling associated with cannabis. This interaction affects pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, movement, coordination, and sensory and time perception.

On the other hand, CBD doesn’t bind directly with the CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, it works by preventing endocannabinoids from being broken down, allowing them to affect your body more. Alternatively, CBD may bind to a receptor that hasn’t been discovered yet.

Both THC and CBD have therapeutic effects, but their different interactions with the ECS explain why THC is psychoactive, and CBD is not.

Useful Resources

For further reading and more in-depth understanding, here are some reliable sources.

  1. Cannabis-based products for medicinal use: frequently asked questions provided by NHS England offer comprehensive information about the use of medicinal cannabis.

  2. Medical cannabis (and cannabis oils) from the NHS explores medical cannabis, who can use it, how it works and its legality in the UK.

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