Medicinal Cannabis

The Product

What is Medical Cannabis?

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation describes medicinal cannabis as cannabis prescribed to relieve the symptoms of various medical conditions. Currently Australia only allows for a small number of patients to access high quality Medical Cannabis, but this will soon change. For some people suffering from chronic or terminal illnesses, conventional medicines do not work, or do not work as effectively as medicinal cannabis.

Also, for some patient’s conventional medicines may work but they cause debilitating side effects that cannabis can help to relieve.

MEDICINAL CANNABIS VS RECREATIONAL CANNABIS

The main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which acts on specific receptors in the brain known as cannabinoid or CB1 receptors. Research has found that the cannabis plant produces between 80 and 100 cannabinoids and about 300 non-cannabinoid chemicals. The two main cannabinoids that have been found to have therapeutic benefits are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). There have been claims that many other cannabinoids have therapeutic properties, but these have not yet been proven.

It is important to make the distinction between medicinal cannabis and recreational cannabis. Recreational cannabis is the form of cannabis that people use to get ‘high’.

What are cannabinoids?

The main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which acts on specific receptors in the brain known as cannabinoid or CB1 receptors. Research has found that the cannabis plant produces between 80 and 100 cannabinoids and about 300 non-cannabinoid chemicals. The two main cannabinoids that have been found to have therapeutic benefits are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). There have been claims that many other cannabinoids have therapeutic properties, but these have not yet been proven.

The main difference between the two cannabinoids is that THC has strong psychoactive effects, meaning it makes a person ‘high’, whereas CBD is thought to have an anti-psychoactive effect that controls or moderates the ‘high’ caused by the THC. CBD is also thought to reduce some of the other negative effects that people can experience from THC, such as anxiety. The psychoactive effects of THC, such as euphoria and feeling relaxed or sleepy, are well known, but THC has also been found to have analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as being able to prevent and reduce vomiting. Research is being conducted into CBD for its potential to treat epilepsy, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, some tumours, and drug dependency.

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