Cannabis has been used by humans for thousands of years for its fibre, oils, and its medicinal properties.
Ancient civilizations in Egypt, China and Greece all used the plant to aid a variety of different ills. In fact, it was until recently that cannabis stopped being used as a ‘mainstream’ medicine. Until the early 20th century it was available as a medicine throughout the US, the UK and Europe.
It was of course later in the same century that the plant was banned throughout the world, in the US with the passing of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 and in New Zealand with the passing of the Narcotics Act 1965.
HOW DOES MEDICINAL CANNABIS VARY FROM BLACK-MARKET CANNABIS?
The biggest difference between medicinal cannabis and black-market cannabis (cannabis grown at home), is quality and dosage control. Although still cannabis, it is highly unlikely that the cannabinoid types and levels of the black-market cannabis are known. In fact, it is almost impossible as the technology to analyse the cannabinoid content of cannabis isn't in New Zealand yet. And although you, or someone you know, might have been finding relief in black-market cannabis, chances are the cannabis is not as effective as it could be.
Produced in a pharmaceutical environment, medicinal cannabis products are made to the same high standards the paracetamol or painkillers you get from the pharmacy. Unlike black-market cannabis, the environment the plants are grown in is tightly monitored, fertiliser and pesticide use is kept to a minimum (or not used at all), and testing is carried out throughout the production process.
With pharmaceutical grade medicinal cannabis, you can trust you are getting the right quantity of cannabinoids every time you take your medicinal cannabis product, without any of the uncertainty of black-market cannabis.
WHAT IS MEDICINAL CANNABIS?
Inside the cannabis plant are a number of cannabinoids. There is debate about just how many the plant contains, but the number is thought to be around 100 (lexariabioscience.com) . It is these cannabinoids that give the cannabis plant its medicinal properties. The most well-known of the cannabinoids are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Both THC and CBD are used to help relieve pain and reduce symptoms across a multitude of indications.
WHAT IS MEDICINAL CANNABIS BENEFICIAL FOR?
As more and more countries around the world legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes, more and more research is being completed into the plant's therapeutic benefits.
So far there is evidence to suggest to medical cannabis products can have a positive effect for those in palliative care, suffering from epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy-induced nausea and chronic pain.
Research continues, but it is also thought medicinal cannabis may help those suffering from Anxiety, PTSD, various forms of Cancer, Parkinson’s, Insomnia, Eczema and Psoriasis, and Crohn's Disease, amongst others.
If you think medicinal cannabis could help you, your first port of call should be your Doctor. Failing that, get in touch with a medicinal cannabis expert like Dr Gulbransen at Cannabis Care.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to email us, and we will help you as best we can.