Over the past 100 years, cannabis has gone from being legal, to illegal, to entering a strange legal grey area in our society. The stigma surrounding cannabis has pushed people to believe that it’s a “drug” that’s poor for your health, when in reality, it’s a plant that has incredible healing properties.
Medical Uses for Cannabis
Cannabis can and has been used for many years to treat a wide variety of illnesses including cancer. Cannabinoids refer to any of a group of related compounds that include cannabinol and the active constituents of cannabis.
Consuming cannabis activates cannabinoid receptors in the body, and the body itself creates compounds called endocannabinoids, which help to produce a healthy environment. Cannabinoids play a significant role in immune system generation and re-generation, which is why cannabinoids reduce cancer cells.
A study published in the British Journal of Cancer, conducted by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Complutense University in Madrid, determined that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids inhibit tumour growth. Numerous organizations and universities, including Harvard Medical School, have also been studying the effects cannabis has on cancer cells, proving its success and recommending it to be used as cancer treatment for specific types of cancer.
Numerous cancer patients will smoke marijuana or take cannabis oil orally in order to mitigate the pain and nausea associated with chemotherapy. THC has been available in pill form for treating nausea and vomiting in cancer patients since the 1980s.
Even the U.S. government has unwittingly confirmed that cannabis kills cancer cells. A group of federal researchers commissioned by the government were selected to prove that cannabis has no accepted medical value, but their findings showed otherwise.
Studies show that THC, the compound found in cannabis that gives it its “euphoric” effect, activates pathways in the central nervous system that work to prevent pain signals from being sent to the brain. Likewise, cannabis has been shown to be especially effective against neuropathic pain, or nerve-related pain. Cannabis is essentially an all-natural form of Advil!
Cannabis can also be used to decrease anxiety and mitigate symptoms from PTSD, as the high from THC is associated with temporary memory impairment. Recent studies confirm that oral doses of THC can help relieve a variety of PTSD-related symptoms including flashbacks, agitation, and nightmares.
Cannabis Science’s Innovative “Pain Patch”
Two of the latest cannabis medical innovations were created by Cannabis Science, a U.S. company specialized in the development of cannabis-based medicine, particularly those meant for cancer treatment. Cannabis Science already has some products on the market in California, such as its “When Nature Meets Science” product line, which includes healing bombs, drops, and tinctures, all made with cannabis.
The company recently designed two new pain relieving medications for self-medicating patients with diabetic neuropathy nerve pain and fibromyalgia.
Diabetic neuropathy is a form of peripheral neuropathy, which is damage to or disease affecting the nerves. Side effects include impaired sensations, movement, and gland and organ function. Neuropathy can result in painful cramps, fasciculation (fine muscle twitching), muscle loss, bone degeneration, and changes in the skin, hair, and nails.
Fibromyalgia is a condition whereby patients have chronic, widespread pain and experience a greater pain response to pressure. Symptoms include fatigue, problems with sleep, memory, and bowel function, restless legs syndrome, numbness and tingling, and sensitivity to noise, lights, or temperature. Fibromyalgia can also have psychological effects including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The medications for both of these ailments will be offered in the form of an adhesive transdermal patch, allowing users to absorb a specific dose of medication through the skin, which then travels into the bloodstream. This method is favourable because it provides users with a controlled release of medication, which in this case is a large amount of cannabinoid (CBD) extract. As the CBD enters into the bloodstream, it then penetrates the central nervous system, allowing their pain to subside.
“As more states nationwide legislate for the legalization of Cannabis and Cannabis derived medications, we here at Cannabis Science are focused on developing pharmaceutical formulations and applications to supply the huge growing demand expected over the coming few years,” explains the company’s CEO, Raymond C. Dabney.
Even though the medical uses of cannabis have been proven time and time again through numerous accredited science institutions and universities, the stigma surrounding cannabis remains significant and contentious. Since it’s an illegal substance, numerous people shy away from it, including those who are suffering from illnesses cannabis could cure or seriously help treat.
It’s inevitable that once it becomes legalized in more places, it will become common practice for the medical industry to recommend its usage. I’m not a doctor, but I can envision people using cannabis-based pain patches for a variety of issues outside of fibromyalgia and diabetic nerve pain. Pharmaceutical pain patches have been designed in the past to treat localized pain in many areas of the body, so why couldn’t we do the same with cannabis?