New research coming on the benefits of medicinal cannabis…

Medicinal cannabis is legally available for use in some US states.

I believe aerosol use is better than smoking?

There has been much written about this topic over the last few months, and I suspect I don’t have anything new to add to the debate. However, reading the news coverage did prompt me to browse the medical literature for the latest research in an attempt to understand the potential benefits of this contentious substance.

Cannabis has been used medicinally in various forms for many centuries, at least as far back as Ancient Greece and China. Interestingly, even way back then, its benefits were mainly in the realm of pain relief, nausea, muscle spasm and joint inflammation – very similar to today. It was most commonly chewed rather than smoked.

Cannabis remained on the “medicines list” in the United States until the 1940s, and in the UK and parts of Europe until the 1970s. The main reason for its removal from medical use was the lack of ability to regulate it – the dose, quality and potential risks. Medical interest around its use was reignited in the 1980s, after reports surfaced of cannabis smokers with HIV, AIDS or cancer finding it an effective method of managing their pain, nausea and loss of appetite.

Natural cannabis contains a number of chemicals, known as cannabinoids. The psychoactive (or mind-altering) cannabinoid is known as THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), but there are over 60 others.

Many of these cannabinoids have been successfully manufactured in labs, to enable scientists to work out exactly what their effects might be. To date, it appears that the most useful ones for medicinal purposes are likely to be THC and CBD (cannabidiol):

* THC increases appetite and reduces nausea. It is also thought to decrease pain, inflammation and muscle control problems. In the US, the FDA has approved 2 THC-medications for use to date. Its use is currently for patients with cancer, HIV and AIDS.

* CBD is a cannabinoid that does not affect the mind or behaviour. It is thought to be useful for pain, inflammation, seizure control, and possibly for treating mental illness and addictions.

Read more here:


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