Patients may also be encouraged to try cannabis, now legal in many countries.
Pliny the Elder, Dioscorides and Galen all noted how cannabis roots ease inflammation when cooked with hot water; only O'Shaughnessy noted its euphoric effects.
The History of Cannabis
Cannabis Westcoast Bud was domesticated as medicine thousands of years ago for its analgesic and sedative properties, first recorded as being used in Pen-tsao ching (the oldest known pharmacopoeia) around 2700 BC. Herodotus mentions its use as an entheogen among central Eurasian Scythians taking "hemp-seed baths that produce such an intense vapour as no Greek vapour-bath can."
William Brooke O'Shaughnessy made public observations on hemp in 1839, reporting its hallucinogenic properties were used by youth experimenting with hashish in Marseilles. Later that decade, Jacques-Joseph Moreau studied hashish use in North Africa in 1830s, suggesting drug intoxication and hallucinations shared similar mechanisms. By 1964, Israeli doctors Yeheil Gaoni and Raphael Mechoulam became the first to isolate and synthesize THC, or psychoactive component found within cannabis; their work played an essential part in its revival as medicinal therapeutic treatment.
Cannabis contains over one hundred chemical substances known as cannabinoids, with THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) being responsible for creating its characteristic high. On the other hand, CBD can also be found within cannabis plants to counteract some of the negative side-effects caused by THC.
Cannabis plants with THC concentrations exceeding 0.3% are often referred to as marijuana. Meanwhile, those containing less than 0.3% THC are known as hemp.
Marijuana can make you feel high, giggly, sleepy or confused and is known for causing serious side effects like addiction and mental health issues. If you find yourself using cannabis regularly it's wise to seek help from either your GP or our intuitive Path2Help service; driving while under the influence is dangerous as is mixing cannabis with other drugs such as alcohol - increasing the risk of car accidents by twofold and potentially leading to depression or anxiety as a result.
Cannabis' terpenes give it its aroma and flavor, but have also been shown to possess medicinal benefits. Interacting with your endocannabinoid system, they create different effects alone or when combined with cannabinoids.
Myrcene is the primary terpene found in cannabis and is widely believed to promote relaxation and stress relief. Limonene can provide an uplifted and euphoric effect. Other common terpenes found in pine trees (pinene and borneol), rosemary, citrus fruits, basil and parsley also have anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator properties that provide anti-inflammation and bronchodilator effects.
Linalool can be found in numerous plants such as lavender and is well known for its soothing effects. Beta-caryophyllene stands out as it interacts directly with your endocannabinoid receptors to reduce pain and inflammation, while geraniol may offer neuroprotective and antioxidant benefits while serving as an effective bug repellent. These are just three examples among hundreds of possible cannabis terpenes!
Cannabis has the power to help alleviate symptoms associated with disease or side effects from treatments, including lack of appetite and weight loss (anorexia), seizures in children with rare forms of epilepsy, anxiety, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Furthermore, three FDA-approved CBD-only drugs - Epidiolex being one - were recently approved to treat certain kinds of epilepsy.
Given its Schedule I classification, hospitals and care settings that receive federal funding may hesitate to permit patients to use medicinal marijuana due to implications or possible violations of federal law by staffers administering it. Likewise, botanical cannabis must be stored and administered carefully so it does not fall into the hands of children or other non-patients and cause drowsiness; as THC can transmit through breast milk to infants it's wise not to smoke while pregnant or breastfeeding - however individual experiences may differ depending on how it's taken and dosage used - taking cannabis can vary widely depending on both how and dose taken and by whom.
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