There has been an on-going debate and rave in both the medical and scientific communities about the power of cannabis to actually cure cancerous ailments.
There is the arguments that cannabis should be a core part of procedures in curing cancerous cells while there is another against it.
Cannabis, aka marijuana, is believed to be a reliably potent drug in the cure for several cancerous ailments, those arguing against its usage have proposed that there is no solid evidence that cannabis actually does cure cancer.
However, there has been irrefutable evidence that cannabis does actually cure cancer as will be shown in this write.
In this write up, I will go into details on everything relating to cannabis and we will get to see if it actually cures some cancerous ailments; and there will be solid proof for or against everything you read here.
Cannabis – A Brief History and Exposition
Cannabis sativa is known to be one of the most ancient psychotropic drugs known to mankind; and it’s been used for as far back as 4000 years ago.
It made its appearance in 1854 in the United States Dispensatory where it was freely sold in pharmacies in the Western countries; while it made its appearance in the British Pharmacopoeia as an extract and tincture for more than over a hundred years.
In 1942, it was taken off the United States Pharmacopoeia and that singular move made its legal usage to be put on hold.
It took more than 3 decades, that’s until 1971 that Britain and many of the European nations banned the use of cannabis with accordance to the UN Convention of Psychotropic Substances.
Nevertheless, a good number of states in the USA, as well as Canada and a handful of European countries now allow the usage of medicinal cannabis when it comes with a doctor’s recommendation.
There has been derivatives of more than 60 C terpenophenols obtained and that differs from one another in their chemical structure by location and number of carbons; all isolated from Cannabis sativa.
The early 1990s saw to the location of endocannabinoid , a derivative of arachidonic acid that binds to cannabinoid receptors in the body. The endocannabinoids are mostly active on the central nervous system as neuromodulators or retrograde messengers, which restrains the release of other neurotransmitters, giving room for the different unspecific influences of Cannabis sativa on different symptoms.
Aside the popularity of cannabis as an effective solution is treating disease symptoms in oncology patients and for diverse medicinal indications not related to cancer patients, there is increasing evidence to show interest in the use of cannabinoids in medicine, although high quality studies are still not available.
It is quite hard to conduct randomized, double-blind statistical power research in products that are extracted from plants. This is because there is lack of driving economic source and difficulty in reaching set standards regarding the product and its quality over time, the method of consumption, and diversity of the population.
Consequentially, though users of cannabis show a better influence from the plants extract when compared to synthetic products, all conducted research at this point in time have been performed with one of the three synthetic products that have gained approval from American, Canadian, or European international authorities.
The Ministry of Health regulations in Israel gave permission to use medicinal cannabis for oncology patients based on two indications:
- Relieving of disease-related symptoms in advanced disease or
- During chemotherapy treatment with the aim to reduce side effects.
The indications are quite broad, allowing a whole lot of freedom for the physician’s decisions but also causing a high demand for cannabis from the patients. These recommendations for medicinal cannabis are referred to a handful of medical oncologists in the central governmental hospitals that have due authority from the Ministry of Health to give out license to oncology patients for using medicinal cannabis. The Ministry of Health gave permission to 8 farms for the growing of cannabis for medicinal purposes and 4 companies got permission for the delivery of cannabis to the patients. A cultivated species of cannabis, Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica is grown on the farms; and it differs from 70% indica and 30% sativa to 90% sativa and 10% indica.
There is a difference in the concentrations of the main cannabinoid differ between the species. The delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) concentrations are usually between 16% – 27% and the cannabidiol (CBD) concentrations between 0.5% – 2%.
The patient’s license gives room for 30 grams per month. They are advised to start with a species with less than 20% Δ9-THC in the first two months and to begin with a low use, slowly increasing the daily use according to the needs and side effects.
We will dwell more on cannabis dosage, recommendations and side-effects as we move along in this report. At this point, it would do well for us to have some solid background knowledge on what cannabis really is.
What Is Medicinal Cannabis?
Cannabis is made up of the dried up flowers of the female Cannabis sativa L plant; popular called hemp or marihuana. Cannabis consists of a number of active substances like dronabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is what carries that major responsibility for the effects of cannabis, but the others like CBD may also have some influence on the effectiveness of the drug.
The chemical composition of cannabis is the determinant of the effects and side effects. The specie of cannabis dispensed by pharmacies complies with the strictest of quality standards; and its sole purpose is for medicinal uses only. This is why it’s called medicinal cannabis.
The Varieties: Content and Composition
Medicinal cannabis comes in several varieties, with diverse compositions and strengths; and invariably different effects. In this report, we will look at three varieties of medicinal cannabis:
- Bedrobinol and
Each of these varieties has its own predetermined strength and composition.
Bedrocan about 19% (THC Content)< 1% (CBD)
Bedrobinol about 12% (THC Content)< 1%(CBD)
Bediol about 6%(THC Content)< about 7,5%(CBD)
The question now is which of the varieties is the best? Well, that would depend on the symptoms. For instance, there is strong reason to believe that inhaling cannabis high in CBD content (like Bediol) provides effective relief for pains and muscle spasms in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, this variety could be considered more effective than others for patients with inflammatory conditions.
On the other hand, Cannabis with high levels of THC (Bedrocan and Bedrobinol) is preferred for treating disorders such as Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, therapy-resistant glaucoma and weight loss, nausea and vomiting symptoms.
For chronic neural pains, Bediol is always the prescription given first (for inhaling). If relief is not provided with this, a variety with a higher THC content is used. Starting with Bedrocan (as tea) is also an option or a combination of varieties and methods of administration.
You should know that effects depend not only on just your symptoms since there are large variations between individuals. It is the doctor that will determine which variety and what method of administration are best suited for your case.
There are certain quality criteria that medicinal cannabis has to meet. It shouldn’t contain heavy metals, pesticides, bacteria or fungi. These requirements are strictly monitored.
Research has revealed that the kind of cannabis sold in coffee shops hardly ever meets the set quality standards of medicinal cannabis obtainable form pharmacies. As shown earlier, cannabis sold in pharmacies is cultivated under controlled conditions by growers as licensed by the Office of Medicinal Cannabis (OMC).
Medical Disorders That Needs Medicinal Cannabis
There is reason enough to believe that medicinal cannabis can be really helpful in the following cases:
- muscle spasms, pains or cramps associated with multiple sclerosis or damage to the spinal cord;
- nausea, loss of weight and debilitation as a result of cancer or AIDS and even loss of appetite;
- nausea and vomiting that comes with chemotherapy or radiotherapy used in treating cancer, hepatitis C or HIV infection and AIDS;
- acute pain associated with the nervous system; for instance that which is caused by a damaged nerve, facial neuralgia or chronic pain that remains after recuperating from shingles;
- Therapy-resistant glaucoma.
There have also been positive reports from doctors and patients on a wide range of other conditions like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, epilepsy, itching, migraine, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, ADD and brain trauma. However, these positive effects would still need scientific confirmation and research.
You can get more information by visiting www.cannabis-med.org.
At the moment, medicinal cannabis does not proffer complete sure to any of the above listed conditions; though it does help to relieve the symptoms. A doctor normally makes medicinal cannabis prescription if standard treatments are not helping or having the desired effects.
Side Effects of Medicinal Cannabis
Normally, patients do have tolerance for medicinal cannabis. Side effects rarely occur since a low dosage usually provides the needed relief. When side effects do occur, it’s usually as a result of high dosage or a combination with substances like alcohol that increases the side effects.
Some of the common side effects of medicinal cannabis are:
- Mood-altering effects like insomnia and heart palpitations.
- fits of laughter
- feeling hungry
- heightened sensitivity to the perception of e.g. colour and music
- Lethargy and distorted temporal and spatial awareness.
In some cases, the first few hours of medicinal cannabis usage may come with slow reaction time. Taking a high dosage can get one ‘high’; a euphoric feeling that slowly caves into a feeling of satisfaction, peace and calm. These altered perceptions may result to confusion; though it usually disappears after a couple of hours.
For persons with genetic predisposition to psychosis (like schizophrenia) or any other mental health conditions, it would be advised to consult with a specialist before using medicinal cannabis. Cardiac patients are also strongly advised to consult with a specialist.
Medicinal cannabis is not advised during pregnancy or while breast-feeding because it could affect the foetus and certain compounds like THC end up in the breast milk. It should never be used during pregnancy or while breast-feeding.
Smoking and Addiction To Cannabis
Regular smoking of cannabis is bad for anyone’s health. Not only does it damage the lungs, but it could lead to infections of the throat, nose and lungs. For these reasons, the smoking of medicinal cannabis is not recommended. Rather, inhalation of cannabis using a reliable vaporiser is better.
You are very unlikely to get addicted when using cannabis as a medicine. Medicinal recommended dosage is usually lower than the recreational one. Care should however be taken by those taking medicinal cannabis; especially if you have been previously addicted. High dosage of medicinal cannabis over a period of time could result to addiction; and quitting from such could be a real issue with withdrawal symptoms like restlessness, nausea, insomnia and irritability.
Using Medicinal Cannabis
It is your doctor that would determine how to take medicinal cannabis based on:
- Which variety would be most suitable
- What dosage you need
In most cases, you start off with a low dosage, and if this is not effective enough, your doctor would gradually increase the dosage. This amount can be increased until the desired effective result is achieved. In this case, the dose can vary from one cup of tea weekly to a couple of grams daily.
It takes about half an hour to 90 minutes for any effect to occur when taking medicinal cannabis as tea. It takes like two to four hours for the full effects to be achieved; and about four to eight hours for it all to wear off. You should know that taking high-fat diet with the tea could improve absorption of the active substance.
Instructions for Use and Dosage
When it comes to making tea, Bedrochan is the most suitable variety; and here is how it’s done.
- Boil 500 ml of water in a pan and cover up with the lid.
- Add 0.5 grams; which is about 2 teaspoons of medicinal cannabis.
- Make sure the heat is turned down, and allow to simmer gently for about 15 minutes with the pan still covered.
- Take the tea off the stove and filter using a sieve.
- Store tea in a thermos flask if you intend drinking it same day.
If you intend making tea that you would take for some days, then use 1 gram; that’s is about 4 teaspoons or 2 measuring scoops of medicinal cannabis for one litre of water.
Prepare the tea as already described then add a package or teaspoonful of coffee creamer powder to the warm tea. This would ensure that the active ingredients in the tea don’t stick to the inside of the teapot or cup and thus reducing its effectiveness.
Allow to cool down, and then store in a fridge. You can keep for some days. You could also reheat the refrigerated tea while adding some sugar, syrup or honey to improve taste.
You can start up by drinking a cup of tea, that’s is about 0.2 litres of tea, in the evenings. If this doesn’t provide sufficient relief, then you can step it up with an extra cup in the morning; about o.2 litres; albeit with your doctor’s consultation.
If the tea still doesn’t provide needed relief, then you might want to ask your doctor about inhaling medicinal cannabis using a vaporiser. This acts quicker, and the effects is far stronger than cannabis tea. In addition, the dosage is easier to adjust.
Bedrocan and Bedrobinol can be obtained in the form of dried up flower tips.
Bediol is provided as granules, the flower tips having been crushed. All the three varieties can be used in tea making or inhaled using an inhaler. Whether you are using granules or flower tips doesn’t matter.
If you intend inhaling medicinal cannabis, it is advisable to use a reliable vaporiser. Vaporisers are easily obtainable from reliable pharmacies in your locale.
Dosage and Usage:
- About 200mg (1 teaspoon or ½ measuring scoop) should be taken as initial dosage.
- Place in the vaporiser, heat the cannabis and then inhale once.
- You have to wait for about 5-15 minutes before another inhalation.
- This should be repeated a few more times; including the interval between two inhalations; until you achieve the desired effects or until the onset of side effects (physical or mental). This procedure should be performed once daily.
- The importance of gradually building up your intake cannot be over-emphasized. You should only consider inhaling several times a day after some time have elapsed; and always consult with your doctor since the dosage and amounts used vary widely among individual patients.
I would want to reiterate here that smoking cannabis (with or without tobacco) is never recommended; neither is using pipe as harmful chemicals could end up getting inhaled.
However, medicinal cannabis heated in a vaporiser can be used again, say about 3 times, as it will still have some active components.