Though there is much prejudice surrounding cannabis today, this plant has a long-standing history of medicinal applications. It was used to treat pain, anxiety, and gastrointestinal tract issues in ancient times, and today, the global community exhibits a revival of interest in cannabis’s therapeutic potential. This interest reflects the crisis of trust in the multi-billion-dollar pharmacological industry that has hooked millions of people on antidepressants and painkillers. Thus, people are growing more interested in safe, herbal remedies for improving their wellness and health.
This article examines the potential medicinal uses of the most widespread cannabis sort – cannabis sativa. If this information interests you and you decide to venture into cultivation for personal use, you can always find top-quality Sativa seeds here – https://askgrowers.com/seeds/sativa.
Cannabis Sativa: History of Use
Cannabis has been part and parcel of many ancient cultures’ ethno-medicines and pharmacotherapy. Reports of its use are found in many parts of the globe, from ancient China to Asia and North America. Shamans and doctors of ancient peoples applied the flowers and leaves of cannabis plants to treat the following issues:
- Skin burns
- Pain of all types
- Difficulties during childbirth
- Postpartum hemorrhage
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Sexually transmitted diseases
Though there is a lack of clinical evidence on cannabis’s real value for all kinds of these health issues, its painkilling, anti-inflammatory, and soothing properties are well-known. Thus, in modern science, cannabis and its major compounds, such as CBD and THC, are increasingly explored for their potential to calm down the nerves, soothe pain, and relieve patients’ stress and anxiety.
Chemical Composition of Cannabis with Medicinal Characteristics
So, what makes cannabis such a unique plant with a wide variety of applications and an ability to produce a distinct cerebral high on the users? The secret to its wide therapeutic application is in the plant’s chemical profile. It includes a rich mix of compounds, such as cannabinoid and non-cannabinoid phenols, such as:
- Wax esters
- Alkaloids, and much more.
Overall, 500+ compounds have already been isolated from cannabis Sativa, each with unique properties and effects on the human nervous and physiological systems. Several classes of these compounds have an established history of use in cosmetics, aromatherapy, and pharmacotherapy, thus the interest in using cannabis as a medicinal remedy.
Obviously, the two primary cannabinoids – cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – are in the spotlight of everyone’s attention when the discussion of cannabis use starts. However, the plant offers a much broader spectrum of applications, with the presence of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), cannabidivarin (CBDV), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabigerol (CBG), and many other components with pronounced therapeutic effects. Thus, it is imperative to encourage cannabis research and stimulate the development of extraction technology, which would allow the isolation of the primary cannabinoids from the plant and producing medicinal drugs with particular properties.
What Medicinal Issues Does Cannabis Address?
There’s little clinical research on cannabis use for specific health conditions, as the substance used to be illegal only recently, and there were legal issues with engaging populations in clinical studies. However, the body of research is steadily growing today, and we know about the following spheres of popular cannabis use.
- Pain. THC and CBD were found to relieve various kinds of pain, from acute to chronic, that patients experience due to various health conditions. For instance, cannabis is good at reducing neuropathic pain (as rat and mice studies show) and chronic pain connected to multiple sclerosis.
- Anxiety. Anxiety is the top reported motivation for using cannabis Sativa among American consumers. Thus, it shows that people expect to have their tension relaxed and reduced as a result of cannabis consumption. However, clinical studies prove that cannabis can deliver this effect only in small doses, and the most effective compound for stress relief is CBD. At the same time, THC can, on the contrary, intensify anxiety and cause restlessness and paranoia.
- Cancer. Both THC and CBD induce cell apoptosis and inhibit the development of cancer cell lines; clinical research suggests that these cannabinoids should be used together instead of applying, for instance, THC alone, as their combined effect on cancer proliferation is more pronounced.
- Epilepsy. Cannabis Sativa has been historically used to treat seizures and convulsions, as many reports suggest. New clinical evidence, however, can’t give a definite answer to whether cannabis will address epilepsy efficiently. It was proven to have both anticonvulsant and pro-convulsant properties, which makes the outcomes of its use for seizures largely unpredictable. CBD is known to produce anticonvulsant effects, so it’s vital to use THC-low remedies for epilepsy.
- Inflammation. Cannabis possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties, which are realized through the action of CBD. This cannabinoid was found to regulate inflammation by interacting with TCF, toll-like receptors, mitogen-activated protein kinases, nuclear factor kappa, and other inflammatory agents.
What’s the Problem with Massive Cannabis Adoption?
As you can see, cannabis is an immensely valuable plant with a huge set of medicinal properties and a rich therapeutic potential. However, even despite the fast pace of legalization in modern America and other countries, weed remains a broadly debated plant with many legal bottlenecks for its use and commercial production. Because of these barriers, research and manufacturing are still lagging behind, with no significant moves in delivering efficient, standardized, and transparent solutions to patients with various health conditions.
Things that the cannabis manufacturing industry needs to address as the legalization process advances are:
- Need to improve and standardize the extraction processes and cannabinoid labeling.
- Need to research the efficiency of various cannabis parts’ use in pharmacotherapy.
- Need to develop rigorous purification procedures for eliminating unwanted components, including chlorophyll and residual organic solvents.
- Further clinical studies and analysis of Cannabis Sativa.
- Research of the cannabinoids’ properties and photochemical oxidation.
Explore Cannabis as Your Personal Herbal Remedy
Cannabis Sativa is a plant with unique chemistry and a realm of promises for human health and well-being. Its commercial production and use of cannabis extracts in manufacturing pharmacological and non-pharmacological products are only at the germinal stage of development, but the sector is highly promising. Therefore, it is vital to educate consumers about safe and beneficial uses of cannabis Sativa and cannabis-infused products, spreading word of mouth about secure dosing and proper product selection.
The author of this material is Tia Moskalenko, a blogger at AskGrowers. Tia keeps close connections with several renounced cannabis brands and monitors the market for new products and exciting cannabis applications with pronounced health benefits. She shares her findings and explains the fundamentals of safe product choice, dosing, and cannabis use.