What is Medicinal Cannabis?
Research has found that the cannabis plant produces between 80 and 100 cannabinoids and about 300 non-cannabinoid chemicals. The two main cannabinoids that have been found to have therapeutic benefits are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The main contents of Medicinal Cannabis products are cannabinoids THC and CBD.
The main difference between the two cannabinoids is that THC has strong psychoactive effects, meaning it makes a person ‘high’, whereas CBD is thought to have an anti-psychoactive effect that controls or moderates the ‘high’ caused by the THC. CBD is also thought to reduce some of the other negative effects that people can experience from THC, such as anxiety.
Cannabis potency relates to the THC concentration, with a higher THC concentration indicative of a more potent preparation.
The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system is a unique communications system found in the brain and body that affects many important functions. It is made up of natural molecules known as cannabinoids, and the pathways they interact with. Together, these parts work to regulate a number of activities, including mood, memory, sleep and appetite. It is thought that medicinal cannabis can treat various illness by acting on the endocannabinoid system.
THC is the major psychoactive component and may have beneficial effects for:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chronic and cancer pain
- Muscle spasticity
- Improving sleep
- Improving appetite
CBD is a non-psychoactive component, may reduce THC side effects and may have beneficial effects for:
- Epileptic symptoms
- Anti-psychotic symptoms
All drugs have side effects, and like any other medicine, medicinal cannabis may or may not be right for you. Medicinal cannabis should be considered only after standard treatments have failed. It is important to note that response to medicinal cannabis varies from person to person and finding the right dose may require titration.
Cannabis-based products for medicinal use vs illegal cannabis
Illegal cannabis grown from unknown sources may contain unknown concentrations of cannabinoids and potentially harmful contaminants such as pesticides, moulds, and bacteria. The manufacture of medicinal cannabis is highly regulated. This means that the products are free from harmful ingredients, doctors know what is in it, and that the effect it has for a patient will be the same from bottle to bottle.
How we can help you
If you suffer from anxiety or depression and have tried all of the traditional treatments, Medicinal Cannabis may help you in reducing the need for taking benzodiazepines or anti-depressants. After an initial medical assessment performed by our consultant psychiatrist, we can consider including Medicinal Cannabis as part of your treatment.
For more information about how Medicinal Cannabis may help you with anxiety or depression, click here to tell us in strict confidence about your case.