About medical cannabis
Cannabis has been used as medicine for centuries by communities around the world¹. However, it wasn’t until 2001 that it became partially legalized as a medicine in Canada, and not until 2014 that it became fully legal. 2014 was an important first step in diminishing the stigma surrounding cannabis as a medical treatment option, and the start of more research and clinical studies into its therapeutic benefits than ever before.
Cannabinoids, terpenes and the endocannabinoid system
Cannabinoids are the active compounds found within cannabis, and the two most commonly known are THC and CBD. That being said, there have been over 100 known cannabinoids identified so far.
Terpenes are organic compounds located in the essential oils of plants. They have been proven to have therapeutic value and are believed to improve the effectiveness of certain cannabinoids.
The endocannabinoid system is a physiologic system involved in establishing various aspects of human health. It impacts regulatory functions throughout the human body, including neural development, immune function, inflammation, appetite, metabolism and energy homeostasis, cardiovascular function, digestion, bone development and density, synaptic plasticity and learning, pain, reproduction, psychiatric disease, psychomotor behaviour, memory, wake/sleep cycles, and the regulation of stress and emotional state².
Here is a handy video from Tilray Canada, a globally respected Licensed Producer, that breaks down cannabinoids for you in a simple and digestible way.
- Of the two main active ingredients, THC has the psychoactive component in cannabis. It causes the “high” experienced by users by crossing the blood brain barrier.
- Cannabidiol (CBD) does not cross the blood brain barrier and therefore does not have a psychoactive component.
How to take medical cannabis
There are 2 ways we suggest that people take their medical cannabis⁴.
Oil extracts, such as drops or capsules. They will allow you to consume cannabis orally, administer the proper dose more easily, and experience benefits over an extended period of time. Effects may begin after 1 to 2 hours and last between 8 and 12 hours.
Vaporizing, which heats dried cannabis to produce an inhalable vapour. This releases fewer toxins than smoking and works quickly. Effects may begin within 5 minutes and last between 2 and 4 hours. You will however need a vaporizing device.
As we always suggest, it is important to listen to your doctor and take a slow approach to finding your right dose. Here is a video that sums up the safe use of cannabis very well.
Did you know?
4/10 Canadian adults self-report one symptom of insomnia at least 3 times a week in the last month⁵.
3 in 10 Canadians have used opioids in the last 5 years⁶.
6 million Canadians live with chronic pain⁶.
Over 31% of Canadians suffer from an anxiety disorder⁶.
Medical cannabis has been shown to be a suitable treatment option for many different conditions. Here we will break down several of the most prominent.
Medical cannabis can help improve quality of life in those suffering from chronic pain. Research has shown that it can be an effective therapy for many conditions, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, injury and more. It is also an effective and safe alternative to dangerous opiates⁷.
Medical cannabis can offer relief to people suffering from certain types of insomnia. Evidence suggests it can improve short-term sleep outcomes for a number of different conditions, including sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and Multiple Sclerosis.
Your mental health is so vital to your overall health, and medical cannabis has been shown to improve or assist with the recovery process of mental health conditions. There is evidence that suggests medical cannabis can be an effective medicine in relieving the symptoms of anxiety disorders, depression and other mental health conditions⁸.
Watch Natalie’s Story to learn more about mental health and medical cannabis:
Although many studies are still in progress, there have been promising results showing that medical cannabis can help in the management of conditions causing epilepsy, such as childhood Dravet’s Syndrome⁹.
Medical cannabis can be helpful in your fight against cancer by relieving some of the side-effects of chemotherapy. There’s considerable evidence proving medical cannabis helps manage serious symptoms like chemo-induced nausea, appetite stimulation or an episode of breakthrough pain⁶.
There are many studies around cannabis and its medical benefits, with peer-reviewed clinical papers published in the best scientific journals in the world.
Please visit our News and Research page for updates on medical cannabis research.
Cannabis has been proven time and time again to be effective as a medical therapy for a number of conditions, and our understanding of it is still in its infancy. We hope that we have helped you learn something about medical cannabis, and maybe cleared up some of your misconceptions. If you feel that medical cannabis might be the right treatment option for you, please Book an Appointment today.
It’s easy, quick, safe and free.
You can do it from the comfort of your home or on the go.
- O’Shaughnessy, W.B.: On the preparations of the Indian hemp, or gunjah, Trans. Med. And Phy. Soc., Bengal, 71-102, 1838-40; 421-61, 1842.
- Information for Health Care Professionals. Cannabis and the cannabinoids. Health Canada.
- Tilray Patient Hub, FAQs section.
- Morin, Charles M., et al. “Prevalence of insomnia and its treatment in Canada.” The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 56.9 (2011): 540-548.
- Tilray Patient Hub.