Because marijuana’s medical use has been documented for thousands of years (without a
single recorded death) it has been used to alleviated symptoms for many different diseases and conditions, both physical and mentally. Advancements in science and our understanding of the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS) have further answered questions as to how and why marijuana can be used to safely treat these conditions:
Osteoporosis Anorexia Nausea Insomnia Muscle spasms MS PTSD Endometriosis Epilepsy cancer
Indica and sativa represent specific characteristics the marijuana plant possesses depending on the origin of the species in which evolution depicted for certain strains. A variety of climates and latitudes produced some strains which grow tall and lanky (upwards of 25 ft) with sweet smelling buds that take 8-15 weeks to flower and produce an alert, creative high, to other strains which grow only 2-8 ft, are bushy with an earthy to fruity odour, flower in 5-9 weeks, and give a deep body stone.
Beginning in the 1970’s breeders traveled around the world to obtain new strains to cross with each other. From Afghanistan, India, Colombia, Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam and Equatorial Africa, difference land races were crossed resulting in some of the first domesticated varieties including Skunk #1, Big Bud, Haze, Afghani-Kush, and Northern Lights.
Domesticating and crossing different strains gave breeders more options for new hybridizations to obtain faster ripening times, bigger buds, pest resistance, more sophisticated highs, and controlled odour and growth.
Two other sub-species are Ruderalis and Kush. Ruderalis can be used to create auto-flowering varieties that do not wait for shorter daylight hours to begin flowering. Kush are a sub-group of indicas, sometimes called Afghani.
Originating in central Asia, indica plants are a shorter species which are able to adopt to an ever-changing climate. Drought one year may be followed by cloudy and rain the next.
Indicas mature early with dark green, sometimes purple leaves. Its buds are tight, heavy, and smell skunky or pungent, with a thick smoke. With high resin content, indicas are favourable for making hash. The high is relaxing, sometimes with a heavy body stone resulting in deep sleep.
Indicas are best suited for conditions of pain, inflammation, muscle spasticity, insomnia, and arthritis.
Sativas are found throughout the world originating along equatorial and sub-equatorial regions. Because they originated in areas with long growing seasons they requires a long time to mature and flower. They grow tall with long branches and usually contain large quantities of THC.
Sativas grow in a conical, Christmas-tree form with long, narrow leaves and have vigorous growth. The buds are long with medium-thickness. The high is described as dreamy, creative, almost psychedelic.
Sativas are best suited for conditions of depression, Alzheimer’s, and PTSD.
Because of copious hybridizations between sativas and indicas there are a myriad of strains, each containing different characteristics of indica and sativa, with some being more prominent than others. For example, a strain which is 80% indica, 20% sativa may have the growing properties of an indica, but the high of a sativa. Therefore it is important for the patient to be recommended a few samples from their cannabis consultant if they are unsure of what strains they should consider for their condition(s).
Marijuana can be delivered in 4 different ways:
Smoking (Joint, Pipe, Bong)
Inhalation is the quickest and most popular way to deliver the medicinal properties of marijuana. Cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemicals pass across the lining of the lungs and are absorbed into the bloodstream, bringing on the effects within minutes.
Ground or chopped bud can be rolled with papers into a joint (also referred to as a “spliff” or “doobie”), smoked through a wooden or glass pipe, or filtered through water in a bong.
Combusting plant material and inhaling into the lungs may be of concern to some people, and in some cases may occur a slight irritant to the throat, but for the majority of people this is not the case. Dr Donald Tashkin, who is one of the top researchers for the United States government and a scientist at UCLA, has studied for over 30 years the effects marijuana smoke has on the lungs. He initially hypothesized that there would be a definitive link between cancer and marijuana, but in fact found the opposite, “What we found instead was no association, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.”
THC and other therapeutic cannabinoids in marijuana can be heated at just below the combustion point so as to only allow the release of the cannabinoids and not burn the plant material.
“Since the cannabinoids THC and Cannabidiol (CBD) have both been shown to
have cancer-fighting properties, scientists speculate that cannabinoids may
have a prophylactic effect against the damage that the tars and other
potentially harmful chemicals present in cannabis smoke would otherwise
can be blended into butter, oil, and/or
baked into goods or other foods including
cookies, brownies, ice cream, sodas,
milkshakes, or spread onto bread. There
are numerous recipes out there most are
very similar to regular (non-medicated)
brownies.Doses are more difficult to
mediate through edibles because of factors
involving potency, consistency, rate of
metabolism, and preparation techniques.
Effects tend to set in in about 30-90
minutes after ingestion. Pending on
factors, this method can produce powerful
effects, impacting the entire body. This
is more recommended for people with
chronic pain, spinal cord injuries, and
severe muscle spasms.
Spray (Cannamist)/Tincture Drops
Medicinal marijuana can also be administered via a mist spray, or tincture drops, under the tongue. This is done by soaking the buds in a 95% alcohol solution to extract the THC, CBD, terpenes, and other cannabinoids.
Sublingual application can be more effect than oral administration because it does not need to be metabolized through the liver in order to induce the medicinal effects. The spray or drops are absorbed by the mucus membrane underneath the tongue and into the capillaries, therefore giving a more direct route into the bloodstream.
By combining marijuana cannabinoids with a beeswax/peppermint paste a topical applicant can be achieved which works extremely well for people suffering from joint and muscle pain, headaches, or almost any other topical discomfort. This is achieved without any of the “high” effect.
The cannabinoids draw blood and oxygen to the applied area thereby relieving inflammation. It has been used successfully by people suffering from varicose veins, rosacea, eczema, pruritus, scar tissue, and other skin conditions.
Juicing the raw Cannabis is a delivery method that is fairly new. MMAR.ca does not currently consult on this method as we do not have experience with it, but there are numerous beneficial accounts from it that can be found on the internet and YouTube videos.
Raw Cannabis does not contain THC or CBD. It contains THC-acid (THCA) and CBD-acid (CBDA). It is only when dried and heated that decarboxylation takes into effect and the THCA and CBDA is converted to THC and CBD and THC thus becomes psychoactive.
In raw form, marijuana leaves and buds are abundant with non-psychoactive, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer compounds. These compounds range in the hundreds of milligrams compared to the approximate 10 mg that your body receives from smoking or eating it. This means that not only does the body receive large quantities of cannabinoids, but does so without psychoactivity, thus making it an excellent medicine for preventative measures.
Every mammal has a biological system called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). “Endo-“meaning ‘within’ refers to a group of neuromodulatory molecules and their receptors which take part in regulating almost every physiological system including:
The most prominent endocannabinoids are ‘anandamide’ and ‘2-AG’, which were discovered i n 1992 and 1995 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, a professor at the University of Jerusalem.
Endocannabinoids act on receptors in the brain and throughout the body to signal the action of cells throughout our physiological systems and work to keep our body in a homeostasis. These receptors are called CB1 and CB2 which were discovered in 1988. CB1 receptors are found extensively throughout the brain in the hippocampus (memory), cerebellum (movement), and the frontal cortex (thinking). CB2 receptors are found throughout the periphery and other internal organs. But during massive trauma, ie a broken bone or concussion, CB2 receptors pop up in the brain. Scientists do not know why this occurs but it is believed to protect the brain.
Endocannabinoids are created by our body via Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) which we consume through our foods. Omega-3, -6, and -9 are the most important EFA’s, and in the last 5 years these EFA’s (primarily -3 and -6) have become mainstream in the food industry. The misconception with this is that too much of a specific EFA can cause problems in our ECS. Omega -3, -6, and -9 need to be consumed in a specific ratio for ECS to be in top health, and the best source these comes from Hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil comes from the pressed seeds of the Hemp plant. Both seeds and oil can be purchased at most health food and grocery stores. “We make marijuana-like compounds (in our body) and we call these Endocannabinoids, ‘endo’ means ‘within’, so it’s cannabis
within.” – Dr Bob Melamede, PhD, professor at the University of Colorado Springs, former chairman of the
Biology Department, president of Cannabis Science.
The marijuana plant contains its own cannabinoids which are almost identical to our endocannabinoids and act on our CB1 and CB2 receptors. This is why when we consume marijuana it reduces inflammation, pain, stress, and induces hunger and sleep, the same systems anandamide and 2-AG act on.
What makes marijuana and our ECS so important is that if it wasn’t for the discovery of THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) we wouldn’t know about the ECS and the vital role it plays in regulating almost all of our biological functions.
THC, short of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), was first discovered and isolated in 1964 by Dr Raphael Mechoulam at the University of Jerusalem. “THC, which acts on those receptors, is just a work of nature,” Mechoulam states at a 2004 Cannabis Therapeutics Conference, “there is barely a biological system in our bodies in which the endocannabinoids do not participate.”
“What makes marijuana unlike any other drug and what makes it have profound medical properties as that our ECS literally...regulates everything in our body; your immune system, digestive system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, everything in your body is regulated by the cannabinoids that your make,” states Dr Bob
The Biological Activities of Cannabinoids
Transcend the Organizational Scales of Life
Subcellular > Consciousness > Society
“That is why cannabinoids have such a unique evolutionary role...Every cell type in your immune system has cannabinoid receptors.”
MMAR.ca is pleased to announce the re-opening of
Synergy Medicine. Dr. Price will be holding a weekly clinic in
Hamilton, Ontario to assess patients who feel they will benefit from medical Cannabis. Read more
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