- by Marni Meistrell
Cannabis is the world’s most versatile and underappreciated plant. Dismissed as strictly an intoxicant by the uninformed, its stalks can be used to manufacture clothing, paper and construction materials, while its leaves, flowers and roots can be used for a variety of natural, holistic healing purposes.
One distinctive feature of blooming cannabis plants is the tiny, sparkling mushroom-shaped glands that coat its buds and leaves. These globes are filled with organic compounds known as cannabinoids, and it is these miraculous substances that give cannabis its potent medicinal effects.
Medical marijuana is leading a long-overdue revolution in medical treatment, and Encanna is proud to participate in this exciting movement toward patient-centered healing and recovery.
The History of Cannabis in Medicine
Encanna products are a new and intriguing option for medical patients in Puerto Rico.
But the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes dates back far into antiquity. For example, practitioners of natural medicine in ancient China, India and Egypt frequently used cannabis extracts to treat an astonishing range of medical complaints, including chronic pain, headaches, constipation, hair loss, blood clots, tapeworm, dysentery, mood disorders, digestion problems, sunstroke, sleep disorders, memory troubles … the list is virtually endless.
There are at least 85 different cannabinoids produced by cannabis plants, and research into their efficacy is ongoing. The two most well-known and studied cannabinoids, THC and CBD, are also the most widely used in medical treatment, although exciting new developments are changing the field of medicinal marijuana at a rapid and accelerating pace.
Medical Marijuana in the 21st Century
In modern medical practice, the menu of ailments treated with medical marijuana is growing by leaps and bounds. Patients with troublesome illnesses and daunting medical conditions are benefitting from medical science’s willingness to think outside the box and embrace evidence-based science.
Here are some of the conditions currently being treated with medical marijuana:
- Moderate-to-severe pain (of all types)
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy
- Depressed appetite (cancer, HIV-related conditions)
- Menstrual cramps
This list is expanding by the day, thanks to extensive medical research and abundant anecdotal evidence that confirm medical marijuana’s versatility and overall effectiveness.
Cannabis Medication and its Ability to Heal
Swift and efficient healing is supported by the smooth functioning of the endocannabinoid system.
Manufactured naturally in the human body, endocannabinoids are specialized particles that bind to receptors located in widely dispersed locations throughout our immune and nervous systems. Endocannabinoid receptors are found in the brain, spinal cord, kidneys, digestive system, liver, lungs, eyes, bone marrow, tonsils and spleen, to name a few vital areas where endocannabinoids are known to work their magic.
Acting as a biological facilitator, endocannabinoids bolster cellular activity related to healing, pain relief, detoxification, disease resistance and proper organ function. Their chemical signature resembles that of cannabinoids extracted from cannabis plants, and this fortuitous coincidence allows cannabinoids to bind to the very same receptors that were designed to capture endocannabinoids.
Cannabinoid compounds like THC, CBD, CBD and THCA carry their therapeutic capacities with them when they bind to the body’s endocannabinoid receptors, healing ailments and interfering with pain signals wherever they find them.
Medical Marijuana Side Effects
Medical marijuana is harvested from two strains of cannabis plant: indica and sativa.
In general, cannabinoids taken from indica plants have a soothing, calming effect and are most appropriate for nighttime use, while sativa products can boost energy and are often prescribed for daytime dosages.
Medical marijuana isn’t manufactured to produce a high. However, the THC (marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient) found in cannabinoid products produces a mild-to-moderate euphoria in many users , along with a general feeling of calm and relaxation (the latter reaction is most closely associated with products taken from the indica strain).
On rare occasions more negative emotions may be experienced, including anxiety or paranoia (a risk with sativa varieties in particular). Patients taking medicinal cannabinoids are encouraged to speak to their prescribing physicians about these or any other disturbing side effects.
It is possible to overdose on marijuana, but the effects are relatively benign. Overconsumption may increase the intensity of the euphoria or lead to a few hours of uncomfortable agitation. But the areas of the brain responsible for regulating vital functions like respiration and heart rhythm do not have endocannabinoid receptors and cannot be affected by cannabinoid intoxicant, making the risk of fatal overdose non-existent.
Overall the effects of medical-grade marijuana products are relatively mild and muted, and medical marijuana used as prescribed carries no known risk for addiction.
How Medical Marijuana is Administered
Improvements in extraction technology have made it possible to manufacture more potent and effective cannabinoid products.
There are multiple delivery systems for medical marijuana. Depending on your personal preference (and on the type of condition being treated in some instances), your options could include:
- Inhalation—Pipes or vaporizers are recommended in place of smoking, which may not deliver the most concentrated dose.
- Ingestion— Pills, edible baked products, capsules or tinctures may all be administered.
- Oral absorption—Extracted cannabinoid oil is used to create lozenges that can be dissolved under the tongue.
- Topical applications—Oil extract is mixed in specially prepared lotions, ointments or transdermal patches, which can be applied to the skin.
- Liquid ingestion—Cannabis-infused juices, smoothies or teas are popular with some patients. Raw marijuana leaves are sometimes used in these preparations.
Encanna products are available in a variety of forms, all of which deliver appropriate and medically effective doses suitable for a wide range of illnesses and conditions.
Finding Natural Wellness with Encanna
Encanna is a full-service medical marijuana dispensary. Comprised entirely of organic, natural ingredients, Encanna products are manufactured according to the highest standards of quality control.
Holistic methods and medications are your surest bets for sustainable recovery from pain or illness, and you can rely on Encanna products to bring you back to your natural state of wellness.