It just won’t go away will it and the arguments are getting louder and louder. More and more people are asking is cannabis the cure for disease? Can cannabis cure arthritis? Are we on the edge of a great discovery?
The back story
Cannabis can be first heard of in the countries of China, Egypt, India. There are ancient texts describing how it was widely used for many medicinal purposes from helping gout to easing hemorrhoids.
In more recent times cannabis was introduced to the United Kingdom and United States by an Irish physician called William Brooke O’Shaughnessy in the year 1842. He had discovered it some years earlier while living in India and observing how it was used.
At the turn of the century the use of cannabis for medicinal concerns declined. It was banned in the United States in 1970.
However there was still continued interest in cannabis in relation to medical conditions such as MS (multiple sclerosis) and lessening the effects of chemotherapy.
The use of medical cannabis varies from country to country, some allow it whilst others prohibit its use. In 1996 California legalised medical cannabis, becoming the first US state to do so.
Many countries have gone on to legalise medical cannabis, such as Germany, Poland, Canada, Romania, Chile and many others.
What about addiction?
There is no doubting that issues such as addiction and dependency are issues that frighten countries or states into keeping cannabis illegal.
People tend to associate cannabis with getting high, yes there is clearly a lot of people that use cannabis for this effect but that is just one strain of the plant.
Research into this subject is growing, due to the mass public interest and protesting for legalisation. I have tried to find suitable information on what different types, if any, there are of cannabis.
I can tell you it isn’t that easy, people say different things. What I can gather is that there is cannabis produced for people to get high (marijuana) and there is some produced for industrial use (hemp).
Cannabis that is smoked and gives the ‘high’ effects, contains tetrahydrocannabinol or THC I can see why they just call it THC!
THC is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis which produces the high that people experience, obviously in large quantities it can also be addictive, cause paranoia, anxiety, I have seen these effects firsthand.
So why legalise that?
Well, some studies and research have shown that people suffering multiple sclerosis and undergoing chemotherapy have found that cannabis has led to a reduction in pain.
Hence why many countries have adopted cannabis for medicinal purposes.
It may be that the use of the substance in controlled quantities can help people suffering from various diseases, of course there is the worry of addiction, there is also that worry for painkillers as well.
Maybe that’s why it is better that it should be prescribed by doctors in dosages.
Do I have to smoke it and get high?
I have said above THC is the ingredient that causes the ‘high’ the more THC the more potent the cannabis. This works the other way as well so if it has little to none THC in it, it will not cause these side effects.
I mentioned earlier about differences between the plants and I referred to cannabis produced for industrial use, hemp. Hemp can be used to make paper and other textiles. It is also made into topical ointments, oils and supplements.
These usually contain less than 0.3% THC as opposed to the 20% + that can be found in the cannabis people smoke.
This is a subject that most people have strong opinions on, either for or against. I have seen people close to me ruin their lives completely by heavily using cannabis and smoking it every day.
Do I disagree then with people using it in a medical sense? No.
I understand how it can help ease peoples pain and I have also seen MS sufferers use it for this purpose. Like most things I think it needs to be controlled and moderated.
Many of my readers will know that I am very pro plants and natural produce and believe it was put on this earth to heal.
The fact is that I find it slightly hypocritical that some countries won’t allow this on prescription, yet in America they dish out Tylenol without actually knowing how it works in the body.
In my country England, you can go to a pharmacy and buy Co-Codamol over the counter, you can get stronger on prescription.
You can be prescribed Codeine, Tramadol, Morphine, all opiate drugs. Just for balance, the side effects of these can be constipation, itching, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, mood swings, sweating, addiction, overdose.
Scary stuff. Of course any doctor will say that is why they are prescribed in doses, in order to limit side effects, so why could the same not be done for cannabis?
A lot of it has been down to a lack of research, but as I said there are now many studies being undertaken across the world.
Do I use? Yes.
Do I get high? No.
I use hemp seed oil on things like salads and use cannabis supplements that have less than 0.3% THC. I don’t experience any of the drug type side effects and if I was breathalised while driving it would not show up.
In short, it doesn’t effect you in the same way, there is no euphoria, no high, no addiction, no side effects, only mild pain relief and essential fatty acids.
I imagine I would get more pain relief if I took the stronger strains with more THC content, but to me that’s kind of like saying I will get more relief from Tramadol than a Paracetamol and I don’t use either.
Why? I don’t want any drug type side effects I don’t want to become dependent on any manufactured chemicals.
Can it cure arthritis? I don’t think so. Again there is a lack of research but we have to be careful because there is curing and then there is treating.
No I don’t think it will cure arthritis and make it disappear. Although I think it will provide pain relief for arthritis just as things like Codeine and Tramadol can.
I do prefer my way of supplementing and using natural products, and the hemp seed oil and cannabis tablets have been a great addition for me, plus I love the hemp seed oil on a salad.
I get the feeling people will have different views on this and as usual I want to hear them all so leave us a comment, like, share do what you need to.
Just as a side note when I was lorry driving and in between jobs I was speaking to an adviser at the benefits’ office, my last driving job I couldn’t manage as it was too much heavy lifting and moving.
I told her about my arthritic ankle and she said she has arthritis and takes Tramadol every day and has done since diagnosis.
She suggested I do the same, I said they make me drowsy and I am driving a lorry I might as well strap a bomb around myself and run naked through a shopping centre! She huffed and said I was being stupid.
I saw her about a month later, I was seeing a different adviser and she was sat at the desk next to me. She was being trained up at a computer by a colleague for a different part of the job,
she was asleep.
Don’t make the body more toxic, neutralise it!