Cannabis is an extraordinary plant that contains a wide variety of active principles known generally as cannabinoids. The two most studied for their importance are CBD, cannabidiol, and THC, delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Both act on specific receptors located on cell membranes. Specifically, they are called CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, which are related to the neurological and anti-inflammatory effects of THC.
CBD binds with lower affinity to the same receptors but exerts a significant influence on anti-inflammatory and anticonvulsant action, as well as mitigating some of the unwanted neurological effects produced by THC.
With that said, it is not our intention to proclaim therapeutic cannabis as the definitive solution, but there is sufficient scientific evidence, together with the testimony of hundreds of thousands of patients who do recognise its beneficial pharmacological properties for the symptomatic treatment of some ailments, such as various forms of chronic pain, motor disorders associated with multiple sclerosis, convulsions in childhood epilepsy, nausea caused by chemotherapy, lack of appetite, etc.
Therapeutic use of cannabis
The administration and therapeutic use of cannabis is only possible by two different methods:
Inhalation: This is the most direct method; the active ingredients are absorbed directly into the blood in the pulmonary alveoli. This can be done by using vaporisers that volatilise the active ingredients without combustion. This option is recommended over smoking the typical cigarette, as it avoids certain carcinogens and respiratory tract irritants.
Infusion: As cannabinoids are fat-soluble and not very soluble in water, it is recommended to add a little oil, milk or butter to the water. Bring the mixture to boiling point. The effects are felt as digestion occurs and can last from 2 to 6 hours.
Since it is a substance that is susceptible to great variability in the concentration of cannabinoids from one plant to another, therapeutic doses are difficult to determine with any accuracy. It is best to start with low doses and work your way up until you feel that the effect is satisfactory.
With infusions it is more difficult to get the dosage right, as the time it takes to take effect is longer. Whereas inhalation increases the likelihood of undesirable psychological effects.
In any case, the results must be observed after one or two weeks and, as much as possible, have a controlled starting material with information on the content of active principles. Even so, it is important to be very careful with the dosage. The same amount will not be the same in different people, as the effect will not be the same depending on the patient’s previous relationship with cannabis.