Textile expert Elizabeth Wayland Barber summarizes the historical evidence that Cannabis sativa, "grew and was known in the Neolithic period all across the northern latitudes, from Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Romania, Ukraine) to East Asia (Tibet and China)," but, "textile use of Cannabis sativa does not surface for certain in the West until relatively late, namely the Iron Age." "I strongly suspect, however, that what catapulted hemp to sudden fame and fortune as a cultigen and caused it to spread rapidly westwards in the first millennium B.C. was the spread of the habit of pot-smoking from somewhere in south-central Asia, where the drug-bearing variety of the plant originally occurred. The linguistic evidence strongly supports this theory, both as to time and direction of spread and as to cause."
The psychoactive effects of cannabis are known to have a triphasic nature. Primary psychoactive effects include a state of relaxation, and to a lesser degree, euphoria from its main psychoactive compound, tetrahydrocannabinol. Secondary psychoactive effects, such as a facility for philosophical thinking, introspection and metacognition have been reported among cases of anxiety and paranoia. Finally, the tertiary psychoactive effects of the drug cannabis, can include an increase in heart rate and hunger, believed to be caused by 11-OH-THC, a psychoactive metabolite of THC produced in the liver.
Several studies have demonstrated the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids for nausea and vomiting in the advanced stages of illnesses such as cancer and AIDS. Dronabinol (tetrahydrocannabinol) has been available by prescription for more than a decade in the USA. Other therapeutic uses of cannabinoids are being demonstrated by controlled studies, including treatment of asthma and glaucoma, as an antidepressant, appetite stimulant, anticonvulsant and anti-spasmodic, research in this area should continue. For example, more basic research on the central and peripheral mechanisms of the effects of cannabinoids on gastrointestinal function may improve the ability to alleviate nausea and emesis. More research is needed on the basic neuropharmacology of THC and other cannabinoids so that better therapeutic agents can be found.
Sativex® (GW Pharmaceuticals) is an oromucosal whole cannabis-based spray combining a CB1 partial agonist (THC) with a cannabinoid system modulator (CBD), minor cannabinoids and terpenoids plus ethanol and propylene glycol excipients and peppermint flavoring (McPartland and Russo 2001; Russo and Guy 2006). It was approved by Health Canada in June 2005 for prescription for central neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis, and in August 2007, it was additionally approved for treatment of cancer pain unresponsive to optimized opioid therapy. Sativex is a highly standardized pharmaceutical product derived from two Cannabis sativa chemovars following Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) (de Meijer 2004), yielding Tetranabinex® (predominantly-THC extract) and Nabidiolex® (predominantly-CBD extract) in a 1:1 ratio. Each 100 μL pump-action oromucosal Sativex spray actuation provides 2.7 mg of THC and 2.5 mg of CBD. Pharmacokinetic data are available, and indicate plasma half lives of 85 minutes for THC, 130 minutes for 11-hydroxy-THC and 100 minutes for CBD (Guy and Robson 2003). Sativex effects commence in 15–40 minutes, an interval that permits symptomatic dose titration. A very favorable adverse event profile has been observed in over 2500 patient years of exposure in over 2000 experimental subjects. Patients most often ascertain an individual stable dosage within 7–10 days that provides therapeutic relief without unwanted psychotropic effects (often in the range of 8–10 sprays per day). In all RCTs, Sativex was adjunctively added to optimal drug regimens in subjects with intractable symptoms, those often termed “untreatable.” Sativex is also available by named patient prescription in the UK and the Catalonia region of Spain. An Investigational New Drug (IND) application to study Sativex in advanced clinical trials in the USA was approved by the FDA in January 2006 in patients with intractable cancer pain.
Hemp is thus profitable and sustainable, two words which have eluded many U.S. farmers as of late. Hemp cultivation could provide much-needed relief as farmers struggle to find markets for millions of bushels of crops during the trade wars. Now, instead of importing an estimated $100 million of hemp products every year, that money will go to American farmers and entrepreneurs.
Fig. 8. Scanning electron micrographs of the abaxial surface of a perigonal bract (which envelops the fruit). These bracts are the most intoxicating part of the plant, and may contain 20% THC, dry weight. The resin is synthesized both in stalked and sessile glands. Multicellular secretory glands (of phallic appearance), some broken stalks of these (note cellular appearance), and unicellular cystolith hairs (claw-like structures) are pictured. Fig. 9. Some important cannabinoids of cannabis resin. D9-THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) is the chief intoxicant chemical and predominates in intoxicant strains, while the isomer D8-THC is usually present in no more than trace amounts. CBD (cannabidiol) is the chief non-intoxicant chemical, and predominates in non-intoxicant strains; it has sedative effects. The non-intoxicant CBN (cannabinol) is a frequent degradation or oxidation product. The non-intoxicant cannabichromene (CBC) is typically found in trace amounts in intoxicant strains. The non-intoxicant cannabigerol (CBG) is considered to be a precursor of the other cannbinoids (see Fig. 10).
Anecdotal evidence from patients is becoming increasingly widespread as well. Morgan Freeman suffers from pain and he was quoted saying, “I have fibromyalgia pain in my arm and the only thing that offers any relief is marijuana.” Whoopi Goldberg also uses cannabis to treat her daily pain from glaucoma and has even launched a line of medical cannabis products geared towards women suffering from menstrual pain.
In 2015, researchers conducted a comprehensive review to get at the heart of CBD and its intervention of addictive behaviors. These researchers gathered 14 studies, nine (9) of which involved animals, while the remaining five (5) involved humans, to find that CBD may indeed have therapeutic properties on opioid, cocaine, and psychostimulant addiction. Further, studies heavily suggest that CBD may also be beneficial in the treatment of marijuana and tobacco addiction. One reason that CBD may be effective as treatment for addictive disorders is its ability to ease the anxiety that leads people to crave drugs like heroin.
The plant is also known as hemp, although this term is often used to refer only to varieties of Cannabis cultivated for non-drug use. Cannabis has long been used for hemp fibre, hemp seeds and their oils, hemp leaves for use as vegetables and as juice, medicinal purposes, and as a recreational drug. Industrial hemp products are made from cannabis plants selected to produce an abundance of fiber. To satisfy the UN Narcotics Convention, some cannabis strains have been bred to produce minimal levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive constituent. Some strains have been selectively bred to produce a maximum of THC (a cannabinoid), the strength of which is enhanced by curing the flowers. Various compounds, including hashish and hash oil, are extracted from the plant.
One of CBD’s chief properties is its anticonvulsant nature. Clinical trials have shown that CBD is effective at reducing seizures in children, and the FDA is likely to approve Epidiolex, a pharmaceutical-grade version of CBD for this use, in summer 2018. Although CBD has been documented as an antiepileptic since 1881, CBD’s anticonvulsant mechanisms still remain unclear. Not enough studies have been conducted to understand this relationship fully. One possible explanation for CBD’s neuroprotective effects is its interaction with NMDA receptors, which play a key role in the overly active neuron activity that is a hallmark of epilepsy.
What exactly is cannabidiol (CBD) and more importantly, what does it do? Those questions and more are at the heart of this comprehensive guide to one of the most fascinating and important compounds of the cannabis plant. Cannabis plants are chemical powerhouses that produce more than 400 different compounds. Not all of those compounds are unique to marijuana, of course, and appear in many other species of plants. That’s why marijuana can smell like pine trees or taste like fresh lemons. But of those 400 compounds, more than 60 of them are totally specific to the plant genus Cannabis. Scientists call these special compounds “cannabinoids.” However, not all cannabinoids are created equal. One of them, cannabidiol, or CBD, holds the key to the wide variety of medicinal and therapeutic effects marijuana offers.
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^ Jump up to: a b Weinstein A, Livny A, Weizman A (2016). "Brain Imaging Studies on the Cognitive, Pharmacological and Neurobiological Effects of Cannabis in Humans: Evidence from Studies of Adult Users". Current Pharmaceutical Design. 22 (42): 6366–6379. doi:10.2174/1381612822666160822151323. PMID 27549374. 1)The studies reviewed so far demonstrated that chronic cannabis use has been associated with a volume reduction of the hippocampus...3)The overall conclusion arising from these studies is that recent cannabis users may experience subtle neurophysiological deficits while performing on working memory tasks, and that they compensate for these deficits by "working harder" by using additional brain regions to meet the demands of the task.
A 2012 study reported that, “systemic and intrathecal administration of cannabidiol (CBD), a major nonpsychoactive component of marijuana, and its modified derivatives significantly suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing apparent analgesic tolerance…These cannabinoids may represent a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain and other diseases…”
Thank you. I am 81 and started the CBD drops night and morning. I sleep better and no longer suffer the excruciating pain from diverticulitis. I saw somewhere that for my asthma I need the THC so got some (totally illegal here in South Africa). I think it is helping. The diagnosis of COPD was made some years ago and as a health psychologist I do all I can to remain healthy for my 97th birthday!! (Both my grandmother and greatgrandmother did so I believe I will too).