April is National Cannabis Awareness Month, a campaign designed to spotlight the vast untapped potential of the genus cannabis plant.
According to CNN Health, “Cannabis is a complex plant with more than 400 chemical compounds, but the two most prevalent cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and cannabidiol, or CBD—and they’re the compounds responsible for raising cannabis’ profile in the medical community.
While THC is the compound that has psychoactive properties and gives the euphoria or high that people experience, CBD—its nonpsychoactive sister, so to speak—has emerged as a shining star—without the mind-altering potential of THC…
The cannabis plant has two main subspecies, Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. But while hemp has been selectively bred to remove the cannabinoid THC almost entirely, the marijuana variety can contain up to 30% THC, according to Dr. June Chin, author of ‘Cannabis and CBD for Health and Wellness.’ She has integrated medical cannabis in her practice for the past 19 years and is an advocate for better understanding of the science and medicine of cannabis…
Cannabis used for medical purposes (i.e., CBD-derived from marijuana) has achieved some well-deserved notoriety, with therapeutic applications ranging from the treatment of nausea associated with chemotherapy to easing muscle spasms related to multiple sclerosis, among others.
Potential therapeutic benefits of CBD, both hemp- and marijuana-derived, include reducing pain and inflammation, decreasing anxiety and aiding sleep, according to Chin, who has extensive experience in the application of CBD and cannabis across a spectrum of pathologies.
Anxiety and stress relief, in fact, are the most common reasons that people turn to cannabis, according to a survey involving nearly 8,000 users of the plant.
CBD calms the nervous system by working on the neurotransmitters regulating nerve cells in our brain, called GABA receptors, Chin explained. ‘It tells your body it’s time to power down—so there is a relaxation component.’ This can be extremely helpful during stressful times when someone might experience heightened anxiety levels, like during the coronavirus pandemic, Chin added…”
In a recent poll of about 200 global Sermo physicians, 70% responded that they are interested in learning more about the power of cannabis medicine, though only 22% of doctors said they have experience prescribing it to patients. When asked which are the best medicinal purposes for cannabis, here is how the physicians responded:
- 22% said easing nausea from chemotherapy
- 20% said decreasing anxiety and stress
- 18% said reducing pain and inflammation
- 14% said improving sleep
- 13% said reducing muscle spasms
- 10% said managing seizures
- 3% said “other”
Below, Sermo physicians from around the world share their professional insights, perspectives, and opinions on this important topic—in their own words:
I have used it in drops, especially to relieve pain in degenerative osteoarticular pathology.General Practice (GP)
I think that there is a lot of smoke as to medical cannabis but not much fire – while there is good evidence for some indications like treatment-resistant epilepsy for many other things either no evidence or equivalent performance to placebo – plus both THC and CBD produce a number of drug-drug interactions that many physicians seem very unaware ofPediatrics (excluding surgery)
I certify patients in Florida for medical cannabis. Apart from the conditions already mentioned, I have had tremendous success with patients who suffer with Fibromyalgia, PTSD, Migraine headaches, chronic neck and back pain, and others. Results can be dramatic. Many of my patients have tapered and discontinued chronic opioids. Many claim I have given them their life back. In many respects, the work I’m doing now is more effective and more rewarding than working 35 years in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. I wish that I had know then, what I know now.Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (Physiatry)
I have not found it to be particularly effective at any of the above unless there is a significant am of THC. CBD seems to be mostly placebo.General Practice (GP)
I have not used it, but, if available, I am eager to try it for my patients. Some of my patients with severe chronic pain asked me about it. They are more informed of it than me.Anesthesiology
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