The active ingredients in medical cannabis
For years plant-based treatments were kept in the black-market as remained a banned substance in countries across the world, but now a new dawn in medical cannabis has begun. In recent years, countries all across the world are overseeing legalisation processes to allow patients in need to access these plant-based treatments.
The two main active cannabinoids found in medical cannabis are CBD and THC. The former is a non-psychoactive naturally occurring cannabinoid that causes no intoxicating effects. The latter is a psychoactive compound that causes the “high” associated with cannabis.
Medicinal cannabis products contain THC, CBD, or a combination of both. Researchers are actively exploring how these cannabinoids affect us and the potential therapeutic benefits. We are, however, still in the very early stages of controlled studies on cannabis.
As the market surrounding medicinal marijuana continues to rise, medical cannabis oil has surfaced as one of the most popular products for patients in need.
What is medical cannabis oil
Medical cannabis oil refers to a carefully prepared plant-based medicinal product that contains CBD and/or THC. The compounds are extracted and infused with a carrier oil, often with added flavours or ingredients.
When it comes to how to use medical cannabis oil, it is not a complicated affair. The product comes in a small dripper bottle that allows patients to carefully administer the right medical marijuana oil doses. Experts believe that oils and tinctures are among the most reliable of ways to consume medical marijuana.
It works by using the dripper bottle to pour droplets underneath your tongue. Doctors recommend letting it sit for 30-60 seconds before swallowing for best results. If you are put off by the taste or just don’t like pouring the droplets straight into your mouth, medical cannabis oil can be easily mixed with beverages or infused into foods by cooking with it.
The ingredients included in the oil will determine its effects, as CBD and THC do not function in the same way.
Exploring the endocannabinoid system
Key to understanding how these cannabinoids work is understanding the endocannabinoid system, also known as the ECS.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
The ECS is a series of closely packed receptors and signals found throughout our brains and bodies. Research suggests that the endocannabinoid system plays a pivotal role in regulating many of our bodily functions. This includes memory, appetite, mood, pain sensation, and more.
There are two known receptors found in the ECS. Namely, CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors.
Endocannabinoids are endogenous cannabinoids produced by our bodies. These compounds attach to the receptors as a way of signalling to the ECS that it’s time to act. The ECS is then able to effectively execute its role in maintaining and regulating our bodily functions.
The effects of the ECS are dependent on the location of the receptor and the endocannabinoid attaching to it.
The role of enzymes is to break down the endocannabinoids once the ECS has successfully carried out its function. This ends the attachment and ensures the ECS does not continue producing the effect indefinitely.
How THC and CBD interact with the ECS
THC is similar in molecular structure but differs in how the atoms are arranged. As such, the way in which they impact the ECS is distinct. Let’s take a look at the differences.
THC works in a similar way to endocannabinoids. The compound binds to the receptors found in the body to produce its effects. As it’s able to bind to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, its impact is powerful.
The psychoactive effects of THC are wide-ranging. You may find yourself in a better mood or with an increased appetite, or it may cause paranoia and feelings of anxiety. There is no one universal effect, so it’s important to approach it with caution. Remember, THC has a direct impact on your mental and physical functionality.
As far as CBD goes, researchers are still working out the details of how it interacts with the ECS. We know that it does not bind to the receptors in the way that THC does.
Experts believe that CBD works by preventing the enzymes from breaking down the endocannabinoids. By doing this, the endocannabinoids continue to signal to the ECS, allowing it to produce stronger and prolonged effects. As CBD is non-psychoactive, at no point will it produce an intoxicating effect.
How to buy medical cannabis oil
The only way to legally access medicinal cannabis is with a valid prescription from a qualified medical practitioner. To buy weed in Australia, the first step is to consult with a qualified health practitioner.
Since 2016, the Australian Government created pathways for patients in need to apply for medical cannabis. A few eligibility requirements must, however, be met:
- The patient must have a chronic condition.
- Mainstream medicine is failing to provide the necessary relief.
- There must be evidence suggesting that medical cannabis may be effective.
- The doctor must deem it clinically appropriate.
Medical cannabis containing THC is classified as a Schedule 8 controlled substance, while CBD-dominant products are classified as Schedule 4 prescription-only medicine. In the years to come, some low-dose CBD products will qualify as Schedule 3 pharmacy-only medicines, but no existing products meet the classification requirements.
Purchasing medical cannabis from an unauthorised source is still fully illegal across the country. Without a prescription, there is no existing legal method of purchasing marijuana in Australia.
In conclusion, medical cannabis oil is surging in popularity across the globe, with many now using the product as a method of relieving symptoms tied to certain conditions. Researchers are actively studying the efficacy and safety of medical cannabis as a treatment.
CBD and THC are the two primary active ingredients found in medicinal marijuana. Despite being similar in chemical structure, they produce effects in entirely different ways.
THC binds to receptors in the ECS, while CBD seems to prevent the endocannabinoids from breaking down. The former will produce an intoxicating effect while cannabidiol will do nothing of the sort.
The only way to legally access medical cannabis in Australia is with a valid prescription from an authorised medical practitioner.
For more information on how medical cannabis oil and how it all works, speak to one of our highly qualified experts today.