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As stocked as the shelves have been for cannabis consumers in Canada, or the e-shelves if you’re in Ontario, you won’t find a product that is gaining traction in the cannabis community: topicals.
Lynn Wells only nibbles on a cannabis brownie monthly(,) but she’s one of many Canadian seniors clamouring to a plant they tried decades ago and have now returned to in light of some aches, pains and other conditions.
Cannabis has been used by cultures the world over – from the hunters and gatherers of China, to the philosophers of ancient Greece – for thousands of years. With its roots in the Himalayan mountains, the cannabis plant has spread across the globe, its seed carried on the wind, often without the help of human hands.
The endocannabinoid system is found in all vertebrate animals and even some invertebrates are reported to have an ECS. According to some reports, the number of endocannabinoid receptors in the human body is greater than all of the other neuromodulatory systems combined, including serotonin and dopamine. In other words, the endocannabinoid system is critically important to maintaining health and homeostasis.
For two particular reasons, there are few topics being explored in the cannabis space more exhilarating than the endocannabinoid system. First, for a lack of research in the area, medical schools have almost exclusively omitted the system from the curriculum. Second, as drug policies have evolved, researchers have been allowed to study the system, and its inherent connection to cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
As medical cannabis has gained acceptance as a viable treatment option over the past two decades, so too has the list of symptoms the plant has been shown to help grown. No longer is the plant merely used to treat chronic pain or extreme conditions like HIV/AIDS, it now complements nearly every therapy option available.
When discussing cannabis, it is important to remember that the line between science and folklore can at times be fickle. In the context of cannabis as a treatment, for instance, there is only one direct scientific source (THC found in ashes) that cannabis was used as a medicine, around 400 AD.
Terpenes are organic compounds that give cannabis strains their unique aromatic qualities. Synthesized with cannabinoids in the plant’s glandular trichomes, terpenes are responsible for the smell and taste characteristics – skunky, lemony, piney – that accompany respective cannabis varieties.
An assessment of the merits of cannabis therapy in sport, including a look at the use of medical cannabis and CBD by professional athletes.
Insomnia, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are but a few of the ills that fall under the category of sleep condition. Though not quick to receive much attention from the healthcare community, the threat associated with sleep conditions – from obesity to cardiovascular disease – is stark.
The decision to adopt cannabis as a treatment option is, like most significant changes in life, very personal. Whether you’ve decided to incorporate medical cannabis into your routine to treat chronic pain, sleep issues, cancer symptoms or social anxiety, you’ve likely done so primarily for one reason: to feel better.
Can cannabis cure cancer? To date, there is no scientific evidence to back the theory that cannabis kills cancer cells. In fact, most responsible cannabis professionals – leery of a culture of misinformation – will caution patients to ignore that claim.
There are few experts, if any, on the research and development side of the cannabis conversation that deny the holistic efficacy of THC. Despite there being a common misperception that the most popular and notorious of all the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant is only responsible for a good time, there is a wealth of scientific data that refutes this assertion. In fact, insiders have known – long before medical cannabis became an acceptable adjunct treatment option – that THC has profound therapeutic benefits.
The list of sophisticated new cannabis products lining product shelves of this new space is extensive, and impressive. More often than not, these products serve as a responsible introduction to medical cannabis. Where pipes and bongs have a tendency to lend stereotype to any conversation of cannabis therapy, new delivery methods like oils, edibles and topicals tend to have exactly the opposite effect.