Cannabis Oil: Treats Stress, Pain, Cancer, Epilepsy
Cannabis is a natural herb that has been used for thousands of years to treat health conditions. It’s also used in perfumes, soaps, candles and certain foods. Cannabis is a powerful oil, and only small amounts are needed to have a positive effect on the body and mind.
The term cannabis, or marijuana, is used to describe a product produced by the cannabis sativa plant which is bred for its potent, sticky glands that are known as trichomes. These trichomes contain high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (called THC), which is the cannabinoid most known for its psychoactive properties.
Hemp oil—obtained by pressing benefit-rich hemp seeds—is slightly different from cannabis oil, although they both come from cannabis and the same species, cannabis sativa. The term hemp is used to describe a cannabis sativa plant that contains only trace amounts of THC. Hemp is a fast-growing plant that’s commonly grown for industrial uses, such as oils and topical ointments, as well as fiber for clothing, construction, paper and more.
Cannabis originated in Central Asia, but today it’s grown worldwide. In the United States, it’s a controlled substance and is classified as a Schedule I agent, which means that it’s a drug with increased potential for abuse. The cannabis plant produces a resin-containing psychoactive compound called cannabinoids.
According to a 2007 scientific review published in Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, scientists agree that despite the mild addiction to cannabis, the value of the cannabinoid compound is too important to ignore.
Numerous autoimmune diseases—such as anorexia, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, neuro-degenerative disorders, epilepsy, glaucoma, osteoporosis, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity and metabolic syndrome-related disorders—are being treated or have the potential to be treated by cannabis oils and other cannabinoid compounds. Although studies are limited due to strict government guidelines, a growing number of pediatric patients are also using symptomatic relief from epilepsy with cannabis or cannabinoid treatment.
CANNABIS OIL BENEFITS:
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Cannabis oil has the ability to both release pleasure hormones and relax the mind. It reduces stress and allows a calming and peaceful feeling to take over the body.
A 2013 study conducted at the University of Haifa in Israel found that cannabinoid treatment after a traumatic experience may regulate the emotional response to the trauma and prevent stress-induced impairment. Cannabinoid treatment minimized the stress receptors in the basolateral amygdala (the nuclei that receives that majority of sensory information) and hippocampus (the part of the brain that is thought to be the center of emotion).
Cannabis oil also works for people with insomnia. The calming effects of the oil help people to sleep calmly, relieving issues of anxiety and restlessness. A 2015 scientific review published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy found that cannabis treatment is effective for military veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research suggests that cannabinoids, the psychoactive components of unrefined cannabis, regulates neurotransmitter release and produces a wide range of central nervous system effects, including increased pleasure and alteration of memory processes.
For people who are looking to gain weight, especially after an illness or injury, cannabis oil increases appetite. The oil also induces hunger and stimulates the digestive system—this is possible because of the hormones that are triggered by cannabis inhalation and consumption.
According to the International Weekly Journal of Science, cannabis prompts the release of hunger-promoting hormones. Nerve cells play a key role in this process, as the neurons in the brain release a hunger-suppressing hormone and one that promotes appetite.
Promotes Eye Health
Research shows that cannabis oil helps to naturally treat macular degeneration and glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve that can result in vision loss and blindness. It’s caused by a buildup of fluid in the eye that puts pressure on the optic nerve, retina and lens. The pressure can permanently damage the eye if not treated. Although many factors contribute to the optic nerve damage in glaucoma patients, it has been established that the level of intraocular pressure (known as IOP) definitively is related.
According to the American Glaucoma Society, cannabis has demonstrated the ability to lower IOP in both normal individuals and in those with glaucoma, and therefore might be a natural glaucoma treatment. One cautionary fact about cannabis’ ability to lower IOP is that it only works for a short time, so patients would have to use cannabis about every three hours.
Cannabis has been used as a pain-relieving substance. Evidence suggests that cannabinoids may prove useful in pain modulation by inhibiting neuronal transmission in pain pathways. The oil has the ability to relieve chronic pain and inflammation, which is why cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy often turn to cannabis oil for relief.
A Canadian study revealed that daily average pain intensity was measured using an 11-point numeric rating scale, and the results indicate that a single inhalation of tetrahydrocannabinol herbal cannabis three times daily for five days reduced the intensity of pain, improved sleep and was well-tolerated.
Boosts Heart Health
The antioxidant properties in cannabis oil benefit the heart and prevent cardiovascular disease. Animal studies suggest that cannabis treatment may prevent a range of cardiovascular conditions, including hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis and heart attacks.
In 2014, for the first time, the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham conducted a study suggesting that cannabinoids affect blood vessels by causing them to relax and wide
Applying cannabis oil to the skin stimulates the shredding of dead skin cells and promotes a fresh and glowing appearance. Cannabinoids are responsible for lipid production, so they can help with regulating conditions such as dry skin or acne—and may be added to your home remedies for acne.
Although the science is still researching the subject, cannabis oil is being considered as a natural cancer treatmentas well as cancer preventer option because it may decrease the size of tumors and alleviate nausea, pain, lack of appetite and weakness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not unilaterally approved cannabis as a treatment for cancer or any other medical condition, but research shows that it has some anti-cancer properties.
“A 2013 case report conducted in Canada evaluated the beneficial effects of cannabis oil on a 14-year-old female patient diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, also known as ALL. For this particular patient, a standard bone marrow transplant, aggressive chemotherapy and radiation therapy were revoked, with treatment being deemed a failure after 34 months. She was extremely ill and severely underweight at this time.
Without any other solutions provided by conventional approaches, the family began administering cannabinoid extracts orally to the young girl.
According to the case report, it was charted by the girl’s oncologist that the patient ‘suffers from terminal malignant disease. She has been treated to the limits of available therapy…no further active intervention will be undertaken.’ She was then placed in a palliative home care and told to prepare for her disease to overwhelm her body. She was expected to suffer a stroke within the next two months.”
After this devastating news, the family researched cannabinoids. They read that cannabinoids are usually well-tolerated and do not produce the generalized toxic effects of conventional chemotherapies. The family found promise in an organization that treated several kinds of cancer with cannabis oil.
The cannabis oil was given initially once per day, and by day 15, the treatment was given three times per day. As a result of the treatment, the girl decreased her morphine use for pain, showed an increase in euphoria symptoms and an increase in alertness.
The patient continued to use cannabis oil for 65 days. The family changed strains of the oil repeatedly, and some were more effective in increasing appetite and alleviating pain than others. The author of the case report suggests “that cannabis oil needs to be explored further because there is potential that cannabinoids might show selectivity when attacking cancer cells, thereby reducing the widespread cytotoxic effects of conventional chemotherapeutic agents.”
It’s noted that the possibility of bypassing the psychoactive properties of cannabis oil exists; this can be done by administering nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, that have demonstrated antiproliferative properties.
Possible Side Effects & Interactions
Cannabis oil use may cause a decrease in concentration, memory, and the ability to learn and think. It is not safe to mix cannabis oil with other medications—such as antidepressants, anxiety medications, pain relievers, seizure medications and muscle relaxers—because it may cause drowsiness and fatigue.
Do not use cannabis oil, or any cannabis product, if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. There is some evidence that women who use cannabis during the time of conception or while pregnant may increase the risk of their child being born with birth defects or at a very low weight. Also, do not use cannabis if you are breastfeeding.
There are many strains of cannabis, and they are not all equal. If you are using cannabis oil, make sure it is purchased through a reputable and lab-tested company. Go through the legal and safe means of obtaining cannabis oil in order to ensure its health benefits and limited side effects.