When most people think about medical marijuana, they think of a bunch of old hippies smoking out of a pipe to cure any number of various ailments. They imagine health nuts and people who focus on natural cures talking about all the ways modern medicine falls short and encouraging people to look for other alternatives. While these are certainly negative connotations, the reality is that there is a lot to be said for alternative medicines and cures for ailments that come from places other than a pharmaceutical company. Indeed, this is not to say that medical marijuana could not one day become one of those very same pharmaceuticals, but with a very different focus: the elements that make up the power of the drug will be natural, which is not something that can be said for a lot of medicine. To be sure, the incredible things that can now be accomplished thanks to modern medicine are astounding and they should be taken advantage of. However, there are moments when a return to the more natural alternatives can be a powerful thing. This is truly the case when it comes to medical marijuana. Here is a bit about the cannabinoid compounds that make up the cannabis plant in order to better grasp the interacting forces that make medical marijuana what it is:
- THC: Also known as Tetrahydrocannabinol, this is the psychoactive cannabinoid found in all marijuana plants. It is the part of the plant that creates the effects that most people associate with marijuana usage, which is both a positive and a negative attribute. Indeed, while all cannbinoids works in conjunction under what is known as the “entourage effect”, this is one aspect of the cannabis plant that scientists have worked to learn to breed out of the plant. There have even been a few strains that have lacked any THC at all.
- CBD: Or cannabidiol, this cannabinoid is responsible for the medical aspects that make medical marijuana a viable option. Indeed, while the natural flower contains as little as 1% of CBD, strains have been bred with up to 20% CBD content. CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory traits as well as anti-convulsive traits, making it great for people who suffer from seizure causing illnesses. Medical Marijuana Dispensaries such as Strain Data utilize CBD heavy cannabis plants.
- CBN: Cannabinol is not directly synthesized as part of the cannabis plant but is instead a compound created as a byproduct of THC. It is not psychoactive, but plants with higher CBN concentrations have a sedative effect. This makes this element good for people who suffer from insomnia.
- THC-A: This is perhaps the single most common compound in cannabis and when the cannabis plant is burned, THC-A is converted into THC. THC-A also plays a big part in the cannabis plant’s anti inflammatory and anti spasmodic properties, making marijuana strains with high THC-A also powerful medical aids.
- THC-V: Research has demonstrated that this cannabinoid might be helpful in working against diabetes and other diseases that involve the metabolism.
It is easy to see that multiple cannabinoids may end up having powerful medicinal effects.