You may have come across the different names that are used to call cannabis, such as hemp, weed, marijuana, and so on. It is not quite an unknown to us that cannabis has been finding its use in the medical world for several centuries.
You must have heard about the hemp plant and its medical importance. The hemp plant is nothing but cannabis. You should know about the different forms of cannabis that are available across the world, before going into its medical value.
Types of common Cannabis
The first one to know about is Cannabis sativa. You can identify this variety by its narrow leaves, and branches that are located at great distances from each other. A number of leaves you can count there are around eight. The color of the leaves is spring green. You can characterize this variety as the taller one with fewer flowers.
The second type to locate is Cannabis indica. This plant is majorly characterized by the presence of broad, overlapping leaves. The branches of this plant are located at close proximity to one another. You may figure out the coloration of leaves to be olive green. A number of leaves you can count there are around seven. Indica and the sativa variety of cannabis plant are usually short. You may also notice that these varieties produce denser and fuller flower buds and are bushier than the other variety.
The third variety of cannabis is Cannabis ruderalis. You may easily identify this cannabis plant due to its varied leaf arrangements, short stature and smaller leaf size. A number of leaflets you can count here are five. You can call this a hybrid sub-species, by mixing the indica and sativa species.
Importance of cannabis
You can easily find the listing of cannabis in the fifty basic herbal plants within the abundance of traditional medicines of China. In the ancient textbooks of medicines, you may even point out the mention of cannabis as a healing agent in treating different ailments.
The terminology which you fill find popularly used by people is ‘hemp’ or ‘cannabis’ but that is not the actual name for the hemp plant. During the early 1930s, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN, which later became DEA) assigned the term ‘marijuana’ to denote hemp plants.
In ancient times, smoking of marijuana wasn’t a recreational activity. People used to smoke hemp to gain focus of their conscious mind and indulge in meditation and other similar activities. You can go through all those studies carried out on marijuana, where it was proposed that the plant contains medicinal value. Now that value can be of any importance, as in healing effects or recently proposed anti-cancerous effects.
Yes, you heard it right! – Cannabis has anti-cancerous properties. There are a whole lot of track records, which you will find talking about the healing properties of cannabis including cancer. To understand more on the mechanism of action of cannabis in cancer treatment, you need to have vivid knowledge of the endocannabinoid system.
What is the endocannabinoid (EC) system?
The EC system has a subtle balancing influence on your body or any other biological system. You may learn about the various molecular receptors that operate effectively under the influence of this system. These receptors trap cannabinoids. Do you know about the different cannabinoids that exist? The ones involved in most actions in your body are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Other cannabinoids include cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG).
Cannabinoid receptor 1 and 2 are the most important ones, which you will find to be involved in all the biological mechanisms. CB1 and CB2 receptors are distinct targets for THC, and the natural cannabinoids in your body produce it when you take marijuana. The exact mechanism of action is still under research.
How cannabis suppress tumor growth?
When you are learning about cannabis, you should throw off one misconception that it is a drug. To be clear, it is not. Cannabis possesses a psychoactive effect on your body when you intake it any form. If you go through any ancient medical scriptures, you will find the mention of cannabis in having potent anti-cancer effects.
Cannabis interferes with your cellular signaling and drives the way of tumor cells towards apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death. This ability is often lost in your body when you develop cancerous tumors. Cancer is nothing but uncontrolled cell division without any differentiation. To stop the unwanted cellular replication, cannabis helps in interfering with your cellular functioning to stop further cell division.
You can read about other studies that have shown effects of THC and CBD in different types of cancer including breast, colon, prostate, lung, pancreatic, cervical, liver, brain, blood, and so on. The evidence gives you a clear idea of how cannabis can have both antioxidant effects as well as act as herbal chemo agents.
How to use cannabis the right way?
- Know about the source
It is important that you learn to differentiate between medical cannabis and the ones having cheap qualities. Have a better sense of purchase when it comes to selecting the right cannabis variety for medical purposes.
- Do thorough research
Know about the healing properties of cannabis in the most vivid way possible by digging the internet. Read as many articles you can on PubMed and other medical sites to gain knowledge about cannabis and their pros and cons.
- Choose products containing natural cannabis
Avoid taking cannabis which has a lot of chemicals mixed with it to give you psychedelic effects. You know that you are not taking it for recreational purpose. So stick to the best natural variety than chemical mixed products.
- Consult a health professional
Keeping in touch with a professional doctor helps you take cannabis at recommended doses. You should remember the purpose for which you are taking it and not abuse it.
You are advised not to get addicted to cannabis and that can only happen when you don’t use it excessively. Know your doses properly and keep away from hemp abuse!