By: The Medical Marijuana Expert: Dr. Rachna Patel
The above video released by “Medical Marijuana & CBD Oil Expert: Dr. Rachna Patel” in a segment she calls “Ask Dr. Patel.” Within the video, she seeks to answer how marijuana relieves pain. The video is part three of a three-part series. The primary way medical cannabis reduces pain is through reducing inflammation.
Inflammation, according to Dr. Patel, has “the potential to wreak total havoc on your body.” Marijuana activates T-regulatory cells. T-regulatory cells prevent the body from attacking itself. It causes select immune cells to die that are causing inflammation. It suppresses cytokines. Cytokines are chemicals produced by immune cells. They start and stop inflammation.
The active ingredients in cannabis are called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) has proven effective in controlling pain and inflammation. It does not have the psychoactive effects that the infamous Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does. THC is the chemical cannabinoid that makes marijuana users feel a “high” sensation.
Cannabinoids from the cannabis plant act on the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is a bodily system that regulates bodily homeostasis. It is activated by its own naturally forming cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids (internal cannabinoids). Phytocannabinoids (plant cannabinoids) can also act on our ECS.
All cannabinoids, whether phyto, endo, or synthetic, activate the ECS largely through two primary cannabinoid receptors. CB1 and CB2. CB1 is located in the central nervous system (CNS). CB2 is located in the peripheral nervous system.
Medical cannabis can only be prescribed by your doctor. It can be in the form of herbal or synthetic. Evidence has shown medical cannabis is effective in alleviating arthritis pain, inflammation, and fatigue. Cannabis can be smoked, vaped, or ingested in oral form. Patients also take it in a synthetic form through a tablet or spray under tongue.
Strains are different types of cannabis. They vary in the amount of CBD and the THC they contain. It is important to know this because the strains have different impacts on different subpopulations of patients. We need further research to better understand the safety profile of the different strains of cannabis.
If you are interested in testing the effects of medical cannabis, with or without THC, you must consult your doctor or a medical professional in your region. Products containing more than .3% THC have stricter laws. Medical cannabis can reach up to 20% THC ratio. CBD, if hemp-derived, has negligible THC content. Check your state or national laws pertaining to medical cannabis to assure you do not conspire in illegal activity.