It’s no secret that cannabis has an effect on the brain. THC, one of the two main cannabinoids binds to certain receptors when it enters your body to induce that “high” feeling. The other cannabinoid, CBD, also has effects on your brain and body although these do not involve any altered state of mind.
Both THC and CBD are being researched to identify possible medical and therapeutic applications. Both individually, and in mixtures of different ratios, they’ve been shown to be effective in helping certain forms of epilepsy, to reduce pain and inflammation, to help with anxiety and sleep, and a large range of other conditions.
In terms of mental health, medical cannabis and cannabinoids extracted from it, have potential. However the majority of research has been on animal models of specific illnesses and disorders. Truly useful studies would involve large groups of humans to fully be able to gauge the effectiveness of cannabis, CBD and THC for things like schizophrenia, tourette’s, bipolar, etc. Anecdotal evidence so far has been positive, yet without empirical evidence, it’s hard to push a new treatment through regulatory bodies.
Especially in the case of issues like ADHD, current medications include drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin. These have been documented to cause unwanted side effects, such as a loss of appetite and difficulty in sleeping. They’ve also been identified as drugs that people easily build a dependence on, or become addicted to. CBD on the other hand, has not been linked to any form of addiction, and THC is level of addictiveness is very mild.
However, the ethical question of administering cannabis oil to children arises with this. Research is still analysing the possible risk factor that the organic drug may have. Some people fear that using medical marijuana is unsafe for children and want regulations to be put in place. People that do not entirely agree with the use of medical marijuana state that there could be a possibility in developing disorders such as; depression, psychosis, anxiety, loss of memory and slowing brain functions.
Further research into treatment of these conditions would allow for specific dosing regulations to be developed whereby the best response for the safest combination of THC and CBD can be identified. This would remove the risks people fear regular use of cannabis may cause, and would provide us with a safe new therapeutic.