With increasing awareness of the medical benefits of cannabis, Cannabis oil is fast becoming an alternative and natural treatment for many ailments. However, even as the western world shifts towards a pro-cannabis stance, the awareness of cannabis oil uses in India are still behind.
Many non-users are unsure about its safety. If you are uncertain about the effects of cannabis oil in India, then here’s everything you need to know before you start using it.
How does Cannabis Oil Work?
Cannabis oil is derived from the hemp plant’s leaves and/ or flowers and is also referred to as hemp oil. There are two major cannabinoids found in the plant, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC, the psychoactive compound, is responsible for most of the pharmacological effects of cannabis, like the analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antipruritic, anti-spasmodic, and muscle-relaxant activities. And CBD is believed to have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant and anxiolytic activities.
THC has high binding affinity to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), similar to endocannabinoids, thus helping treat a wide range of symptoms and producing various therapeutic effects. CBD, however has lower affinity for CB1 and CB2 but is capable of antagonizing them in the presence of THC. CBD also helps regulate the pain perception, making pain management one of the most popular reason for its use.
How is Cannabis Oil so Effective?
According to research, if you are looking for the most effective cannabis oil, you should choose full-spectrum cannabis oil rather than CBD isolates. Full-spectrum oil has various active compounds found naturally in the plant, including THC, CBD, CBN, and numerous more. The efficacy of CBD is better in the presence of other active compounds, and this effect is known as the ‘entourage effect’.
In comparison, CBD isolates are a pure form of CBD and provide limited benefits. The potency of CBD isolates is lesser in comparison to their full-spectrum counterparts.
But how safe and effective is cannabis oil compared to other conventional prescription medicines?
More effective for Alleviating Pain than Opioid-Based Pain Medication
According to National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S., “Cannabis can be an effective treatment for pain, greatly reduces the chance of dependence, and eliminates the risk of fatal overdose compared to opioid-based medications.”
More effective for Neuropathic pain
One of the medical benefits of cannabis oil is its effectiveness in managing neuropathic pain. According to research, seven to eight percent of the population suffers from this kind of pain. It is caused by nerve damage or nerve injury caused as a result of surgery or trauma, viral infections, cancer, alcoholism, neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis and metabolic conditions such as diabetes.
However, the present pharmacotherapy for neuropathic pain has a high failure rate. Only 1 out of every three patients that receive pharmaceutical medicines have any analgesic benefit.
A review conducted in 2017 revealed that cannabis oil was effective against chronic neuropathic pain. The research had 11 trials that were controlled and randomized with 1219 patients.
More effective in Chemotherapy-induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV) than prescription drugs
Evidence shows that cannabis effectively reduces CINV and stimulates the appetite for people undergoing cancer treatment which are otherwise difficult to manage with the currently available conventional pharmaceutical medicines. The anti-emetic effects of cannabinoids help regulate nausea and vomiting.
Cannabis oil is a 100% natural medication derived from the plant. It is free of cruelty, gluten, and other synthetic chemicals that might have serious side effects.
Necessary Precautions Required for Consumption
Avoid consumption of cannabis oil if you are allergic to cannabis or any of the other ingredients labelled.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
It is advised that patients do not use hemp or cannabis oil during their pregnancy or if they are breastfeeding.
One of the side effects of cannabis is that it increases heart rate and also regulates blood pressure.
Consumption of medical-grade full-spectrum cannabis oil might slow down the effect of anesthetics and other surgical drugs.
Cannabis medicines are likely safe when taken under doctor’s supervision and do not have harmful side effects in comparison to opioids and other palliative medicine. Some common reported side effects include dry mouth, light-headedness and drowsiness.
Therefore, it is important that you consume cannabis oil as prescribed by your physician.
Drug Interactions of Cannabis Oil
Cannabis oil is safe with most medications. However, it is advisable to avoid consuming cannabis medicines along with sedative medication. It might result in a feeling of drowsiness.
Taking it with fluoxetine can cause you to experience hypomania, a state where patients feel excited and jittery.
Alcohol de-addiction drugs like Disulfiram might also cause agitation and sleep deprivation.
Other combinations with which cannabis oil is likely to interact: Cisapride, Astemizole, Terfenadine, and Pimozide. Mention it to your physician if you are on any of these medications.
Few Common Myths around Cannabis Oil
Cannabis is addictive
Medical cannabis is different from recreational cannabis as it is prescribed in controlled doses by medical practitioners. Given the safe history of use of medical cannabis compared to opioids, the risks of adverse outcomes related to addiction and drug dependence are considered unlikely.
It is not clinically proven to help any health conditions
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved Epidiolex, a CBD-based medication to help treat difficult seizures. This speaks for cannabis-based medicines’ safety and efficacy in a way that needs no further explanation. There are tons of research done that have proven the benefits of Cannabis oil and established that it is safe.
Consumption of cannabis oil may help you alleviate several chronic symptoms and illnesses if taken under the guidance of a certified physician. Talk to our doctor today at Vedi Herbals.