Cannabis as Medicinal Treatment Recently, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two kinds of medications that contain cannabinoids in pill form, in which cannabinoids are chemical compounds that are found in cannabis plants and which may help treat a range of illnesses and symptoms. The reason why the cannabis plant is not yet a FDA-approved medicine is because FDA requires for a large scale of clinical trials of any new form of medication and the cannabis plant has yet to be conducted in a large scale medium. Having the same chemical structure as that of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinoids is the main component of the cannabis plant and this chemical is also found in the human body and contributes in the functioning of the natural senses of taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight, as well as a contributor in regulating our mind process, such as feeling pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, awareness of time, body movement, pain, and appetite. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two main forms of cannabinoids in cannabis plants and THC has been found to be useful in the following: increases appetite, reduces nausea, decreases pain, inflammation and swelling and muscle control problems, while CBD is found to be useful in reducing pain and inflammation, controlling epileptic seizures, and treating some forms of mental illness. Diseases that affect the immune system, like HIV, AIDS, multiple sclerosis; inflammation; pain; seizures; mental disorders; and even substance use disorders – the symptoms of these illnesses are being conducted in pre-clinical and clinical trials, although not yet in large scale trials, using cannabis extracts.
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Recently, the two kinds of medicines – dronabinol and nabilone, that contain THC and are FDA-approved, are being used to treat cancer patients experiencing nausea caused by chemotherapy and are also used to treat extreme weight loss of patients suffering from AIDS. A mouth spray containing THC and CBD has been approved in Europe, UK, and Canada to treat muscle control problems caused by multisclerosis.
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When cannabis plants are combined with other herbal plants, the effect is medically beneficial to our health, for example – cannabis combined with lemon balm and hops helps to reduce stress by relaxing the physical and mental state of the body; cannabis combined with ginseng is useful in the treatment of cholesterol, diabetes, nervousness; cannabis with turmeric helps in the digestion, reduces inflammation, and treatment of cancer; cannabis combined with St. John’s wort and Rhodiola treats depression and protects the heart; and many more beneficial combinations. There are, however, some side-effects which should be noted down with respect to cannabis use and they are: cannabis when taken in strong doses has a tendency to unbalance the nervous system causing short/medium term loss of memory, concentration, drive, loss of self-control, loss of ability to analyse, and can cause a sense of detachment; smoking cannabis can weaken the immune system.