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  • Cannabis and its medical uses

Information about Cannabis and its Medical Uses



There are signs that cannabis was used in Europe and East Asia over 10,000 years ago. It is known that hemp was used for the elaboration of clothing items, ropes and paper and for making oils and food over 5,000 years ago thanks to the remains found in archeological sites in China.

The first written record of the use of cannabis with medicinal purposes of the Chinese emperor Shen Neng dates back to 2737 B.C. Since then, its use as a medication has extended all over the continents to alleviate innumerable diseases(e.g. by Queen Victoria in the late 1800s to alleviate menstrual cramping), being present in 30% of the medical prescriptions at the beginning of the 20th century. Then, for different reasons, many of them non-clinical reasons, it began to be replaced by other compounds as research and development of the pharmaceutical industry expanded.

The interest in its possible therapeutic uses came back at the end of the last century with the discovery of the human endocannabinoid system. This led to the study of the potential effect of cannabinoids in the treatment of chronic pain and neurological alternations such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis amongst others.




Our body produces cannabinoids naturally, known as endocannabinoids. They are compounds connected to different cell receptors present in different organs and tissues of our body. They are involved in several physiological processes and since their discovery, research on their action in the body has experienced exponential development.

The cannabis plant also produces cannabinoids naturally and they also react with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system. These are the so-called phytocannabinoids and constitute the main active ingredient of the cannabis extracts for medicinal use.

There are also synthetic cannabinoids.

To date, more than 100 different cannabinoids have been identified in the cannabis plant, which also contains terpenes, flavonoids, nitrogen compounds and other molecules more common in other plants.

There are different genetic varieties of the cannabis plant that show important differences regarding the type and content of cannabinoids and terpenes that they produce. Through the selective cultivation of the different varieties, it has been possible to control their genetics, determining the profile of cannabinoids in each of them and their pharmacological effects.




THC (delta 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol)
THC is the main psychoactive derivative of the plant. Current evidence supports the medical use of THC in the control of nausea and vomiting, to stimulate appetite and reduce pain.

CBD (Cannabidiol)
The cannabidiol has no psychoactive effects and presents pharmacological, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics. There is evidence of its potential neuroprotective therapeutic effect, control of pain, epileptic convulsions, anxiety, movement alternations, etc. In addition, it reduces the psychoactive effects of THC.

Terpenes are plant aromatic compounds that participate in the pharmacological effects of the Cannabis plant in synergy with the cannabinoids. The most known are: myrcene, pinene, limonene, linalool, eucalyptol and caryophyllene.





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