Cannabis as a medicine. Cannabis as a remedy for pain.

Ways of using cannabis in medicine

The very popular Volcano vaporizer.

Pharmaceutical cannabis sprays are designed for “mucosal or sublingual administration,” meaning that the patient sprays it under their tongue, and the cannabinoids are then absorbed into the bloodstream via the mucus membrane. This is quite an effective and convenient method of administration, which allows the cannabinoids to reach the brain within 10 to 20 minutes. However, a significant amount ends up being swallowed and absorbed through the gut, resulting in a sizable portion of the medication having a delayed onset. This is far from ideal for medical users who wish to accurately regulate their dosage. Many patients report that the pharmaceutical industry’s expensive cannabis-based medications are vastly inferior to natural products. Vaporizing organically grown cannabis buds is one of the most effective ways of self-medicating, particularly for pain relief.

A close-up view of female plant pistils.

One of the most useful cannabinoids

For some patients the high associated with herbal cannabis use is undesirable. This is particularly true for those who need to medicate regularly throughout the day. One of the most useful cannabinoids is cannabidiol, or CBD, which, unlike THC, binds poorly to the brain’s receptors and can therefore work without getting patients stoned. A company in Safed, Israel called Tikun Olam began its research on CBD- enhanced cannabis strains in 2009. Recreational cannabis is illegal in Israel, but medicinal use has been permitted since 1993. It is used to treat over 9,000 people suffering from illnesses such as cancer, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Tikun Olam has now developed a strain called Avidekel, which contains 15.8% CBD but less than 1% THC. It remains to be seen how medical cannabis users will benefit from this strain, as the pharmaceutical companies making vast sums of money from their monopoly of cannabis-based medications will try to ensure that the general prohibition of cannabis continues so that patients can’t legally grow their Avidekel- type strains for vaporizing.

Cannabis stamps with high THC content.

Commercially available strains that are high in CBD are now becoming more readily available specifically bred for medical use. One recommended seed company is the CBD Crew. The breeder behind this project is the renowned Shantibaba, who cofounded Mr. Nice seeds with Howard Marks. The authors produce their 1:1 (THC: CBD) 80% cannabinoid content oil using the CBD Crew’s Skunk Haze strain. The highest CBD strain the authors have verified is known as Juanita La Lagrimosa and is produced by Reggae Seeds in Spain. This strain has been laboratory tested and gives consistent results; it comes in at a massive 8.81% CBD content with 6.77% THC.