The properties of opiates totally eliminate physical pain, reduce coughing, reduce stomach flux and are used largely to combat insomnia.
The controversial multipurpose plant in the pharmaceutical sector
Since the beginning of the concept of medicine and even before the socially established foundations of conventional medicine, narcotic drugs have been present as a treatment for certain diseases. In terms of Chinese medicine, (Pen-ts’ao-Ching) attributed to Shen-nung, Red Emperor includes the species Cannabis indica to treat rheumatism pains and for its properties to treat digestive problems.
The extract of opium in alcoholic tincture called laudanum, the sponge used to anesthetize made with mandrake and opium or other drugs based on opiates such as teriaca have been essential against the fight against pain. Opium originates from the juice of the green bark of the poppy, which is a variety of the poppy known by its scientific name Papaver somniferum that has been replaced by morphine or others such as meperidine.
The human being has been seeking relief from his pain in different medicinal plants, he has also found sedation and euphoria in his search. In the continuous use of the same medicine in a systematic way, the effect of tachyphylylaxis is observed, which is nothing more than the loss of the effectiveness of said medicine, thus losing the effectiveness of the medicine and increasing its toxicity. In these cases of addictive substances, the use of these drugs is strictly reduced to medical use with clear and strict regulation, something that alcohol and tobacco have been spared. In some moments and places in history, the consumption of alcohol was prohibited, thus increasing smuggling. There are less harmful substances such as the use of Cannabis sativa, although in this case it is too benign.
The use of the Cannabis sativa plant is subject to and surrounded by different social, religious, political and, therefore, economic controversies that place the species in a complicated place at best. The White House requested a review on the potential benefits and risks of marijuana and its different cannabinoids from the Institute of Medicine in 1997.
Effects of cannabinoid substances
In 1999 this report was published that analyzed the effects of cannabinoid substances which we summarize below.
- Pain relief
- Appetite stimulation
- Treatment of pain and nausea in diseases such as AIDS or patients undergoing chemotherapy.
- They can offer relief from a wide range of symptoms not found in other medications alone.
Not all forms of marijuana use are fully beneficial. The use of cannabis through inhaled combustion provides in the varieties that contain it the incorporation of THC among other cannabinoids to the body, in addition to other harmful substances. These harmful substances are mostly found in tobacco smoke
What is the future of Cannabis drugs?
Any plant provides a series of active biological compounds that cannot be predetermined or established as stable values (or at least it is very difficult to obtain stable values), precisely because they are living beings and they all provide different amounts as a unique individual of their species. According to conventional medicine, the future of Cannabis drugs lies in their chemically defined alkaloids that act directly on the existing cannabinoid receptors in humans. These cannabinoids have been shown to play a role in modulating pain, movement, and memory. On the other hand, we obtain a multifunctional role in the immune system, although it remains unclear. Through different investigations it was shown that cannabis creates a much lower dependence than that from, for example, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, opiates, nicotine or cocaine.
The cannabinoid withdrawal observed in these studies showed that the adverse effects of the substance were less than in many other drugs.
A lo largo de la historia, la política en relación con el cannabis ha cambiado mucho. Principalmente gracias a los diferentes estudios demostrando usos en medicina del cannabis y, por otra parte, por su mala gestión en políticas de prohibicionismo. Es por eso, que muchos países o parte de países (como Estados Unidos), han legalizado su uso médico e incluso recreativo.
For many years, doctors have argued that drug addiction is a problem of common concern to public health. Specifically, the Cannabis sativa plant contains around 480 cannabinoid compounds, of which it can be observed that about 66 only have perceptible effects. The main psychoactive cannabinoid compound is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which has a relaxing effect and pain relieving effects. Together with cannabidiol (CBD) they are the main accumulated cannabinoid compounds. CBD has no psychoactive effects and has therefore generated a lot of interest in the medical world for its palliative effect.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the production and sale of capsules of two synthetic cannabinoids to treat chemotherapy emesis and AIDS cachexia. These compounds are called nabilone and dronabinol. There is a third party approved in Europe and Canada called nabiximol, a compound used in making the drug Sativex. In the latter case, it is not a synthetic cannabinoid, but rather an extract extracted from a selected and stabilized phenotype that provides a known amount of THC and CBD cannabinoids.
Cannabis and its effects on multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, and epilepsy
Between 1948 and 2013, a systematic review was carried out on Cannabis and its effects. The AAN (American Academy of Neurology) highlighted 34 studies that applied symptomatic treatments in multiple sclerosis disease, movement disorders and epilepsy.
In these trials, different compounds were used to treat diseases. One of them was cannabis extract given orally, another was Sativex and finally THC only. In the study, high values of the placebo effect were observed, specifically 70% and collateral effects such as nausea and increased asthenia. Mood and behavior changes, dizziness, vasovagal symptoms, hallucinations were also observed and with patients treated with THC, cases of psychosis, anxiety and dysphoria were also observed.
It was possible to specify in the study that cannabinoids have an important role in the control of central pain and associated with spasticity in multiple sclerosis. Serious psychopathological adverse effects in the study was almost 1%. So far there were no comparative studies of the efficacy of marijuana with other drugs. The massive use of cannabinoid components as recreational use at an early age is an indicator of poor mental health where the possibility of being treated in psychiatric hospitals increases. By inhaled use, marijuana causes problems similar to those of tobacco, predisposes to anxiety, decreases attention and cognition, causes less coordination and predisposes to schizophrenia in people with a family history, although it is not considered a significant problem to bear in mind. account.
Why can cannabis predispose you to the use of stronger drugs?
Due to its prohibition, the use of cannabis can predispose to the use of stronger drugs. This is so because the prohibition evokes consumers to the black market of drug trafficking, where the suppliers of the substances do not usually work solely with cannabis.
It is estimated that of the 180 million cannabis users only 13 million can be considered addicted, generally young people living in northern or developed countries.
For the detoxification of other narcotic drugs, marijuana turns out to be a good product to alleviate the effects of withdrawal and is even efficient to treat alcoholism problems.
Interest in the Cannabis sativa plant is increasing in several medicinal areas. The anti-inflammatory and immunological effects have increased thanks to the presence of CB2 receptors in the lymphatic system. The fact that it has neuroprotective effects in animal models of diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis also arouses much interest in the plant.
For this type of studies based on the Cannabis sativa plant and its effects on health, they are usually derived from public funds from the State (where it remains with the monopoly) or in other cases from the pharmaceutical industry. Although it is true that this is not always the case.
Education in the medicinal area regarding Cannabis sativa should increase significantly. All the knowledge available to experts and current tools is necessary to challenge the current situation of cannabis. With caution, since the changes submitted to the pharmaceutical industry are here to stay. We should not wait for pharmacists to represent a population that demands, in many cases, a more dignified life in the case of uses as palliative pain.
- Jácome-Roca A. Historia de los Medicamentos, 1ª. Ed. Academia Nacional de Medicina, 2003.
- Joy JE, Watson SJ, Benson JA, Editors; (Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base) Institute of Medicine. ISBN: 0-309-51408-8, 288 pages, 1999.
- PDF available from the National Academies Press at: http://www.nap.edu/catalog/6376.html
- Hill K P. Medical marijuana: more questions tan answers. J Psychiatr Pract. 2014; 20(5): 389 91.
- Koppel BS, Brust JCM, Fife T et al. Systematic review, efficacy and safety of medical marihuana in selected neurologic disorders. Report of the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology 2014; 82 (17): 1556-1563
- Nussbaum AM, Thurstone C, McGarry L, Walker B, Sabel AL. Use and diversion of medical marijuana among adults admitted to inpatient psychiatry. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2014 Nov 6:1-7 (Epub ahead of print)
- Schubart CD, Boks MP, Breetvelt EJ, van Gastel WA, Groenwold RH, Ophoff RA, Sommer IE, Kahn RS. Association between cannabis and psychiatric hospi-talization. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2011;123(5):368-75
- Grant I, Atkinson JH, Gouaux B, Wilsey B. Medical marijuana: clearing away the smoke. Open Neurol J. 2012; 6:18-25.
- Sagie S, Eliasi Y, Livneh I, Bart Y, Monovich E. Short-and long-term effects of cannabinoids on me – mory, cognition and mental illness. Harefuah. 2013; 152(12):737-41, 751.
- Davis GP, Compton MT, Wang S, Levin FR, Blanco C. Association between cannabis use, psychosis, and schizotypal personality disorder: findings from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Schizophr Res. 2013; 151(1):197-202.
- Kashyap S, Kashyap K. Medical marijuana: A panacea or scourge. Lung India. 2014; 31(2):145-8
- Degenhardt L1, Ferrari AJ, Calabria B, Hall WD et al. The global epidemiology and contribution of cannabis use and dependence to the global burden of disease: results from the GBD 2010 study. PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e76635.
- Swartz R. Medical marijuana users in substance abuse treatment. Harm Reduct J. 2010;7:3-5
- Reiman A. Cannabis as a substitute for alcohol and other drugs. Harm Reduct J. 2009; 6:35.
- Collier R. Prescribing marijuana? You have more than 200 options. CMAJ. 2014; 186 (12):E440.
- Nutt DJ, King LA, Nichols DE. Effects of Schedule I drug laws on neuroscience research and treatment innovation. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2013; 14 (8):577-85
- Restrepo-Guzmán R. Marihuana para uso médico: Del debate a la realidad. Periódico El Pulso, Febrero 2010. http://www.periodicoelpulso.com/html/1002feb/general/general09.htm
- Hakkarainen P, Frank VA, Barratt MJ et al. Growing medicine: Small-scale cannabis cultivation for medical purposes in six different countries. Int J Drug Policy. 2014 Jul 21.S0955-3959(14)00173-X (Epub ahead of print)