Medicinal cannabis: effects and dangers of CBD?
Written by: Loris Vitry (coach and Yoga teacher)
Validated by: Cathy Maillot (Osteopath)
Caution: If you have any medical questions or concerns, please speak to your doctor. Even if the articles on this site are based on scientific studies, they do not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Cannabis is a substance whose use generates a lot of ink, especially in the health field.
It took many scientific studies to determine to what extent it can be used for therapeutic purposes.
We have come to allow some degree of medical cannabis.
Do you have any idea what this is about?
Discover in this article the possible effects and dangers of CBD.
What is medical cannabis?
You are probably familiar with cannabis.
It is a substance used for the purpose of relieving pain, combating stress, etc.
Basically, it is made up of what are called cannabinoids.
These are specific molecules that give cannabis its properties.
Thus, for example, we owe the relaxing property of cannabis to CBD, also called cannabidiol.
This molecule makes it possible to fight effectively against stress.
Likewise, in cannabis, there is THC or tetrahydrocannabidiole, the effects of which are rather psychoactive.
What are the effects of CBD?
CBD has essentially analgesic effects.
In addition to alleviating the physical pain of patients, it allows them to cure episodes of stress and anxiety.
In addition, CBD has a relaxing effect which limits the psychoactive effects of THC, which is of great benefit to patients who consume therapeutic cannabis containing THC.
Medicinal cannabis is in fact cannabis in which the content of cannabinoid molecules is controlled, in order to be used in a therapeutic setting.
Indeed, to understand why this substance, originally considered to be a narcotic, can be incorporated into treatments, you need to know the properties of cannabis.
It is used in particular as a substitute for traditional analgesics for cases of patients who are unable to obtain satisfaction.
The pathologies treated with therapeutic cannabis are, for example, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, chronic pain and even neurodegenerative pathologies.
In addition, it would also have an anti-vomiting effect on patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
What are the forms in which therapeutic cannabis is presented?
To begin with, note that it is not possible to have medical cannabis in the form of a smoking joint.
This process of consuming cannabis is as dangerous as if you were to smoke tobacco.
The molecules in cannabis are damaged by the combustion process, which also puts you at risk of cancer.
In addition, the expected effects are impaired and less lasting in patients when they choose to smoke cannabis.
Consequently, we will opt for means which make it possible to control the dosages for each patient.
One of the most used methods is therefore vaporization.
Other interesting alternatives are capsules, drops on or under the tongue, oil capsules, sprays, etc.
Is there any risk in consuming medical cannabis?
The effects of the two main cannabinoids in medical cannabis have already been identified.
However, it is advisable to warn against the risks associated with an unmeasured consumption of this substance.
You should know that not all patients tolerate the levels of CBD and THC in cannabis in the same way.
This is why it is best to use minimum doses, especially for patients whose body is not used to this substance.
The greatest risk associated with excessive cannabis use comes from THC.
In certain proportions, this cannabinoid can cause real disorders.
It should already be noted that cannabis is psychoactive because of this molecule.
It therefore acts on the psychology of patients.
It can cure or reduce stress and anxiety, but it can also cause or exacerbate them.
Moreover, it is only very recently that it has been clinically proven that CBD does not have an addictive effect on the individual who consumes it.
Even so, patients can develop some sort of psychological addiction to medical cannabis, especially if they have become accustomed to using it for the purpose of relieving themselves of stress and anxiety issues.
Indeed, the near euphoric state in which they find themselves can be the trap of cannabis addiction, as they imagine that their well-being depends on the consumption of medical cannabis.
Another risk associated with excessive use of medical cannabis is impaired attention, concentration and even dysfunction of the heart rhythm.
The senses are also inhibited when you use medical cannabis, which is not ideal when you are driving, for example.
In the long run, if you don’t pay attention to these signs, you can seriously affect your ability to concentrate, risk episodes of depression, and even put yourself at risk of lung cancer for those who inhale them.
How do you get rid of a possible addiction to therapeutic cannabis?
As you may have already understood, there is little chance that you will develop a true addiction to cannabis.
However, this hypothesis is not excluded if you come to believe that it is only through this substance that you get rid of stress and anxiety.
In this case, it will then be necessary to proceed with what is called weaning.
The most appropriate solution to successfully get rid of your addiction will then be psychotherapy.
You will have to work on your mind by helping you with psychological support.
The process is simple, but effective in the long run.
Likewise, a more traditional approach consists in joining a support group.
Indeed, this alternative is quite useful for anyone discovering a particular addiction.
Sharing your weight with other people helps you understand that you are not alone in facing a situation.
Plus, seeing others move forward in their healing process helps you kick start your own.
In short, therapeutic cannabis is an alternative whose benefits for patients are well established.
However, it is a remedy that doctors only prescribe when conventional alternatives show little or no results.
Indeed, the molecules that constitute cannabis can treat several pathologies, but can also present dangers in certain proportions.
This is why it is recommended to pay attention to the doses consumed and more particularly to the THC content of therapeutic cannabis ingested by the patient.
Finally, it is recalled that therapeutic cannabis should not be consumed as a joint, at the risk of altering the properties of the substance.
Also, avoid self-medication as much as possible.
This is for your health.