Terpenoids and terpenes are aromatic compounds that are found in thousands of plant species, and are responsible for the various flavours and fragrances of cannabis. We have known about their presence in cannabis for decades, but it is only recently that awareness of their potential therapeutic properties has begun to expand.
In Part I, we looked at the many horrific cases of children being removed from family homes due to parents’ cannabis use. Here, we will discuss another side of the battle for legal cannabis that is affecting children in the USA—sick children, who could benefit from medical cannabis, are legally prevented from doing so.
Despite—or perhaps due to—the massive gains made over the last few years in establishing a legal status for cannabis in the USA, the backlash continues. Worryingly, one form the backlash is taking is among the most emotionally devastating possible for all concerned—the removal of children from their homes.
Sativex by GW Pharmaceuticals is the first cannabis-based medicine to be fully approved and brought to market in any country, and is now available in 22 countries worldwide. Its steady march through Europe has been accompanied by considerable media attention, and numerous challenges have been faced and overcome.
Researchers in Israel performed a clinical trial of the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis on patients suffering from Crohn’s disease. On the 21 patients suffering from severe symptoms and who did not respond to other treatments (including steroids), 11 were given cannabis twice daily while the other received a placebo. After 8 weeks of treatment with cannabis 5 of them showed complete remission of the symptoms while clinical response was measured in 90% of cases.
The Republic of Cameroon is a relatively stable and successful Central African nation, with good roads and infrastructure. However, a substantial proportion of its rural population depends on subsistence agriculture. As a result, cannabis appeals greatly to poor farmers as it commands a high price and can be transported with ease.
The general public is increasingly aware of the medicinal benefits of cannabis, while the plant is being accepted in ever more countries as well as states of the U.S.A. As a result, the need for alternative methods of ingestion is growing, especially among medicinal users. After all, there are healthier ways of using cannabis than the prevalent habit of smoking.
The federal republic of Nigeria is a large country on the coast of West Africa. It has a population of over 170 million people and is by far the most densely populated country in Africa. Nigeria is the economic centre of the region and a very important hub in the international trade triangle that connects South America, West Africa and Europe.
The state of Eritrea is a small country on the coast of the Horn of Africa, bordering on Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti. The population of Eritrea is only six million, and highly dependent on agriculture, with cannabis becoming an increasingly important crop.
Like any other medicinal plant, cannabis has intrinsic properties that allow it to produce both beneficial effects and undesired side effects. Some of these side effects are cognitive, such as the impairment of the short-term memory or the potential to trigger psychotic episodes in susceptible individuals. The negative physical side effects of cannabis include an increase in oxygen consumption by the heart tissues and, as we shall see in this article, the capacity to accelerate the progression of fibrosis in individuals suffering chronic Hepatitis C, if cannabis is consumed regularly and not just on a sporadic basis.
Some terpenes can affect the “grey matter”, since they block the neuronal receptors they modify the permeability of the neuron cell membranes. These terpenes can also have an impact on the levels of serotonin and dopamine, two of the main neurotransmitters responsible for altering a person’s mood and activity. When terpenes are mixed, each affects the brain in its own way. Some complement each another and others cancel each other out. Therefore, every combination is unique in terms of psycho activity.
After Berlin it was Cologne’s turn. Attending the 2nd Kölner Dampfpara.de (Cologne Steam Parade), people were on the streets of the river Rhine’s metropolis last weekend to stick up for cannabis as a medicine. In comparison to the event in Germany’s capital a few weeks back, only a fraction of protesters attended last Saturday, September 7th, but still, the number of participants doubled in comparison to last year. Everyone there campaigned for cannabis as a remedy, known to human kind since centuries.
Ethiopia is a large, landlocked country in East Africa—in the area known as the Horn of Africa—and is home to almost 92 million inhabitants, making it the world’s fourteenth most populous country. Ethiopia is the site of one of humanity’s earliest civilizations, and has been an important centre of culture throughout history.
Natural remedies and medicinal plants capable of curing a wide range of illnesses have been used throughout the ages.
The fact that cannabis is capable of regulating sugar levels in blood, which could help to improve diabetes, has been known for some time. This gives it the potential to be a natural way to fight this very common disease.
Anandamide is also known as N-arachidonoylethanolamine or AEA, and is an endogenous analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Anandamide has an effect on both the CB1 and CB2 receptors; with the CB1 receptors more affected in the central nervous system and the CB2 receptors more affected in the periphery.
Cannabis has been shown to have some effect on the symptoms of hypertension, but as with many diseases, the link has not been fully determined and much controversy remains.
The issue of whether it is safe to use cannabis during pregnancy is one that has caused a great deal of controversy in recent years, as this beneficial herb becomes ever more medically and socially acceptable, and consumption rates continue to climb. Current consensus holds that heavy cannabis use during pregnancy may lead to a reduction in infant birth weight, and possibly increase the risk of conditions such as pre-eclampsia. However, the extent to which this occurs may depend on the method of consumption, as well as various other factors.
Sufferers of multiple sclerosis (MS) have long claimed significant benefit can be gained from smoking cannabis. An early study into the effect of cannabis on MS sufferers was conducted in 1997, where researchers conducted an anonymous survey of U.S. and U.K.-based patients to systematically assess its various benefits.