Cannabis & Cannabinoids: How Medical Marijuana Helps

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Among those using medical marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of painful illnesses and conditions, there is no question that medical marijuana works. The question for most is how medical marijuana works when many other potential treatments do not. Doctors believe that the answer lies in cannabinoids, the active ingredients in medical marijuana that are only found in the cannabis plants.

Cannabis and Cannabinoids for Specific Ailments and Symptoms

Five Major Cannabinoids Do the Heavy Lifting

To help medical marijuana patients find the answers to their questions, compiles resources on cannabis on our Resources page and on our Blog page. The newest addition to our resources page is an outline of the five major cannabinoids that help medical marijuana patients find relief from their symptoms. These cannabinoids – THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (cannabidiol), CBN (Cannabinol), CBC (Cannabichromene), and CBG (Cannabigerol) – each have different effects, which reinforce one another. For example, CBD reduces the psychological effects of THC, so high CBD, high THC medical marijuana strains would produce more physical relief from pain and less psychological effects than a standard strain in most patients.

Medical studies have consistently proven that CBD is effective in shrinking cancer cells, treating epilepsy, relieving symptoms of MS (multiple sclerosis), etc. without the ‘high’ effect associated with marijuana.  Such medicinal properties without side effects makes this a very usable treatment for patients of all ages, from toddlers to the elderly.

Why Understanding Cannabinoids is Important

Since research has shown which effects each cannabinoid has, growers for medical marijuana dispensaries can breed cannabis to have more or less of each cannabinoid to treat the unique symptoms of specific ailments. Most licensed growers and dispensaries are able to test their medical marijuana stock for the major cannabinoids, which allows them to make knowledgeable recommendations for their patients. Additionally, knowing which cannabinoids have specific characteristics, such as high pain relief, growers can continue to refine their medical marijuana to help patients treat a variety of conditions.

Since cannabis plants grow relatively quickly, this allows growers to release new strains to patients on a regular basis. Some of the medical marijuana strains released in California dispensaries in just the past few months include:

  • Purple Monkey Balls (very high THC, high CBD, and high CBN hybrid)
  • Querkle (very high THC, high CBD, and low CBN hybrid)
  • Obama OG Kush (very high THC, high CBD, and high CBN hybrid)
  • Popeye OG (high THC, moderate CBD and low CBN hybrid)
  • KC Brains’ California Special (high THC and high CBD hybrid)

Patients can also benefit from understanding the basics of cannabinoids since for many medical marijuana patients it is not possible to spend a lot of time at the dispensary. An understanding of cannabinoids allows patients to do their research from home so they are prepared to discuss their medication needs with the dispensary during their next trip. Informed patients can also make special medical marijuana requests since professional dispensaries make every effort to obtain new strains if their patients show an interest.

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