DR. ALLAN FRANKEL DISCUSSES CANNABIS MEDICINE
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Up until this past year, it has been impossible to help patients using CBD, as it had nearly been bred out of the world of cannabis plants. Of course, no one knew about CBD, but everyone was growing for the stoniest weed; hence, CBD which is essentially non-psychoactive, was nearly lost. In the past two years, more and more rich CBD strains are turning up. This is in part because we know we should be looking for them AND we finally had laboratories that would accurately let us know how much of which cannabinoid was present. The Cannabinoids are the approximately 200 or so three chain molecules such as THC, the most well known one and most psychoactive one. So, the plant in the past always contained CBD – remember it all started with Hemp!
So, now we have gardens of CBD containing clones and plants with varying amounts and ratios of THC and CBD. In general, the higher the CBD/THC ratio, the less psychoactive the plant, or it’s derived medicine possess. The more the THC, the more the psychoactivity, however, there are several caveats:
1. We really don’t know for certain the relationships between levels of THC or CBD as opposed to the ratio of the two
2. There are over 100 Terpene molecules in the plant. For details see my blog on Terpenes. They are the molecules that give each strain of cannabis, it’s flavor and scent and character. Additionally, many of the Terpenes posses psychoactive effects both on the typical cannabis brain receptors (the CB1 receptors) as well as having effects on other receptors.
It is the combined effects of the cannabinoids, terpenes and perhaps another 200 molecules all working together and carefully balanced in nature that we are now referring to as “The Entourage Effect”, coined by Dr. Ethan Russo.
So, going forward in the next few months, more tinctures with tested, certified and labelled CBD/THC and Terpenes, as well as mold and pesticide testing, will be appearing on the market. It is very difficult to predict the effect of a tincture based upon whether it is from a Sativa or Indica plant. Clearly, it is the so-called “Entourage” effect of all of these molecules working together that determine how a cannabis product will effect the patient. In addition, every patient is different. So, as more and more tinctures appear in collectives, you should try them. They will be marked with a Psychoactive Scale. This has been suggested by a number of Cannabis specialists and is a scale from 0 – 10. A value of 0 means there is no psychoactivity, or virtually none. The tincture or capsule or other certified cannabis medicine will have it’s expected effects for anxiety and pain, but without any “stony” feeling at all. A 5 would be in the middle and a 9 or 10 will be extremely psychoactive.
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