Tetrahydrocannabinol has been at the centre of controversy for decades. The controversial psychoactive side effects of this compound provokes huge debate. However, we want to ask the question is THC altering minds for all the right reasons?
Over the past couple of years, cannabis has been a subject that has gathered much attention and provoked endless debate. You’d be hard-pressed not to have noticed the global media frenzy surrounding this plant. In fact, you’d have to be either living under a rock or so stoned you cannot see the end of your nose for it to have passed you by!
Now, almost half way through 2019, the recent exposure of cannabis has lead us to witness a significant and profound shift in the attitude towards the cannabis plant.
Hate campaigns condemning marijuana, as well as outcasting those that indulged in it, seem to be a thing of the past. Remarkably, in its place, we are met with a worldwide pro-cannabis campaign.
In particular, the once demonised Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) component is receiving accolades of the highest regard. This poses the question: Just what is it that has altered the world’s mind regarding THC?
The legislation surrounding cannabis naturally swayed and formed many people’s preconceived notions of the marijuana plant. Excessively strict laws regarding the importation, growing, selling and possession of cannabis undoubtedly sent out a scary message. This was the intention and it succeeded. Consequently, the majority of law-abiding citizens
never considered cannabis an option, either medically or recreationally.
The Black Market that inevitably developed as a result of the stringent criminalization of marijuana possibly fuelled the seedy, unsociable perception of cannabis smokers further. Subsequently, placing an increase in levels of violent crime and poverty at the hands of the illegal use of the cannabis plant, would hammer the nails in the coffin further. Furthermore
confirming the public’s worst nightmares about this herb.
The world is split in relation to marijuana. Essentially there are those that have continued to enjoy cannabis recreationally despite the law and those that would not touch it with a bargepole. With feelings running so strong and deep in both the pro and con camps, it would be hard to imagine the two worlds ever overlapping.
However, once a large, influential country like the US loosened its regulations, the world soon sat up and took notice.
Not only is the plant being decriminalised in state after state, it is now a huge, reputable industry with the governments concerned gaining millions in tax benefit. The speed at which the cannabis industry is growing is inexplicable and set to take over both sales of alcohol and cigarettes combined.
As the world watches, more and more countries are following suit. The relaxing of laws and serious talks regarding future decriminalization has resulted in a new found popularity and belief in a plant that once was said to cause so much harm.
CBD – Wellbeing and Mindfulness
Marketing cannabidiol, or CBD as it is better know, was an integral part in leading to the vast acknowledgement of THC.
The cannabinoid CBD soared on to the scene almost overnight. It soon became apparent, that people were using it to alleviate and cure their own symptoms. A flurry of anecdotal reports sparked a deep interest into the potential health benefits of this constituent of the marijuana plant.
As more people explore CBD, they have discovered the in-depth scientific research already documented. With some of the world’s leading health experts reporting such positive findings regarding the medicinal properties of CBD gave the anecdotes weight and authority.
Very soon people were demanding access to this cannabinoid that withheld the potential to change lives. People living with painful, chronic conditions began coming off their pharmaceutical drugs in favour of this homeopathic remedy. Often describing the prescription drugs as having their own severe side effects to health, patients were opting for this natural
option to restore homeostasis and improve quality of life.
The attraction of CBD to many patients was that it was a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant. As opposed to its counterpart THC, CBD would not have the mind altering effects that had helped demonise THC for the past century. This was incredibly appealing to many individuals who, otherwise, would never have considered the ingestion of a drug that
could get you ‘high’.
However, more research would lead many patients to the foregone conclusion that to treat their particular symptoms with CBD alone would simply not work. That the very component they were hellbent on avoiding due to its ‘stoner’ references, was in fact, the compound that would alleviate their ailments and create the entourage effect.
Very soon, with education and thorough research, more patients are seeking a treatment that includes the cannabinoid THC. Consequently, more anecdotal evidence celebrating the health benefits of both CBD and THC have flooded the internet and the media. THC is shaking off a demonised reputation; even better it is now considered a pioneering health supplement for many
illnesses, including epilepsy and dementia.
People have been using marijuana to treat ailments and to compliment general well-being for thousands of years. Despite this, the Western World has remained skeptical regarding the safety and effectiveness of the cannabis plant.
The publication of any scientific research saying anything to the contrary appears to have happened in fits and starts over the last century. There are significant positive findings relating to the potential medical benefits of cannabis during the pre-criminalisation era. However in the years that followed the topic was shelved and the properties of marijuana were certainly not
being studied at medical school.
Throughout these times, there are health professionals that have vehemently advocated the use of cannabis as an aid to health. However, the disapproval amongst the Food and Drug Administration officials meant these findings could never really grow roots and sprout.
The surge of new interest in cannabis has now seen a rise in scientific research at an exponential rate. The expose of cannabis-based products drives the demand for as much scientific fact as possible as more countries begin to allow their health officials to prescribe medical marijuana and more patients begin self-treatment programmes.
The scientific data allows doctors to feel more confident in an area most are otherwise unsure of. This information also arms the patients themselves with the facts they need to make independent, informed decisions regarding their health.
With regards to using the cannabis plant as a supplement to health, people have been happily discussing the benefits of CBD freely. Unlike THC, there seems to be no sense of shame associated with CBD. The concept that this cannabinoid can compliment health issues is being shouted from the rooftops loud and proud. This clearly boils down to the emphasis that CBD is non-psychoactive and that it has never been defined as a recreational drug.
The success stories of CBD in the treatment of anxiety and inflammation are published in their droves. Articles relating to CBD gain the attention of people of all ages and from all walks of life. There’s an air of innocence surrounding the CBD cannabinoid. A kind of purity that helps people separate it from marijuana as a drug and the connotations that sit alongside that fact.
Add to that the strategic marketing of CBD and you can understand how it has quickly accrued a high degree of acceptance and a definite air of cool. From coffee to suppositories, gummies to tinctures. The 101 ways you can ingest CBD has been rolled out as a phenomenon in its own right!
In conflict with this, until more recently, people have been very reluctant to discuss or explore the medical potential of the black sheep of the family, tetrahydrocannabinol. Ironically, it is THC that scientists have found has the closest correlation with therapeutic relief. The social stigma has been something people really seem to struggle getting over. Finally, it is being discussed more honestly. Consequently patients are gaining a clearer insight into how THC can provide the optimum symptom relief.
Take, for example Autism. A closer look at using THC alongside CBD in the treatment of Autism has shown it reduces anxiety and stress dramatically. CBD prescribed on its own has been found to aggravate symptoms.
Various studies have gathered information from patients who have reported the effects they have experienced. Symptoms such as agitation, insomnia, loss of appetite, depression and stress are dramatically improved with the introduction of THC.
This clearly conflicts the argument that THC merely makes a person high or stoned. Moreover it states a real case for THC to act in exactly the same way as a benzodiazepine or antidepressant would. Even better as it is derived from a natural plant.
Studies are now finding that THC is a more effective treatment for epilepsy than CBD.
Several countries and a growing number of US states have opted to legalise cannabis. Within these jurisdictions people have access to CBD products and more recently CBD based medications such as Epidiolex. These medications are derived from the cannabis plant and contain little or no THC.
However, people living in US states or countries, where cannabis is still prohibited, source their cannabis from the black market. Due to the fact the THC content cannot be regulated in black market cannabis, University research studies have been carried out to find out how effective this treatment is.
To their surprise, they discovered that some of the most effective cannabis products contained higher levels of THC than CBD. Still not high enough to cause psychoactive effects but at least twice the level of CBD present. Samples of illegal cannabis were tested. Cannabis that parents were using to treat their epileptic children. These tests found that where concentrations of THC were higher than those of CBD the reduction of seizures was significantly higher. It would appear from these studies that THC alone has anticonvulsant properties. The research found that families switching from black market cannabis to Epidiolex reported the original treatment was more effective.
Vaping rather than smoking
For many people, the option to now vaporize cannabis rather than smoke it is enormously appealing.
In a world where stress related illness is commonplace, lots of us are now looking for alternative remedies to balance our physical and mental health. A combination of the negative side effects of some pharmaceutical drugs and the limited healthcare resources is driving people to educate themselves in natural health supplements and take control of their own wellbeing.
The general population is more aware than ever of the health properties that can be derived from plants. We are already a nation that has become much more open to experimenting with less formal medicinal practises. Aromatherapy is a plant based alternative treatment; widely recognised and practised as an aid to healing. Furthermore, in recent years Chinese medicine is a healing option that many patients in the western world have discovered works better for them than those drugs prescribed by GPs and hospital doctors .
Dry Herb Vaporizing
Dry herb vaporizing is now massively popular. Consequently, the sales of these portable devices have met an overwhelming demand.
Those that have researched alternative remedies for their own symptoms and conditions have been discovering the multi faceted properties of the cannabis plant. The most common association with cannabis consumption was once smoking. Yet those opposed to smoking and the harmful bi-products that it entails have been reluctant to try cannabis before now.
Dry herb vaporizers such as the Nereus Nova have exposed a safe method of ingesting the beneficial properties of THC and CBD into the body quickly and efficiently.
Those wishing to receive relief from symptoms are able to self medicate by vaporizing cannabis. Patients with nausea, chronic pain, anxiety, cancer and epilepsy are recording remarkable benefits to health. Vaporizing allows patients to customize dosage according to their own personal need. It also offers the option of portability and discretion as handheld vaporizers slip comfortably into a pocket and
tend to give out very little telltale odor.
A patient whose symptoms require both THC and CBD, can meet these needs using a dry herb vaporizer. It can be a life-changing aid to health and wellbeing. For many patients, vaping has enabled them to try cannabis as a health supplement for the first time. While for others it has meant that they can switch from smoking to vaporizing and now receive
all the added health benefits without the risks that smoking inflicts.
Vaporizing cannabis has most definitely shifted mindsets towards the benefits of THC. People of all ages and backgrounds are choosing to vape. Ingesting the cannabinoids is rebalancing their homeostasis and helping them live normal, healthy lives.
To summarise, it would appear the psychoactive, mind-altering THC compound is indeed altering minds for all the right reasons.
We remain aware that the habitual use or disrespect of any drug can lead to problems. Yet, in the correct dosage and with the right education; THC certainly has an undeniable part to play in the relief of patients symptoms.
Right now THC is still illegal in the UK. We will undoubtedly see this change in the coming years, just like in Canada and parts of the US.
Until this happens I suspect that THC will always be feared and smeared by some. But, for those open minded enough to receive the benefits, this cannabinoid will forever be celebrated.