What are cannabis oils?
The rise in the popularity of cannabis oils can be attributed to the benefits of their properties for the human body. Cannabis oils are the extracts of the cannabis plant; they contain chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, which interact with the endocannabinoid system to influence bodily functions.
Of all the over 113 cannabinoids, the most popular are the psychoactive Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the non-psychoactive Cannabidiol (CBD).
Understanding cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. They were first discovered by an Israeli scientist named Raphael Mechoulam. In 1964, Mechoulam identified and isolated tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – a cannabinoid present in the cannabis plant that’s commonly known for its psychoactive effects – for the first time in history.
The endocannabinoid system is a neuro-transmitting system which works to regulate bodily functions such as sleep, appetite, and hunger. It contains two receptors, namely the Cannabis Receptor 1 (CB1) and Cannabis Receptor 2 (CB2). These receptors bind with the cannabinoids produced by the human body – endocannabinoids – to regulate bodily functions.
Cannabis Oil. Source
The cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant can bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. This binding alters the state of bodily functions, often to the advantage of the individual. This ability of the cannabinoids in cannabis to influence the endocannabinoid system in humans is the root of all medicinal capabilities attributed to the cannabis plant. Humans would not be able to reap the medicinal benefits of the cannabis plant without this interaction.
Humans can introduce these cannabinoids into their systems by ingesting cannabis or its preparation, one of which is cannabis oil.
What is the hype about cannabis oils?
Cannabis oils boast of many benefits, a lot of which are medicinal. Their popularity can be attributed to the fact that, in cannabis oils, it is possible to remove the psychoactive substance THC completely.
Cannabis oils can be differentiated into pure cannabis oils and CBD oils. Pure cannabis oils are raw and unprocessed extracts; CBD oils are concentrates of CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid.
CBD oils are exceedingly popular amongst individuals who want to reap the medicinal benefits of the cannabis plants but do not want to experience its psychoactive effects. Given to this fact, cannabis oils – particularly CBD oils – have opened an entirely new demographic of cannabis users.
Sativex – An oral spray. Source
Are they really worth the hype?
Often times, cannabis and its preparations are touted as wonder drugs. It is no surprise that they are. The numerous medicinal capabilities of the cannabis plant have placed it on a pedestal in the world of modern medicine. This, however, inadvertently means that the plant and its preparations are under constant scrutiny.
Considering certain factors such as cost, benefits, and legality, many individuals are at a loss as to whether cannabis and its preparations are sincerely worth the hype.
Despite the stronghold of popular opinion, one of the only unquestionable ways to determine if cannabis oils meet their expectations is reviewing research and study papers. Since the discovery of cannabinoids, numerous studies have been conducted to determine their status of value to the treatment of terminal and chronic illnesses.
- A study involving 177 people tested the effects of CBD and THC on cancer-related pain which was not alleviated by pharmaceutical pain medication. At the end of the study, individuals treated with both compounds experienced significant pain relief in comparison to those who were administered solely THC.
- One study proved that CBD oil actively prevented sebaceous gland cells from secreting excessive sebum. Inhibiting these secretions activated anti-inflammatory actions and prevented the production of inflammatory cytokines.
- Research conducted on individuals suffering from schizophrenia and other related mental health disorders proved that CBD could help reduce their psychotic symptoms.
- One study found that Sativex – a cannabinoid infused oral spray – significantly improved the pain experienced by 58 individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Satives was noted to aid in managing pain during movement, at rest, and during sleep.
- Another study involving 47 people proved that Sativex significantly improved the pain and muscle spasms experienced by individuals suffering from multiple sclerosis.
- A research study involving 214 people showed that CBD oil could significantly reduce epileptic seizures.
Cannabis oils have been scientifically proven to improve the quality of life in individuals suffering from chronic and terminal diseases. While many individuals are still not convinced where the health benefits of these oils are concerned, it is hard to ignore research-based backup.