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Cannabis And the Cannabinoids : Understanding the Complex Plant


Times are changing now and so is the healthcare industry. With the changing modern world, the medical needs of people are also increasing leading to a huge demand for medical treatments which should be both effective and less harmful. One of the major alternatives to traditional medical treatments is now cannabis. It is a complex plant that contains more than 400 chemical compounds of which more than 60 are cannabinoids. Some of the major cannabinoids such as CBD and THC have created havoc in the cannabis market, all thanks to their potential effects on humans.

Their popularity has reached a point where one just needs a qualifying medical condition and can easily access CBD or THC products with a medical card. For instance, residents of LA just require an MMJ Card LA and buying legal cannabis just becomes easy.

Now, to understand the plant cannabis and its cannabinoids, one needs reliable information to count on. Because as mentioned earlier, cannabis is a complex plant containing n number of layers to it. Let’s know about the plant in more detail.

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis basically refers to a group of three plants namely Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Ruderalis. Cannabis Sativa. Indica and Ruderalis are generally accepted as the subspecies of Cannabis Sativa, meaning C Sativa is the single undivided species.

The plant is also recognized by the name of hemp, particularly referring to the varieties of cannabis that are manufactured for non-drug purposes. CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are two of the most prevalent cannabinoids found in cannabis and have a dedicated following due to their therapeutic potential. From the management of chronic pain, inflammation to even cancer, the so-called ‘herbal drug’ has been used to treat an array of ailments.

Though clinical research on cannabis and different medical conditions is nearly non-existent, different studies on animal models suggest that the plant can be effective in providing relief in respect to different health conditions.

Know More About Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are the naturally occurring compounds found in Cannabis Sativa that contain more than 480 chemical compounds. As mentioned above, CBD and THC are the two most abundant and popular major cannabinoids available for both medicinal and recreational purposes in most of the US states. Cannabinoids that are present in high concentrations are known as major cannabinoids while those available in trace amounts are called minor cannabinoids.

Below are the Big Six cannabinoids that are most researched by the scientists-

THC – Tetrahydrocannabinol

CBD – Cannabidiol

CBG – Cannabigerol

CBN – Cannabinol

CBC – Cannabichromene

THCV – Tetrahydrocannabivarin

Again, a more structured and detailed study is required to study the long-term effects of cannabinoids on the human body.

What Are the Potential Effects of Cannabis?

Cannabis contains a long history as a medicinal plant and there was once a time when the substance was available as a licensed medicine in the US. Then the American Medical Association removed it from the 12th edition of the U.S. Pharmacopeia which put a stop to its liberal use.

Until now, marijuana is considered as a Schedule I drug at the federal level. This led to a limited research into the positive and adverse effects of cannabis owing to the lack of funds for clinic research and studies.

Having said all of that, it is well-known that cannabis does possess therapeutic properties which has helped a lot of patients suffering from a different range of medical conditions. Below are some of the potential medical benefits that are associated with cannabis consumption:

Chronic Pain

If patient reviews were to be considered, relief from different types of chronic pain has to be the most common condition for medical use of cannabis. From back pain to arthritis pain, patients report a significant change in their condition when taking medical cannabis for a period of time. The effects are acknowledged up to a point that several patients have replaced their traditional medications with cannabis.


Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting are cited as the two most feared side-effects of cancer. Studies show that CBD has the potential to relieve the feeling of nausea and vomiting amongst cancer patients. Nabilone and Dronabinol were two of the cannabinoid medications approved in 1985 for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced effects.


CBD and THC can help manage the symptoms of different mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. CBD can help relax a patient of anxiety by offering a better sleeping pattern and influencing the mood. Available studies suggest that a significant part of the US population takes cannabis to get relief from anxiety and stress.

Other Benefits of Cannabis:

  • Anorexia
  • Helps reduce the frequent cycle of seizures in Epileptic patients.
  • CBD can help manage the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • Provides relief from spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis
  • Can help improve the symptoms of Tourette Syndrome
  • Can help prevent the development of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Mood booster
  • Can influence appetite

What Are the Side-effects of Cannabis?

Well, just like other medical drugs, cannabis also has its own pros and cons. Though it is considered effective in the treatment of different medical conditions, excessive consumption of the substance can also lead to some risks. Below are some of the common side-effects associated with cannabis consumption:

  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety
  • Dry Mouth
  • Change in blood pressure
  • Change in heart rate
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Problem in concentration

It is to be understood here that cannabis is quite complex in nature, so it can have different effects on different bodies. It may deliver different effects to different persons depending on various factors such as consumption method, age, height, medical condition, etc. Yet, it is advised to consult a medical marijuana doctor before starting your cannabis consumption for any medical condition.

Bottom Line

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that medical cannabis has a vast scope in the medical field. Though cannabinoids contain a wide range of properties, they have not received the attention they deserve. One of the major setbacks is the limited research on the plant to state long-term effects on human brains and bodies.

In light of the COVID pandemic, we advise all our patients to see a doctor online instead of visiting the clinic. Help us flatten the curve by opting for an online 420 evaluation.