Medical cannabis is more popular than ever. But is it the same as recreational cannabis ? and if not what are the main differences. This weeks blog explains all you need to know about medical cannabis, how to grow it, and what to look for. First of all, lets take a look at the history of recreational cannabis and the evolution of medical cannabis varieties.
High THC recreational cannabis.
High THC recreational cannabis has increased in popularity over the last few decades, especially since the 1960’s. Whilst cannabis has probably been used medically for thousands of years, its only been regarded as a ‘mainstream’ medicine since the 1980’s. California's decision to legalize medical use of cannabis in 1996 (‘Proposition 215’) is regarded by many people as the formal start of the modern era of medical cannabis.
Medical use of high-THC cannabis
As recreational use of cannabis increased since the 1960’s many people became increasingly aware of the medical uses of cannabis. Many people with conditions such as MS, cancer, AIDS, Arthritis, Crohns disease and numerous other conditions began to report that their symptoms were eased after using cannabis. Many cannabis growers began to notice that certain varieties seemed to offer special levels of symptom relief for specific illnesses. Medical cannabis growers and breeders began to study the subject in greater detail.
Cannabis contains many different cannabinoid compounds. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most well known and is responsible for the psychoactive properties of cannabis. But another important compound is called cannabidiol or ‘CBD’. It seems to have more of a physical, rather than cerebral, effect. For many medical cannabis users, the presence of CBD gives a stronger body-stone and superior pain/symptom relief.
Many medical cannabis users prefer varieties that have elevated levels of CBD. In most varieties of cannabis, CBD is present at levels around 0.1-0.2%. In CBD rich varieties the CBD should account for 4% (or more) of the dry weight of the buds. Today CBD-rich varieties are one of the most popular choices for medical users. But at Dutch Passion we see many recreational users that also prefer the milder psychoactive properties of the CBD-rich varieties. Interestingly, many medical marijuana growers report quite different preferences for either indica CBD-rich varieties e.g. CBD Kush) or sativa CBD-rich varieties (such as CBD ComPassion).
Buying online medical cannabis seeds.
Many years of experience has taught Dutch Passion that all cannabis varieties have some medical benefits to them, whether THC-rich or CBD-rich. Its also clear that individual patients have their own personal preferences for the specific varieties which work best for their condition. Sometimes people with the same condition will have quite different cannabis preferences. After all, each person is different with our own endo cannabinoid system so perhaps its normal to expect that different people will have their own favourite medical marijuana variety. Thats why its important for medical cannabis growers to buy and try several different cannabis seed varieties and establish the best ones for them. These days buying cannabis seeds online is easy, just choose a company that you can trust.
Mother plants and cuttings
Once you find a cannabis variety, or two, that work well for you then consider keeping a mother plant which will supply you with cuttings (clones) for many years. Many medical cannabis growers work in teams, allowing them to retain a selection of quality genetics for the local medical community.
Medical use of cannabis
Cannabis is used by millions of people to help with the symptoms and pain caused by various medical conditions. Dutch Passion recommend that medical cannabis users discuss cannabis with medical professionals who are increasingly aware of the medical bene ts. Growing your own medical cannabis is the best way to get maximum quality for minimum cost.
The following information about the use of medical cannabis comes directly from the Of ce of Medicinal Cannabis, which is a department of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport:
“There is sufficient reason to believe that medicinal cannabis can help in cases of:
pain and muscle spasms or cramps associated with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord damage;
nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss and debilitation due to cancer or AIDS;
nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy used in the treatment of cancer, hepatitis C or HIV infection and AIDS;
chronic pain (mainly pain associated with the nervous system, for example that caused by a damaged nerve, phantom pain, facial neuralgia or chronic pain which remains after the recovery from shingles);
Gilles de la Tourette syndrome;
Patients and doctors have also reported positive effects on a range of other conditions, including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, epilepsy, itching, migraine, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, ADD and brain trauma. These positive effects still need to be con rmed by scientic research. (For more information, go to www.cannabis-med.org.)
At present, medicinal cannabis does not cure the disorders mentioned above, but it can relieve the symptoms associated with them. It may also enable other medication to be given at a lower dosage, and reduce their side effects. It is up to doctors to determine whether treatment with medicinal cannabis would benefit a patient, given his or her diagnosis and circumstances. In doing so, they are not limited to the list of conditions given above. A doctor will only prescribe medicinal cannabis if the standard treatments and registered medicines are not having the desired effect or are causing too many side effects.”
*This information has been literally taken from the website of the Of ce of Medicinal Cannabis, part of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport: www.cannabisbureau.nl/english