There are several ailments and diseases that make people look for alternative methods of healing, because within certain areas of medicine there are (currently) only a select few options. For example diseases/ailments like cancer, MS, Tourette’s syndrome, HIV, epilepsy, arthritis, anorexia and rheumatism. Symptoms that can be treated with cannabis are, for example, stress, pain, tensed muscles, spasms and difficulty sleeping. People who suffer from these symptoms experiment with self-medication, hoping that this will ease their condition.
The use of cannabis is a type of self-medication. This isn’t anything new, because cannabis has been used for a long time as a medicine for chronic pains, certain diseases, insomnia, stress, nausea and being sick. Besides that, cannabis can also aid people with hormonal problems and sexual problems for example. Not a whole lot is known when it comes to scientific research regarding the use and the effects of medicinal cannabis, but it is still being researched and more and more research data is being discovered. Cannabis doesn’t necessarily work the same for everyone nor is it guaranteed to be of use for everyone. Some people will find it doesn’t have any effect on them at all or it could even worsen their symptoms, whilst others find their symptoms simply seem to vanish. This isn’t just the case with cannabis but with all medicine. People also need to use the right kind of cannabis, the one that suits specific symptoms and they should take the right dosage. Not all claims of medical application by medicinal cannabis users can be scientifically proven, but enough data has been collected to prescribe cannabis for certain ailments now.
A cannabis plant contains cannabinoids, these have a certain effect on the body. THC, or tetra-hydro-cannabidol, is the most well-known of these components. Taking a high dose of THC will get you high, but besides that is also has a positive effect on pain and nausea.
The component CBD, or cannabidiol, can also be present in a cannabis plant. This component doesn’t get you high, but it does help with panic attacks.
In the Netherlands several types of medicinal cannabis are available: Bedrocan, Bedrobinol, Bediol and Bedica. Every type has its own composition and strength.
Bedrocan: Has the highest THC levels of around 22%. Its CBD levels are less than 1%.
Bedrobinol: Has a THC level of about 13,5%. Its CBD levels are less than 1%.
Bediol: Has a lower THC level, about 6,3% and about 8% of CBD.
Bedica: Contains 14% THC and less than 1% CBD. This is the newest variety. This is an Indica, all the other sorts are Sativas.
Medicinal cannabis can be taken orally or through inhalation. When taken orally you eat or drink the cannabis, for example in tea or in cake. When inhaling, the cannabis is smoked or evaporated.
Be mindful of the dosage of cannabis taken as medication, because there are no set guidelines for this. The amount of cannabis you’ll need for the best results is different for every person. It also depends on how you administer it. So start with a low dose and add to this until you’re happy with its effects.