Back

Thersilla Oberbarnscheidt

Thersilla Oberbarnscheidt

Central Michigan University, USA

Title: Cannabis- is it really a Medicine?

Biography

Cannabis has been used in medicine for thousands of years for various medical conditions. Over the last decade it is increasingly
getting used in the treatment of chronic pain. Cannabis has been shown to have some positive effi cacy in the reduction of pain as
an adjunct in therapy combined with opioids. Clinical studies published are mostly small in number and solely for neuropathic pain.
Most studies that showed a clinical benefi t were short in duration. Longer-term studies for more than 4 weeks have reported psychosis
in the patients with percentages ranging from 36.3% to even 80%. Most patients report a long list of side eff ects associated with the use
of cannabis. Symptoms reported are memory problems, problems with motor coordination and impaired judgment and more serious
medical problems like cancer or cardiac ischemia. Cannabis consists of more than 60 pharmacologically active cannabinoids. Th e
primary cannabinoids in marijuana are delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol. Not all cannabinoids are yet identifi ed
or understood. Th e dosing of cannabis and its metabolism are problematic in the treatment as well. Cannabis is liposoluble and
tends to accumulate in adipose tissue together with its derivates. Th erefore the substance gets released into the body long aft er last
ingestion, resulting in even more potent eff ects and adverse eff ects in the users. Cannabis is a Schedule I substance and the attempt to
discontinue does create a set of symptoms called “marijuana abstinence syndrome”. Symptoms of marijuana withdrawal are consistent
of: anxiety, depression, decreased appetite, headaches, insomnia, irritability, muscle tension, nausea, nightmares and unpleasant vivid
dreams. Lastly, patients develop tolerance to cannabis as well, similar to alcohol, meaning over time are larger doses required to
achieve the same clinical response.

Abstract

Cannabis has been used in medicine for thousands of years for various medical conditions. Over the last decade it is increasingly getting used in the treatment of chronic pain. Cannabis has been shown to have some positive efficacy in the reduction of pain as an adjunct in therapy combined with opioids. Clinical studies published are mostly small in number and solely for neuropathic pain. Most studies that showed a clinical benefit were short in duration. Longer-term studies for more than 4 weeks have reported psychosis in the patients with percentages ranging from 36.3% to even 80%. Most patients report a long list of side effects associated with the use of cannabis. Symptoms reported are memory problems, problems with motor coordination and impaired judgment and more serious medical problems like cancer or cardiac ischemia.