Article by Dr. Frank, Cannabis Culture
One of the most common questions people ask is, “Why is cannabis medicine?” The simple answer is that, theoretically at least, cannabis can be used as a medicine because it restores balance to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a fundamental role in homeostasis.
Many conditions are thought to arise from a deficiency of endocannabinoids (clinical endocannabinoid deficiency, or CECD), or a disruption to the ECS in some way. Phytocannabinoids can be used as “mimics” of the body’s own cannabinoids, and be used to overcome these deficiencies and restore balance to the human body.
Some people are intrigued, and decide to delve further into the science behind the ECS. Then, when they see how many diseases and illnesses cannabinoids could potentially be used to treat, they think they have a panacea (a “cure-all”) on their hands. After all, if the ECS is behind the development of every condition, surely this means that cannabis is the wonder-medicine that’s been right under our noses for thousands of years?
Here’s the thing: whilst these people are not totally wrong, they’re not necessarily completely right, either. Here’s a few things cannabis can (and cannot) do …
A way to reduce or replace medications
We have a patient survey on this very matter. Whilst there are various pharmaceutical drugs cannabis could reduce or replace intake of, the most pertinent one seems to be painkillers, especially opioid-based ones. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (NSAIDs) are also often used to control pain. For moderate to severe levels of chronic pain, this cocktail of drugs can make mice of men.
Moreover, the more pills that are taken, the greater the likelihood of overdose (NSAIDs and opioids interact synergistically). Even if there is no overdose, persistently having to take such medications can put the body “out of balance” and cause other complexities, meaning an even greater number of pills have to be taken. Before long, the cure starts to become the poison.