Endocannabinoid System

Humans naturally synthesize endocannabinoids which are crucial in our body’s regulation. They assist when necessary to maintain our body’s homeostasis. Endocannabinoids keep internal functions running smoothly, giving us the ability to function properly.

The cannabis plant contains hundreds of compounds, of which more than 100 are cannabinoids, each with a different influence on the body’s existing endocannabinoid system.
These cannabinoids will interact with endocannabinoid receptors, which are found all over our body. They play an important role which may impact:

  • Nervous System
  • Pain
  • Heart and Blood Vessels
  • Gastrointestinal System
  • Liver
  • Skeletal System
  • Chronic Stress
  • Obesity
  • Cancer

Legalities

In Australia, Cannabis is a scheduled medicine. Please refer to the Therapeutic Goods Administration website for further information: https://www.tga.gov.au/access-medicinal-cannabis-products-1

Research

Hundreds of years of anecdotal evidence on the benefits of using cannabis (THC, CBD and other cannabinoids) in a number of diseases and disorders are now being validated in clinical research. The benefits of using cannabis have been documented in a number of clinical studies, across a myriad of diseases and disorders.

In partnership with MedReleaf Canada’s clinical research program, we are advancing the science of cannabis and uncovering the potential of medical cannabis for Veterans:

Medical cannabis use in military and police veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):
Published in: Journal of Pain Management

The effect of medical cannabis on alcohol and tobacco use in veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):
Published in: Journal of Pain Management

Medical cannabis use for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):
Published in: Journal of Pain Management

Efficacy of different varieties of medical cannabis in relieving symptoms in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients:
Published in: Journal of Pain Management

Department of Veterans Affairs

DVA has researched and approved Medicinal Cannabis as a treatment for specific conditions. Ex-Serving members are able to apply for subsidisation for specific conditions, if approved by TGA and DVA.

More Information and Links

Please refer to the following MedReleaf Research Publications for further information:

History of Medical Cannabis.pdf

The Pharmacological Properties of Cannabis.pdf

How Does Medicinal Cannabis Work?

The benefits of cannabis are attributed to an “entourage effect” – the combination of the cannabinoids and terpenes acting in concert with one another. Research studies have discovered that there are additive therapeutic effects between the different compounds found in cannabis.

Among cannabinoids, THC and CBD are the most widely studied to date.

THC (Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary psychoactive element of medical cannabis. It has been shown in studies to provide the following therapeutic benefits:

  • Analgesic (pain relief)
  • Appetite stimulant
  • Psychoactive effect
  • Anti-nausea
  • Sleep aid

CBD (Cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive compound. It has been shown in studies to provide the following therapeutic benefits:

  • Anti-nausea
  • Anti-convulsant
  • Analgesic (pain relief)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Reduction in psychoactive effect of THC

In addition to the levels of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, terpenoids also play a very large role in the medicinal effect.

The terpenoid profile not only determines the scents and flavours of the different products, but it also plays an important role in how each variety of cannabis impacts each patient. Terpenoids have medicinal properties independent from cannabinoids and may have an effect on the course of treatment.

Injuries & treatable conditions

Cannabis is often authorised for the relief of one or more symptoms associated with a variety of disorders. These may include:

Immunology/Inflammation

  • Skin Disease
  • Gastrointestinal System Disorders
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Liver Disease
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Arthritis/Muscular Disorders
  • Diseases of the Pancreas
  • Anti-Cancer properties

Mental Health

  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Alcohol and Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Schizophrenia
  • Psychosis

Neurology

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Movement Disorders
  • Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Oncology

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Cancer Treatment

Other

  • Chronic Pain
  • Acute Pain

Product Selection and Dosing

Product selection and dosing for medical cannabis may vary based on:

  • Type and severity of the patient’s condition
  • Their past experience with cannabis
  • The chosen variety and administration method.

Driving

Patients should not drive or operate vehicles or machinery while being treated with medicinal cannabis, as measurable concentrations of THC can be detected many days after the last dose. It may take up to five days for 80 to 90 per cent of the dose to be excreted, and patients will need to manage this themselves.

Drug-driving is a criminal offence, and patients should discuss the implications for safe and legal driving with their doctor. It may be necessary for the patient to use other means of transport until regulations change over time. Always carry a copy of your TGA Approval with you when driving.