For decades, cannabis has been portrayed as an illegal drug with no medical value. As more research supporting the therapeutic potential of cannabis has emerged, many medical professionals accept that cannabis may offer relief as an alternative treatment option for a number of ailments and conditions.

In recent years, there have been a variety of cannabis medicines developed with various cannabinoid profiles and formulations. Some studies have shown that specific combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes may mimic the therapeutic effects of conventional medications, making it possible for patients to manage symptoms, take control of their medical regimens, and reduce dependency.

For many patients, medical cannabis is becoming an accepted mainstream alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals that often have negative side effects and an impact on quality of life. Aruma is working to contribute to the advancement of treatment options for Australian patients through specialised, targeted formulations and new methods of treating a variety of symptoms and conditions.

A survey conducted on medical cannabis patients showed that many patients seeking to lower prescription medication doses were successfully able to do so by implementing cannabis into their medical regimen. The study, published in the Journal of Pain Research, presented the results of a survey conducted on a sample of 2,774 cannabis consumers- 46% reported using cannabis in place of prescription medications. 36% replaced pain-relieving narcotics and opioids with cannabis, 14% replaced anti-anxiety medications with cannabis, and 13% replaced antidepressants with cannabis.

Modifying a prescription medication dosage is not a casual undertaking and should not be done without the advice, consent and direction of the prescribing physician. Patients should never modify their prescription regiment without first fully discussing it with their physician. Although, education regarding therapeutic cannabis has typically not been included as part of traditional medical curriculum, many physicians have self-educated themselves in order to provide insight to patients inquiring about cannabis-derived medicines.

What are Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, are a diverse set of chemical compounds present within cannabis flowers. Cannabinoids are compatible for special receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and imitate compounds that are naturally produced by the body to regulate homeostasis. Cannabinoids bind to receptor sites throughout the brain (CB-1 receptors) and body (CB-2 receptors). Depending on which receptor a particular cannabinoid binds to, different effects may occur.

The cannabis plant contains over 100 cannabinoids, many of which have been shown to have medical value. In addition to cannabinoids, the cannabis plant contains a number of terpenes – oils secreted in the same glands that produce cannabinoids, which are responsible for the aroma and color of cannabis plants. Over 100 different terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant, and every individual plant has a unique profile of terpenes and cannabinoids.

THC Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol

Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a neutral cannabinoid, well known for being strongly psychoactive. Some studies have shown that THC has displayed therapeutic potential for the treatment of a variety of ailments and disorders including pain, nausea and ADHD.

THVC Tetrahydrocannabivarin

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV, THV) is a homologue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) having a propyl (3-carbon) side chain instead of a pentyl (5-carbon) group on the molecule. Studies on THCV have shown promising results in reducing or blocking panic attacks and reducing tremors associated with Parkinson’s and other motor control ailments.

CBD Cannabidiol

Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and has been shown to be effective in the treatment of seizure disorders such as MS and Epilepsy. Its lack of psychoactivity makes it ideal in treating children, the elderly and patients that need to remain clear headed and focused.

CBN Cannabinol

Cannabinol is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that comes about from the oxidation of THC. It normally forms when THC is exposed to oxygen and heat. There is generally very little CBN in fresh cannabis plants.

CBL Cannabicyclol

Cannabicyclol is formed when cannabichomene (CBN) is exposed to light and degrades. Very little is known about its medical properties as it appears in much smaller concentrations than other cannabinoids.

CBC Cannabichromene

Cannabichromene is also non-psychoative and has show promising results as a treatment for anxiety and stress, inflammation, and pain.

The Endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an endogenous (internal) homeostatic regulating system found in all vertebrates. The ECS is a complex system responsible for multiple physiological processes, which includes modulation of pain, seizure threshold, appetite, digestion, cognition and mood. Scientists believe that the main role of the ECS is to help the body maintain homeostasis or balance. Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol are the two best-known and widely utilised phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Medicinal cannabis interacts with the ECS, and different formulations are produced targeted to producing the desired therapeutic effect.