Cannabis: What is it? How it works and much more

Therapeutic vs. Recreational cannabis

We immediately clarify that “making the reeds” (recreational cannabis) does not correspond to using cannabis for therapeutic purposes. When we talk about therapeutic cannabis we refer to products, prescribed by the doctor, of an active substance, based on cannabis that are used to counter certain diseases or symptoms: specifically in Italy we produce the Cannabis FM-2, sativa, consisting of dried inflorescences and shredded, containing THC percentages between 5% and 8% and Cannabidiol (CBD) between 7.5% and 12%.

How much does therapeutic cannabis cost?

Clarified the fact that the doctor must prescribe cannabis for therapeutic use, we can move on to the question: free or paid. Cannabis is free, and therefore dependent on the Regional Health System, depending on what is decided at the regional level, as specified in the decree 9 November 2015:

“the reimbursement to be paid by the Regional Health Service is subject to the indications issued by the Regions or Autonomous Provinces.”

Otherwise, the cost is borne by the patient. Specifically, as regards cannabis nostrana:

“The agreement provides that the distribution to pharmacies takes place at a price of € 6.88 per gram, excluding VAT”, this figure that, considering the reload of pharmacies, comes to about 15 euros per gram of preparation (the price of the Dutch it was instead of 24 euros per gram of preparation) “.

Who can use therapeutic cannabis

The uses of cannabis for medical use are:

  • Pain reduction due to multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury
    reduction of chronic pain
  • Reduction of nausea and vomiting, caused by chemotherapy, radiotherapy, HIV therapy
  • Stimulation of appetite in cachexia, anorexia, loss of appetite in cancer patients or patients with AIDS and in anorexia nervosa glaucoma
  • Reduction of involuntary body and facial movements in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome

However, be careful, therapeutic cannabis can only be prescribed if standard therapies do not affect the patient.

How therapeutic cannabis works

The use of this substance is related to its compounds, and to the action, they have on our body :

The tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ), responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis has effects ” painkillers, anti-nausea, anti-emetic, anticinetosici, stimulating appetite and hypotensive on intraocular pressure. ”
the cannabidiol ( CBD ) has, however, an effect ” anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-nausea, anti-emetic, anti-psychotic, anti-ischemic, anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety.“

How cannabis is taken: According to the law, the medical use of cannabis includes:

  • Oral intake in the form of decoction (indicatively boil for 15 minutes with lid closed 500 mg of cannabis per 500 ml of water)
  • Administration by inhalation, through the use of a specific vaporizer (the inflorescences are placed inside particular equipment for vaporization, the completion of the heating is expected, and the vaporized product is inhaled)

Side effects

Recreational cannabis intake has some side effect:

  • Mood alteration
  • Insomnia
  • Tachycardia
  • Paranoid and anxiety crises
  • Psychotic reactions
  • A motivational syndrome (apathy, lack of motivation, lethargy, worsening of memory and concentration and altered state of judgment)

Therapeutic cannabis, how it works and what it is used for

If until the last year the therapeutic cannabis was imported from Holland, now in pharmacies you can also find that produced in Italy, named Cannabis FM-2.

Therapeutic cannabis, what is it?
The cannabis that is used for therapeutic purposes belongs to a particular variety, Cannabis sativa , of which one uses the inflorescences. In it there are active ingredients able to alleviate the symptoms of some diseases, even serious ones. In Italy, medical cannabis can be legally prescribed by doctors since 2006, which they believe may be a useful alternative, when other traditional treatments have proved ineffective. Cannabis for medical use can be taken as an herbal tea by boiling the inflorescences for a few minutes and then drinking the infusion or by inhalation through an electric vaporizer.

When using therapeutic cannabis It should be noted that cannabis is not a real therapy, but is used as a supportive treatment for conventional therapies, when these have proved ineffective or have caused side effects that can be attenuated with cannabis or even if the prolonged and massive use of certain therapies can be counterproductive.

Cannabis is used to relieve pain in the presence of multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury, chronic pain of neurological or post-operative origin, side effects due to chemotherapy , radiotherapy or HIV therapy . Cannabis also stimulates appetite in the presence of anorexia nervosa or lack of appetite due to certain diseases. It is also effective in reducing ocular pressure in patients with glaucoma . It also helps to diminish involuntary movements of the body and face in the case of Gilles de la Tourette syndrome and epilepsy .

Cannabis can also be used in cases of Parkinson’s disease , Huntington’s chorea, spinal damage, para-tetraplegia spasticity, neurological diseases, Alzheimer’s , patients with headache or acute migraine; fibromyalgia, low back pain, anticancer therapy , chronic inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, lupus erythematosus , urinary incontinence and other bladder disorders, insomnia and sleep apnea, patients suffering from fear, anxiety and depression as a result of trauma or disease.