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New therapeutic uses for cannabis discovered


UNM researchers relied on mobile software – an app to assess the actual effects that CBD products had on its users.

Although media and scientific dogma describe THC or tetrahydrocannabinol as a psychoactive chemical, the app findings suggest otherwise. It had, in fact, shown a very strong correlation between its users and actual therapeutic effects.

Why this study was essential:

There was very little evidence to prove that the daily use of CBD could be a good thing, even though it’s more socially acceptable.

These two findings are part of a much larger study entitled ‘The Association between Cannabis Product Characteristics and Symptom Relief’ as published by the Scientific Reports journal.

UNM researchers Sarah See Stith, assistant professor in the Department of Economics, and Jacob Miguel Vigil, associate professor in the Department of Psychology are the key people involved. They are responsible for finding that CBD and THC are the main factors behind the symptom relief that these chemicals provide for a number of diseases.

All statistics and discoveries had been derived from a database of real-time measurements concerning the kind of effects that cannabis has within the United States. The database was built by co-authors Franco Brockelman, Keenan Keeling and Branden Hall using the ReleafApp.

What is ReleafApp?

ReleafApp was released in 2016 and helps patients with choosing the right form of CBD products such as the flower or concentrate. Then the combustion method, cannabis subspecies like indica, sativa, and hybrid. It provides them with information on the major cannabinoid contents – their symptoms and side effects.

Its been proven useful to UNM researchers by giving them an idea about health status, medication choices, and the clinical outcomes. Using this, they were able to drive the study in the following ways.

  • Understanding the main characteristics of cannabis products used frequently and that are commercially available.
  • Which of these characteristics most likely influenced consumer choices and has the most affect on the health symptom intensity levels.

Across 20,000 patient user sessions had been measured across 27 symptom categories ranging from depression to seizure activity. From this, symptoms showed a 3.5 point improvement, using a scale of 0 to 10.

It turns out that the dried flower was the product used the most and in this sense, associated with higher symptom improvement.

What’s new about this THC/CBD study:

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The study might present unusual information but this isn’t something new. Cannabis as a mid-level analgesic is gaining popularity, heightened by legalisation everywhere you look. It’s also proving to be a good substitute for prescription opioids and other medications as well. Especially those that are known to have terrible side effects, harmful interactions with other drugs consumed simultaneously and are that might be fatal.

Just like the industry itself, researchers also have federal laws placed over the work they do, most of which restrict any real research being carried on cannabis out here in the US.

Vigil, present at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana where the report was released, quoted that they have filled the gap about cannabis in previously lacking in earlier medical information.

He continued that they were now able to understand the dosages, administration procedures, efficacy, and side effects of popular, commercially available CBD products.

The difference with this study is that it compared CBD and THC products together rather than one at a time, to see which was better for symptomatic relief and which ones produced more side effects.

Vigil stated that it was understood that THC simply makes one high and that CBD contained all the goof stuff, but their study found just the opposite. That THC may be more beneficial and CBD has a much lower effect.

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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