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Hemp Oil For Pain Cannabis oil / CBD oil

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Medische cannabis

Cannabis oil / CBD oil
Topic: hemp oil for pain

This oil is extracted from cannabis, a plant that contains more than five hundred chemical substances including a few hundred – called cannabinoids – are unique to him. Three important cannabinoids are presented below:

  1. the THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most psychoactive cannabinoid. It is the euphoric substance that makes you “high”.
  2. the CBD (cannabidiol) is not euphoric. Unlike THC, it would have a soothing, analgesic and antipsychotic action.
  3. the CBN (cannabinol) is found mainly in old plants or plants kept in poor conditions. It is a slightly psychoactive substance whose action is mainly soothing (1).

Different products containing cannabis derivatives exist in the market. We detail some of them below:

  1. cannabis oil is a cannabis-based product that is extracted using organic solvents such as ethyl alcohol and petroleum ether. Since production often takes place in a non-professional setting, control over product content is weak or non-existent. It is therefore impossible to know with certainty what the THC and CBD content of the oil thus obtained is.
  1. CBD oil pure contains no traces of THC and therefore does not get high. However, there are CBD oils, homemade or other products found on the Internet, which contain THC whose composition is therefore not established and which can therefore also be contaminated with pesticides, heavy metals or other harmful substances (1).
  1. Sativex® is currently the only medicinal product containing cannabinoids authorized in Belgium. It contains a controlled amount of THC and CBD. This drug is used in the treatment of moderate to severe spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis (MS) (4). Sativex® is also being tested in the treatment of pain in oncology. The studies that should lead to the granting of this indication are still in progress (4).

Situations related to cancer treatments

Some laboratory studies show that cannabinoids could block the proliferation of cancer cells or disrupt tumor neovascularization (2). However, no studies in humans have proven that cannabinoids are able to stop tumor growth. There is therefore no no proof that cannabinoids can treat or cure cancer (2,3).

On the other hand, some cannabis derivatives can be used to relieve certain symptoms, such as pain (2,3). They would also reduce nausea and vomiting induced by radiotherapy or chemotherapy, or secondary to the most advanced cancers (2,3). Cannabis derivatives have not been proven to be more effective than other better known therapies targeting the same symptoms.

Their beneficial effect in fighting inappetence and other symptoms like cachexia (loss of weight and muscle mass) is still uncertain (2).

Possible negative effects on cancer treatments

Certain cannabinoids would influence the functioning of enzymes (Cyt P450 3A4) necessary for the metabolization of certain substances used in the treatment of cancer (2,3) (cf. “Interactions with other drugs and food supplements”).

General side effects

The main side effects of cannabinoids are at the level of the central nervous system: change of mood (euphoric or depressing action), anxiety, paranoia, depersonalization (dissociation), hallucinations, loss of memory and attention, visual disturbances and nausea (2.3). Carabinoids can also act on the peripheral nervous system and the immune system. We do not yet know all their actions (1).

Other possible side effects include dry mouth, hypotension, and tachycardia (2).

Interactions with other medications and dietary supplements

Certain cannabinoids would influence enzymes (for example Cyt P450 3A4) used to metabolize, among other things, certain drugs and food supplements in the liver.

This interaction puts the drug in competition on the one hand, and the cannabinoids on the other. The more cannabinoids the patient consumes, the less enzymes he has available to metabolize his drugs. Two consequences are possible: either the drug is less effective or it becomes more toxic. This antagonism is explained by the fact that Cyp P450 3A4 enzymes can activate or inactivate drugs, depending on their nature.

Thus, cannabis derivatives are not recommended in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease with levodopa and the like.

Furthermore, there is little information on interactions with other substances that act on the central nervous system, such as drugs used in psychiatry or herbal medicine (2).

Dosage for adults

Only in very rare cases is it possible to set a safe dose, as the cannabinoid content of cannabis derivatives is usually not known. Moreover, the use of many of these derivatives is illegal. The only drugs whose dosage can be determined are, on the one hand, the licensed drug Sativex®, and, on the other hand, the magistral preparations issued by pharmacies.

Certain groups are also more exposed to the harmful effects of cannabis derivatives. These are generally not recommended for people with a (family) history of psychotic disorders, but also for minors, pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as for men and women wishing to have children (2).

Some derivatives contain additives (such as sesame oil) which may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals (2,3).

The consumption of cannabis derivatives can influence the ability to drive vehicles (2). This also applies to medicines prescribed by the doctor.

References:

  1. https://www.vad.be/assets/dossier-cannabis
  2. www.cam-cancer.org
  3. www.mskcc.org
  4. FAGG www.fagg-afmps.be/sites/default/files/content/INSP/NARC/faq_cannabis.pdf
  5. https://www.vad.be/artikels/detail/wat-zegt-de-wet-over-cannabis
  6. https://www.fagg.be/sites/default/files/content/omzendbrief_648_nl_thc_for_web.pdf

More information: http://www.afsca.be/consommateurs/viepratique/autres/basecannabischanvre/_documents/2019_07_12_FAQ_Cannabis_FR_new_002.pdf

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