Cannabis is a versatile plant that has been used for both medicinal and recreational purposes for thousands of years. However, the differences between medicinal and recreational cannabis growers can be significant.
Medicinal growers typically cultivate cannabis with the intent of producing strains that have specific medicinal benefits. These strains may have higher levels of certain cannabinoids, such as THC or CBD, which are believed to have therapeutic properties for conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, and epilepsy. Medicinal growers may also focus on creating strains with specific terpene profiles, which are the compounds responsible for the unique aroma and flavour of each strain. These terpenes can work in conjunction with cannabinoids to produce different effects on the body and mind.
How is medicinal cannabis used in pharmaceutical medications?
Cannabis is used medicinally in a variety of ways, including as the primary active ingredient in medications or as a component of medications that contain other active ingredients. Cannabis is believed to have therapeutic properties due to its effects on the endocannabinoid system, which is a complex network of receptors and molecules found throughout the body. The cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant can interact with these receptors to produce a variety of effects, such as reducing inflammation, modulating pain, and improving appetite and sleep.
There are a few different types of medications that utilise cannabis in various forms, including:
Synthetic Cannabinoids: These are medications that contain chemically synthesised compounds that are similar in structure to the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Examples of synthetic cannabinoids include dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet), which are used to treat nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, as well as loss of appetite and weight loss in people with HIV/AIDS.
Plant-derived Cannabinoids: These are medications that contain cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis plant. For example, Epidiolex is an FDA-approved medication that contains cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. It is used to treat seizures associated with certain types of epilepsy.
Cannabis-based Medicines: These are medications that contain a combination of cannabinoids and other active ingredients derived from the cannabis plant. Sativex is an example of a cannabis-based medication that contains both THC and CBD, as well as other compounds found in the cannabis plant. It is used to treat spasticity and neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis.
Medicinal and recreational cannabis regulations
One of the key differences between medicinal and recreational cannabis growers is the level of regulation they face. Medicinal growers are often subject to strict regulations and guidelines governing their cultivation practices, including how they source their seeds, how they fertilise their plants, and how they dispose of any waste. These regulations are put in place to ensure that the cannabis being produced is safe and effective for medical use.
Recreational cannabis growers, on the other hand, may not be subject to the same level of regulation. In many jurisdictions where cannabis is legal for recreational use, individuals are allowed to grow a certain number of plants for personal use without needing a license or permit. This means that recreational growers may have more flexibility in terms of how they cultivate their plants, but they also have a greater responsibility to ensure that the cannabis they produce is safe for consumption.
Another difference between medicinal and recreational cannabis growers is the way they approach plant breeding. Medicinal growers may be more focused on developing strains with specific medicinal properties, whereas recreational growers may be more interested in developing strains with high levels of THC or unique flavour profiles. Medicinal growers may also be more likely to work with established genetics and breeding techniques, while recreational growers may be more experimental and willing to try new breeding methods.
Overall, while both medicinal and recreational cannabis growers share a love for the plant and its many benefits, there are significant differences in their approaches to cultivation. Medicinal growers are typically more focused on producing cannabis with specific medicinal properties and are subject to strict regulations to ensure the safety and efficacy of their products. Recreational growers may have more flexibility in their cultivation practices, but they also have a greater responsibility to ensure that the cannabis they produce is safe for consumption.
The information presented in this blog post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using THC or CBD for medical purposes.