For millennia the world has used marijuana for various medical purposes. In ancient China, the first anesthetic was crafted by boiling a mixture of pulverized cannabis Sativa and datura. In India, the paste-like substance bhang, which is created from mashing and soaking buds of cannabis, is used to treat nausea, as well as bouts of depression by Indians across the country.
In the United States, a series of randomized controlled trials were conducted with the goal of testing cannabis’ therapeutic effects on nausea. 23 trials were conducted, which is considered “The gold standard” in medical research. The following conclusions were documented by the researchers conducting the trials.
“In adults with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, oral cannabinoids are effective antiemetics. In adults with chronic pain, patients who were treated with cannabis or cannabinoids are more likely to experience a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms. In adults with multiple sclerosis (MS)-related spasticity, short-term use of oral cannabinoids improves patient-reported spasticity symptoms. For these conditions the effects of cannabinoids are modest; for all other conditions evaluated there is inadequate information to assess their effects.“
The clear medical benefits that are observed by both researchers and patients have been documented ad nauseam. Unfortunately, the propaganda campaign of the prohibition era has restricted further development, and study of cannabis. As those hesitations have waned with accurate reporting on cannabis new forms of medicine have appeared.
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Full Spectrum Oil (FSO) is one of those promising products. Created in 2003 by Rick Simpson, it is made by washing the buds of a cannabis plant with a solvent such as grain alcohol, or naphtha. The substance was originally named after him, being labeled Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO. Recently, however, more effective processes of producing the substance have been created by using solvents other than the traditional liquids that Simpson used. Thus the change in name as the product has changed.
While the claims that FSO can cure forms of cancer certainly require more research, there have been other promising studies surrounding the compounds within FSO. Since the late 90s, a significant body of evidence has been gathered across various studies demonstrating that multiple cannabinoids exert antitumor effects in a wide variety of experimental cancer models, ranging from cancer cell lines in culture to genetically engineered mice.
Cannabinoids impair the formation, and progression of tumors at various stages. One of the most common effects is the induction of cancer cell death by apoptosis and the inhibition of cancer cell proliferation. This is most prevalent in glioma cells, a type of cancerous tumor that forms in the brain and spinal cord.
FSO offers a comprehensive profile of the cannabis plant. The solvents used break down the lipids, and fats within the plant, drawing out the various cannabinoids that stimulate the CB1, and CB2 receptors within the body. This stimulation has demonstrated in various studies to be the starting point of cannabinoid induced cancer cell death by apoptosis.
Once stimulation begins, the production of the protein P8 increases. This stimulates autophagy-mediated cell death, which is the source of the apoptosis. Cannabinoids induce autophagy in various different types of cancer cells in culture. Pharmacologic or genetic inhibition of autophagy prevents cannabinoid antitumour action in various models of animal cancer. Further studies showed that autophagy blockades inhibited cannabinoid-induced cancer cell death.
Even diabetics benefit from the effects of cannabinoids. Epidemiologists at the Harvard School of Public Health, the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found that people who regularly consume cannabis were less resistant to insulin. In fact, it was found that individuals who regularly consumed marijuana had 17 percent lower levels of insulin resistance.
While the benefits of FSO are clear, there is also the versatility of the substance. Topical use is documented for attempting to treat skin cancer, though further studies are still needed for this method of treatment to be confirmed. Oral intake is another popular method as the thick dark oil can be consumed plain, though the intense flavor is often cited as a reason not to take it plain.
An extremely popular method of ingesting Full Spectrum Oils is to use it for the creation of edibles. By heating your infusion base to an adequate temperature for the FSO to dissolve in, it is arguably the easiest way to make edibles. Most forms of cannabis require some form of decarboxylation in order to activate the cannabinoids inside. Due to its manufacturing process, the ingredients in FSO are already activated, requiring no further heat. This method of consumption conceals the often-pungent flavor of FSO, allowing people with sensitive pallets to enjoy the substance.
Not to mention 11-hydroxy-THC, a metabolic byproduct formed as THC within your edibles passes through your liver and GI tract. Metabolic enzymes transform and break down the compounds in the foods we eat. The byproducts of this process are often less active than the original molecule. However, in the case of 11-hydroxy-THC, the metabolite is significantly greater in potency than its progenitor, THC.
There is even the option of vaporizing FSO. While oral intake is a more popular option due to the long-lasting effects, inhaling the vapors, or smoke from full-spectrum oil can bring on faster symptom relief. Some people even choose to coat their joints, and blunts with the oil, creating a stronger but slower-burning experience.
With this level of versatility one can only imagine what the marijuana industry will look like in twenty years. As the medical benefits continue to be documented, new studies will take place, offering even more insight into compounds that form cannabis. With that insight will come even more innovation.