All THC are the same. Well, for people who use cannabis in their spare time, that’s not true. Different strains of cannabis (and there are well over 800 documented species and hybrids) can have different benefits. And psychoactive effects.
The same goes for people who have a health card and use cannabis to treat health symptoms. For example, did you know that some types of cannabis high in CBD can provide effective pain relief? That’s because CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Uncontrolled inflammation is the cause of many chronic diseases and pain symptoms.
Why is THC not widely accepted as an effective pain relief method? Or as a safer alternative to prescription NSAIDs or opioids? Countries like Israel and Thailand have published world-leading studies on cannabis and human health. In the United States, the FDA recently approved a synthetic cannabinoid drug for the treatment of severe epilepsy.
Thirty-six states (at the time of writing) in America have legalized medical cannabis. And it seems that cannabis is an excellent therapeutic option for symptom management. But there is a little problem. Cannabis is intoxicating.
Of course, you can grab a bowl or light a pre-roll when you get home at night. When you know you won’t go out again. But dose THC before going to work? That doesn’t work. Is there a way to get the benefits of cannabinoids without the intoxicating effects? This is why researchers are interested in Delta-8 THC.
The first choice in pain management causes nearly fifty thousand overdose deaths annually
There are well over two hundred cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. And it is not yet known how the entourage effect (cannabinoids and terpenes) works. However, if you ask patients who have struggled with painful conditions for years (and in some cases decades), many report that cannabis helps.
The opioid epidemic in America has brought the problem of pain management into the spotlight. And the importance of another alternative. The latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paints a dark picture on opioid safety. Prescription NSAIDs and opioids are not the safe treatment option we had to believe in. Opioids are fast becoming the number one killer in the United States.
The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) collects data on deaths from overdose. For each medication and with the latest 2019 information. Preliminary death counts for overdoses show that addiction to opioids for pain management can be fatal.
From 1999 to 2019, more than 70,000 Americans died from drug-related overdoses. This includes both illegal substances and prescription opioids. Opioid overdose deaths directly related to opioids increased from 21,088 in 2010 to 47,600 in 2017. In 2018, there were a total of 46,802 known deaths from opioids. In 2019 the number rose again to 49,860.
This is the case after laws were passed to get doctors to track and then cut back on the number of opioid prescriptions they wrote. It was thought that it would lower overdose rates, but it didn’t.
Addressing the practical problems of impairment of cannabis and daily use
Cannabis could be the alternative health solution to opioids. Over time, many clinical studies have reported that opioids actually increase nerve and pain sensitivity. When the nervous system stops reporting pain sensations to the brain, the human brain compensates for it. It increases the volume (or sensitivity) of the nerve receptors.
A scaling cycle begins. The patient experiences less pain relief and the doctor increases the dose of the opioid. Or add another type of prescription anti-inflammatory. Then the brain increases the pain receptors one more time. It increases to the point where the patient cannot get pain relief if they follow the prescribed doses.
The risk of an overdose increases. Patients desperate for relief can purchase opioids from other vendors or through the black market. The ability to get additional prescriptions by visiting a walk-in clinic or other doctor outside of primary care is more difficult. Many states have implemented a Health Information Exchange (HIE) that tracks regulations to reduce fraud and overdosing.
Using cannabis as a pain relief method can be very effective. However, the psychoactive properties of THC lead to cognitive and physiological impairments. If opioids are unsafe and cannabis is a good alternative, how can we make medical marijuana practical during the day? There is one type of cannabis that has all of the benefits (without the high risk of harm). And it’s found on high delta-8 THC trains.
What is Delta-8 THC and how is it different from standard THC in marijuana?
What type of THC can you find in your garden strain pot shop? Cannabis strains sold in medical and recreational pharmacies usually dominate delta-9 THC. Only two of the more than 200 cannabinoids in cannabis produce psychoactive effects. That’s Delta-9 THC and Delta-8 THC.
However, Delta-8 THC can have much higher levels of CBD. This means it may be better for certain health conditions related to inflammation. And almost every chronic illness is due to excessive inflammation.
Science discovered that THC helps the body release and absorb norepinephrine. It is an important neurotransmitter that helps the body release adrenaline. That heartbreaking, happy emotion that feels euphoric. And then when the adrenaline level drops. You get tired. Many of the best cannabis strains will take you to an elevated level and then gently bring you down to relax and rest.
By consuming Delta-8 THC, a person does not feel like they are out of control. It’s not overwhelming in reassurance. However, Delta-8 creates a feeling of euphoria. And has some analgesic (pain-numbing) effects.
It’s like THC light! All the goodness with the less psychoactive response to deal with. This is good news if you are on your way to an interview or if you are meeting your future in-laws for the first time. And you don’t want to bump into the aquarium.
Delta-8 THC may be safer and more suitable for children with chronic illnesses
Epilepsy is one of the most common qualified health conditions listed in legalized states. Certain strains of cannabis have been suggested for treating seizures. And for children with moderate to severe symptoms of epilepsy, there’s a new FDA-cleared drug called Epidiolex. It is an oral cannabidiol (CBD) solution approved for use in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
The prescription drug is approved for children over the age of two. And it’s the first FDA-approved drug made from cannabis. Minors who are supported by carers can also be admitted to a health card, depending on where they live. The problem is that providing a child with medical cannabis is morally objectionable. The idea of intoxicating a child with cannabis is equally troubling, unless it’s a hospice care scenario.
MarijuanaDoctors.com announces that Delta-8 THC provides all of the benefits of cannabinoids with no harm or poisoning. It has just enough active cannabinoids to reduce inflammation and relieve muscle tremors. However, the patient remains clear in his head.
Safer for Seniors? Why Delta-8 could be ideal for therapeutics in long-term care facilities
One of the other dangers of using traditional Delta 9 THC and cannabis products is the nuisance. For many people, feeling fuzzy relaxation is arguably a good thing. It can help reduce stress and make pain symptoms more manageable.
As we get older, we can begin to lose coordination and sharpness of movement. Tripping and falling events are uncomfortable at any age, but can be very dangerous for seniors. Sometimes fall injuries can be life threatening for seniors.
Some states with legalized medical programs are debating whether nursing homes can dispense medical cannabis. When the patient and / or caregivers agree that medicinal cannabis could improve quality of life. The same benefits apply to elderly care as cannabis is not contraindicated with different types of medication.
It may be safer than NSAIDs and opioids for long-term symptom management. Instead of having a calming effect, Delta-8 THC could promote better pain management. And without the side effects and risks associated with long-term opioid use that can be dangerous for seniors.
In some clinical studies, Delta-8 THC has shown better results for patients with mental disorders. Some cannabis strains have an entourage effect that can trigger psychosis, anxiety, or paranoia. It could be a safer treatment option for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease or post-traumatic stress disorder.
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