Cannabis is an extremely fascinating plant. It produces cannabinoids that can interact with the endocannabinoid receptors, producing a massive range of medical and recreational effects.

The cannabis sativa L. genus of plants is among the most intriguing species of flora on planet Earth. Cannabis produces cannabinoids (more specifically phytocannabinoids), which are remarkably similar in structure to the endocannabinoids found in our bodies.

These compounds interact with the body's endocannabinoid system, a complex network of receptors and enzymes that play a crucial role in regulating homeostasis in humans, and in doing so, offers patients relief from a variety of medical conditions. 


Where did cannabis originate?


While most researchers believe that the first cannabis plants emerged from Central Asia, there are landrace strains found in regions all over the world, from Asia to Africa to South America. The application of cannabis for medicinal purposes dates back thousands of years, with evidence of its use in ancient Chinese and Indian texts, throughout ancient Greece, Rome, and in many tribal societies. 


How does cannabis work?


Cannabis contains over 110 different cannabinoids, each with their own unique effects on the body. The most well-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for producing the psychoactive effects commonly associated with cannabis use. Another important cannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD), which has been found to have a huge range of potential therapeutic properties without causing psychoactive effects.


Is cannabis legal in the UK?


That depends. Medical cannabis was legalised in the UK in 2018, allowing doctors to prescribe it for certain conditions such as chronic pain and epilepsy. However, recreational cannabis is still illegal and possessing it can result in criminal charges. 


How do you take medical cannabis?


Cannabis can be consumed in various forms, including vaporising the dried flower buds of the plant, consuming edibles (food containing cannabis extract), using oils or tinctures placed under the tongue, and applying topicals such as lotions or creams directly to the skin. Each method has its own advantages and potential risks, so it's important to first consult with a registered specialist who is legally allowed to prescribe UK patients cannabis based medicines.


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If you would like to learn more about medical cannabis in the UK, Releaf is here to help.