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Tid Bits of Info

  • Cannabis plants have extracts, THC and CBD, that have been shown to have medicinal properties.
  • THC is the chemical in marijuana that can have a mind altering effect.
  • The FDA has not recognized the marijuana plant as medicine.
  • Massage oils that are derived from the cannabis plant have been reported to have medicinal effects on human body.
  • If you are suffering from musculoskeletal pain, seek the advice and treatment of a Physical Therapist.

There is a recent trend toward increased usage of cannabis for medicinal purposes. While not every state has legalized its use, 25 states, and Washington, DC have legalized its use for medicinal purposes. Some studies indicate that cannabis oil and the extracts of the cannabis plant might prove to be valuable in the fight against many serious and life-threatening diseases or conditions. More research needs to be conducted before traditional Physical Therapy can consider this as a viable treatment protocol.

The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes has been controversial for a long time. Once used extensively as an organic medicine, its history can be traced back to ancient times. In the 1930s the United States “out-lawed” cannabis but recent studies have caused many states to begin legalizing it for medicinal use. Some reports indicate a link to curing some life threatening conditions.

Cannabis use for medical purposes can be in the form of the oils, salves, creams and patches. The active ingredients that produce the medical results can be extracted from the female marijuana plant. These compounds are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) and they are classified as endocannabinoids. THC is capable of producing a psychogenic effect while CBD is not intoxicating.  These compounds are capable of binding to specific receptor sites within the tissues of the human body. The Endocannabinoid system is listed on the National Institute of Health’s website.

It is thought that the human body has a system of receptor sites that are able to bind with the cannabis compounds, THC and CBD, and produce physiologic functions that include reducing pain and inflammation. The theory states that the receptor sites are in every type of tissue including the skin, nerve cells, and organs. The control of the inflammatory process can indirectly control and reduce the amount of pain that someone is feeling.   The inflammation process can stimulate a neural response and “send” a pain signal to the brain. Therefore, the more inflammation that is present will, in turn, elicit more pain.

Currently, there are two federally approved medications that contain the cannabis chemical compounds of THC and CBD. These medications are in pill form and can be prescribed for numerous illnesses and symptoms. More long term studies need to be completed to fully understand and determine the effects of these chemicals. These medications can be used for the reduction in pain, inflammation, muscle control conditions, seizures and some purpose treating mental illnesses with them. There are clinical animal trials that have shown an enhanced effect of some cancer-killing medications when used in conjunction with the extracts of THC and CBD.

42707275 - medical cannabis marijuana oil ready for consumption

The use of cannabis oil is also becoming more prominent in the massage world. The cannabis oil is used to treat chronic pain and promote muscle relaxation when used as massage oil. The use of these oils has not been studied extensively and is not legal in every state.   The legality of its use is dependent upon the location of the practice. States that allow medical cannabis to be used allow its use during a massage.

Physical Therapists do not currently incorporate cannabis oil massage into their standard protocols. The science and healthcare profession of Physical Therapy has prided itself upon utilizing techniques and protocols that are evidence based. Until more studies and clinical trials are performed to get standardized data on the effectiveness of cannabis oil massage, it will most likely not be used in the traditional Physical Therapy setting.

Cannabis oil and the extracts of the cannabis plant might prove to be very valuable in the fight against many serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases or conditions. There have to be more clinical trials performed to truly assess the medicinal effects of cannabis.

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