Cannabis products

Cannabis products range from sticky concentrates to coconut-oil tinctures and much more.

Thick-rolled joints, sticky tar-like concentrates, CBD-drops for pets and Bibles. All made from the Cannabis plant. However, the sensibilities of many might struggle to associate the image of a dagga zol and a Bible in the same sentence, yet that is the diverse nature of this controversial yet healing plant.

Cannabis – in the form of Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, C. ruderalis or hybrid strains – has been used for millennia for a multitude of uses. 

The fibres of hemp, the non-psychoactive form of Cannabis, were used to make ropes, soldiers’ uniforms and sails for ships conquering new colonies and once there, to print Bibles and stamps. Hemp plant fibres, depending on the length, are used to weave textiles, produce paper and to manufacture building materials – from sound insulation panels in rooms to compressed fibre panels for vehicles.

Protein-rich hemp seeds are eaten, used for biofuels and pressed to extract seed oil. Hemp seed oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids which are linked to a reduction in inflammation.
The cannabinoid CBD (short for cannabidiol) is held in high esteem and proven by extensive scientific research for its health benefits including relief from skin conditions and sleeplessness to easing arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. (CBD-oil is extracted from the plant material of the hemp plant and not from the seeds.)

Closely related to CBD is the phytocannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), considered the bad boy of cannabis due to its psychoactive nature.
Often used in full-spectrum medical-grade applications THC eases nausea and PTSD and contributes pain-relieving, anti-bacterial benefits to the medical cornucopia of the plant.
Medical marijuana is most often used for its pain-relieving benefits and is found safer than opiates – the latter often linked to overdosing and addiction.

Cannabis can be used in various forms – not only rolled joints – which should appeal to non-smokers and parents of children and pets. The sticky full-spectrum concentrates are often combined with olive or coconut oil and can be used as tinctures for skin application or for oral dosing. Cannabis can be used as patches to ease rheumatism or strained muscles, in suppositories for children or as drops to ease anxiety and pain in pets.
Smoking cannabis provides the quickest effect and can be done in the form of smoking the buds, crystals or using it in a vape pen.

Of course, not all forms and dosages of cannabis is legal in South Africa and the recommendation of a health care provider is advised.

Author

2 Responses

  1. Hi Marinda,
    I am interested in the THC effects on concentration, attention, perception, and and other aspects of executive functioning. Could there possibly be an impact on driving behavior and road accidents? I have read somewhere that Canada has experience an increase in road accidents since legalising cannabis. Would this be a problem in South Africa?
    In psychiatry, there is a documented association between THC use and aggression and psychotic or affective disturbance, which may result in extended hospitalisation and disruption or interpersonal or occupational functioning. I am wondering if perhaps we are mistaken in our clinical experience, is it really perfectly safe to promote cannabis with no warning of any cerebral effects?
    While i have no doubt it should be legalised, mainly because it is impossible to police illegal cannabis use or possession, i am finding it hard to accept that use is promoted with no consideration of adverse effects. I also wonder about the evidence you are drawing on for its healing effects – could you please include some references … what outcomes were measured? and what were the comparators? were there any adverse events at all (acknowledging that clinical perception may be distorted).
    My last question is regarding the liability journalists face when they make unsubstantiated claims – for example if i see as a psychiatrist a young person with PTSD who develops psychosis and loses her job after using THC on your recommendation for its healing effects – can she sue you?

    1. Hi Lesley, thank you for your comment and questions.
      Cannabis and its uses are well researched but any arbitrary recommendation for its use, medical or otherwise, without the proper care would be irresponsible. Indeed any substance may have side effects and proper medical care, product knowledge and patient responsibility lie at the core of any form of healing. My article mentions the various forms in which cannabis are and can be used and as the proviso at the says, should be used with the advice of a medical professional. It should not be read as a promotion for the use of cannabis, rather of the variety of uses.

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