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Cannabis in treating Seizures and Autism- Importance of making its clinical use legal

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The Cannabis plant in the field of medicine serves multiple purposes and is a renewable resource as it grows like weed. Hence legalization of it has been in process. The Ayurvedic tradition considers cannabis as a medicinal herb. And it is always in combination of other sativa-medicinal herbs cannabis.

Medical cannabis contains a substance called the Cannabinoids that act on cells in the body, even on the brain cells. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are the two main cannabinoids used in medicine. It is the Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, which causes the psychoactive effects of “getting high” while the Cannabidiol or CBD is an effective substance reducing seizures in some people with epilepsy

Cannabis in treating Seizures

Over the past few years’ clinical studies and anecdotal reports suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) could potentially help control seizures. Seizures are sudden, electrical disturbance in brain that can disturb or change your behaviour, feelings, even the level of consciousness. CBD is a compound in marijuana that does not produce intoxication, but appears to interact with cannabinoid receptors in the brain.  But a lot of experiment and laboratory studies on this haven’t been possible due to federal regulations and limited access to cannabidiol. But the studies conducted so far show that specific plant-based CBD product in treating specific groups of people with epilepsy who have not responded to traditional therapies. Even in its preclinical model the CBD has been a substance of cure even for seizures induced by maximal electro-shock. But these anti-seizure effects of CBD are confirmed through based on patient or parenteral reports without adequately structured data collection. Well controlled randomized trials are currently in process.

Cannabis in treating Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Another major surprise element that we see in cannabis medical effects is that, cannabis as a treatment for autism spectrum disorders appears to be beneficial. Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that affects communication and behaviour that begins early in childhood and lasts throughout a person’s life. It has various manifestations and symptoms.  These days 1 out of 59 children are affected with ASD. Symptoms such as anxiety, abnormal behaviour, sleep problems, and epilepsy substantially impact the quality of life for these individuals.

Looking at the research conducted from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Soroka University Medical Center we see that the reports that after six months of treatment (between the years 2015-2017), 80% of participants have reported some level of improvement. The study also shows that the cannabis oil medication helped in improving the quality of life for them. The mood and ability to perform activities like dressing, taking shower independently had a significant improvement. It also helped in increasing the concentration and improving sleep. Such clinical evidence to evaluate the benefits, risks, and effects of medical cannabis use for those with ASD, have only just begun.

Conclusion

Stated above are just two main medical uses of cannabis. The history of use of cannabis for medical purposes goes back to 2,700 B.C. (according to literatures). The plant originated in Central Asia in the foothills of the Himalayas. Nowadays cannabis is cultivated mostly in the tropical and subtropical parts of India. Biljana Dušić, MD who is the counsellor of Ayurvedic medicine- Aditi Ayurvedic counselling studio states that The Ayurvedic names of cannabis are “vijaya” – ‘the one who conquers’ and “siddhi” – ‘subtle power’, ‘achievement’. The plant is divided into three parts the Bhang which is the leaves, Ganja is the flowering tops and the Charas which is the name for the plant resin. All three parts have different medicinal purpose in Ayurvedic therapies and remedies. This plant holds a sacred position in the Ayurvedic treatments traditionally. And most Ayurvedic practioners feel that violent defamation this sacred plant in most countries has been a major restriction for clinical experiments and uses.

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