Marijuana has a long history of medicinal use. Dating back as early as 2730 BC, marijuana has been documented in Asia as a remedy for various conditions such as malaria, seizures, nausea, and pain. Evidence of its use has also been found in ancient archeological sites in Romania, Nepal, Greece, and Turkey.
In 1840, British physician Dr. William Brooke O’Shaughnessy released a dissertation to the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta introducing cannabis to Western medicine as a “wonder drug” capable of treating many of the 19th century’s ailments. In 1843, Queen Victoria’s personal physician, Sir J. Russell Reynolds, was awarded a Fellow of the Royal Society for his ability to relieve her menstrual cramps using one of Dr. O’Shaughnessy’s cannabis tinctures.
In the United States, cultivation and production of cannabis began in the early 17th century, mainly for the use of hemp. By the late 19th century, medicinal preparations of cannabis became openly available in public pharmacies. Soon, efforts to regulate the sale of over-the-counter remedies prompted legislation to create penalties for the mislabeling and adulterating of medicines with undisclosed narcotics.
Americans enjoyed the regulated mediinal use of cannabis until it was restricted state-by-state in 1932, and eventually prohibited on a federal level in 1937 following fear and prejudice spread by propaganda and political campaigns funded by competing industries. But by the 1960s and 1970s, public opinion regarding marijuana began to change. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) was founded, and Congress repealed most mandatory penalties for marijuana-related offenses.
Years of legal battles, changes in legislation, and advancement in scientific research finally resulted in the first state adopting laws legalizing the sale and medical use of marijuana for qualifying patients. California passed the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Prop 215), followed by Oregon’s Medical Marijuana Act of 1998, Maine’s Title 22 in 1999, and Nevada’s Medical Marijuana Act of 2000. Today, a total of 23 states, including the District of Columbia and Guam, have comprehensive medical marijuana programs, and 17 others permit the use of “low THC, high cannabidiol (CBD)” medical marijuana under limited circumstances.
Cannabis Laws in the United States (1)
(1) Includes laws which have not yet gone into effect.
(2) Mississippi has only legal non-psychoactive medical cannabis.
Marijuana as medicine has long been shown to provide relief for a wide variety of ailments. For thousands of years, cannabis has been used to treat everything from back pain to depression. During the last quarter-century, alternative medicine and the use of medical marijuana have seen a steep rise in recognition and popularity.
Today, doctors and scientists seek greater understanding marijuana’s therapeutic effect through studies and clinical trials. Research has shown that of the plant’s 100+ chemical compounds, or cannabinoids, two have stood out as having potential medical significance.
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabidiol (CBD) are the primary cannabinoids of medical interest. THC is a psychoactive compound that increases appetite and decreases nausea. It may also reduce pain and inflammation, and help control muscle spasms. CBD is non-psychoactive, and may be useful in controlling epileptic seizures, especially in childhood epilepsy. Other conditions CBD may treat include pain, inflammation, mental illness, and addictions.
State-approved medical conditions/symptoms currently treated by cannabis:
Survey data indicates that one in three North Americans diagnosed with HIV or AIDS use marijuana to alleviate symptoms relating to the disease, such as anxiety, nausea, and appetite loss, as well as to remedy side-effects of HIV and AIDS medications. Clinical research has also indicated that marijuana may improve immune function, and reduce HIV-associated neuropathy and neuropathic pain.
Furthermore, the results of a 2011 study conducted on primates at Louisiana State University suggest that daily intake of THC may help combat the HIV and AIDS diseases themselves. Lead author and head of LSU’s Department of Physiology Dr. Patricia Molina reported that monkeys treated with THC had lower levels of viral infection, better survival rates, less weight loss, and higher immune cell counts.
Recent animal studies have shown that marijuana extracts may help kill certain aggressive cancer cells and dramatically reduce the size of others. Evidence from one cell culture study suggests that purified extracts from whole-plant marijuana can slow the growth of cancer cells from one of the most serious and fatal types of brain tumors. Research in mice also showed that treatment with botanical drug substance THC and pure-form CBD, when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation.
Cachexia is a metabolic symptom of several chronic and end-stage diseases such as cancer. It is irreversible through nutrition, and is characterized by weight loss, muscle atrophy, weakness, and appetite loss. Currently, Nevada, Michigan, Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona have approved marijuana for treatment of anorexia and cachexia due to its appetite-stimulating and weight-supporting properties.
Marijuana is an alternative treatment for individuals suffering from glaucoma, an optic nerve disease involving excessive intraocular pressure (IOP), who cannot tolerate, for various reasons, standard glaucoma medications or procedures. The American Glaucoma Society’s published Position Statement on Marijuana and the Treatment of Glaucoma states, “It has been definitively demonstrated, and widely appreciated, that smoking marijuana lowers IOP in both normal individuals and in those with glaucoma, and therefore might be a treatment for glaucoma."
The downside has been the drug’s short-term duration and psychoactive side effects, which can limit patients’ activities. While further research is required to determine the best application, scientists have discovered cannabinoid receptors in the optical tissue itself, suggesting the possibility of effective local administration. Furthermore, brain research indicates cannabinoids may protect nerve cells like those in the optic nerve, which gives hope that marijuana compounds can treat glaucoma through IOP lowering and neuroprotection.
Nausea, whether disease, pregnancy, motion, or medication induced, is caused by stimulation of certain areas of the brain that have receptors for dopamine, serotonin, and cannabinoids. Cannabinoid receptors found in the gastrointestinal (CB1) and immune system (CB2) play a vital role in modulating nausea and vomiting, along with a host of other gastrointestinal mechanisms. Research conducted by the Department of Psychology and Collaborative Neuroscience Program at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada have shown that stimulating these receptors, especially CB1, with cannabinoids effectively protects against severe nausea and vomiting in humans, including children, and a wide variety of animals.
Patients suffering from chronic neuropathic pain— commonly caused by alcoholism, amputation, spine surgery, HIV or multiple sclerosis— often turn to medicinal cannabis as a source of relief. A 2010 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that 21 men and women with an average age of 45 saw a drop in their average daily pain rating when using medical cannabis. Researcher and assistant professor of anesthesia and family medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Dr. Mark Ware, said, "We've shown again that cannabis is analgesic. Clearly, it has medical value.” Ware also stated that cannabis relieves pain by "changing the way the nerves function."
Small studies and vast anecdotal evidence suggest cannabis compound cannabidiol (CBD) can drastically reduce seizure activity in people affected by certain types of epilepsy. A clinical trial is currently underway at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus to examine why some people with epilepsy find relief from a low-THC, high-CBD strain called “Charlotte’s Web”, while others do not. A separate study, conducted in Poland in 2014, found that THC might enhance the effectiveness of anti-seizure medications in patients with certain types of epilepsy. Organizations like The Epilepsy Foundation of America and The Dravet Syndrome Foundation are calling for more research on the efficacy and safety of marijuana as an anti-seizure drug.
Experts say 20-30% of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans suffer from PTSD and roughly 22 U.S. vets commit suicide every day. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a highly lethal condition that many former members of the Armed Forces say can be treated with marijuana. While most evidence is anecdotal, some science has suggested a potential link between cannabinoids and psychiatric rehabilitation. Oral administration of CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety and is currently being tested as a treatment for social anxiety. Another study of 10 individuals with PTSD found THC to be safe and well tolerated, and to decrease hyperarousal symptoms. Marijuana is currently approved by several states to treat PTSD, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently signed off on a proposal to study its effect on post-traumatic stress in more detail.
Early studies of marijuana as a treatment for muscle spasms among patients with multiple sclerosis have provided limited but promising results. Preliminary research suggests that cannabinoids can alleviate muscle spasms related to stiffness and overactive bladder, as well as nerve pain and loss of sleep. Assistant medical professor at Harvard Medical School Kevin P. Hill, M.D. says the ideal ingestion method is an encapsulated extract and that most people who use marijuana do not experience problems with addiction. Hill also advises that the use of marijuana as a treatment for MS should take place only under the supervision of the patient’s primary care physician.
360 Global Sciences, Inc. is committed to producing the highest quality, safest, and most effective medicine for medical marijuana patients in Nevada through efficient and innovative cultivation and production. Medical marijuana is an emerging study, and we are privileged to be at the forefront of this new area of science. Our focus is to discover, develop, and derive the best formulas and marijuana extracts through science and education, and to make our medicine available where our patients need it, so they can live happy and healthful lives.
Indoor marijuana cultivation is currently the most advanced method of growing medical marijuana. It requires the complete environmental duplication of traditional outdoor growing conditions, in addition to numerous other considerations. Indoor cultivation is often more expensive and complicated than outdoor cultivation, but is a superior method due the ability to precisely control the environment and quality of our product-- a top concern at 360 Global Sciences, Inc.
Our new cultivation center is currently under construction and is set to be completed in 2016. The facility will feature state-of-the-art lighting, irrigation, CO2 air enrichment, and the latest technology in airflow, temperature, and humidity control. Our modern equipment and smart practices allow us to keep costs down so we can provide the most affordable medicine to our valued patients and health care providers.
Thanks to innovations in the medical marijuana field, medicine can now be produced in various forms to suit individual needs and preferences. 360 Global Sciences Inc. produces concentrated extracts using the cleanest and purest extraction methods, which can be added to a wide variety of products. We specialize in medicinal concentrates such as waxes, oils, and hashes, including CO2 and solvent-free extractions. We also produce tinctures, salves, capsules, and other edible items. Our products are always tested using strict quality standards and leading-edge equipment and technology. As science evolves, we will be updating our product and service portfolio to always offer the latest and most progressive treatment options.