Cannabis By Atlas
Cannabis and Cannabis Products to Improve Health and Wellness
What is Medical Cannabis?
Medical cannabis, also sometimes known as medical marijuana, is typically the flower from the cannabis plant. It can also be the isolated compounds from within the plant, called cannabinoids, which are extracted from the flower and administered in various different forms and prescribed by health professionals as medicine for patient use.
History Of Cannabis?
Cannabis has been used by humans longer than we have had a written history and is thought to be one of the first plants ever cultivated by man. The oldest known written records on cannabis have been found in China, where archeological and historical findings indicate that the plant was initially used for its fibers around 4000 B.C. There are a wide array of active chemicals produced by the cannabis plant that researchers believe, and numerous studies have begun to show, can have a variety of medical and therapeutic applications.
In the Western hemispheres and the America’s, it is likely that the use of Cannabis began in South America in the 16th century, brought over by the Spanish to Chile for use as fiber and by slaves from Africa that came with them. It then slowly moved north along trade routes until it started popping up in the 18th and early 19th century, with its effective introduction into Western medicine in the mid-19th century through the works of an Irish physician named Willian B. O’Shaughnessy and a book by French psychiatrist Jacques-Joseph Moreau. O’Shaughnessy made first contact with the plant while serving the British in India, he read the available literature on it, described many of the popular local methods of consumption for it, and researched its toxicity on animals and later human patients with different medical conditions. In 1839, he published the work ‘On The Preparations of the Indian Hemp, or Gunjah’ which describes various successful human experiments using Cannabis preparations for rheumatism, convulsions, and mainly for muscular spasms caused by tetanus and rabies. Moreau was an assistant physician at an asylum near Paris and came across Cannabis during travels related to his work there. Around 1840 back in Paris he began to experiment systematically on different Cannabis preparations; first on himself and later on his students, which led to him publishing a book in 1845 called ‘Du Hachisch et de l’Alienation Mentale: Etudes Psychologiques’ that contained the most complete and detailed documentation of the effects of Cannabis to this point in history. These two types of interest in Cannabis, in its therapeutic effects and it psychoactive effects, were the two most paramount drivers in the study of the plant and have persisted through the year’s right up to modern times.
O’Shaughnessy and Moreau’s writings had a large impact on Western medicine, especially due to the lack of therapeutic options for infectious diseases like cholera and rabies. Medical use of the plant preparation spread from England and France, eventually reaching all of Europe and then North America. By 1860, the first clinical conference about Cannabis was organized in America.
The second half of the 19th century were prominent times for the medical use of Cannabis and many scientific studies on it were published. It was available mainly as an extract or tincture and was marketed for a large range of ailments with three major areas of use, as a sedative or hypnotic to treat insomnia, mania, delirium, and other psychiatric disorders, as an analgesic for toothaches, headaches, gout, and other pain related issues, and as “other” for another long list of maladies that could be afflicting a person. As the 20th century rolled in, Cannabis saw a marked reduction in use due to multiple factors. One such factor was in obtaining replicable effects, likely caused by the huge variance in seeds and plant morphology that random seeds produce, and an overall lack of understanding of the plant and how it grew. Another being that at this time, the active ingredients responsible for the therapeutic and psychoactive effects had not been isolated or even discovered and tinctures that were produced involved many factors like age, method of production, and quality of plant material used, that could increase or reduce efficacy.
On top of this, near the end of the 19th century, a whole host of other medicines like aspirin, morphine, barbiturates and the use of vaccines had been developed and ultimately competed with cannabis in the treatment of numerous conditions. Finally, there were legal restrictions imposed on Cannabis use and experimentation in the United States by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which in 1937 passed the Marihuana Tax Act law. This law required anyone wanting to use the plant to register and pay a tax of $1 an ounce for medical use and $100 an ounce for any other use. Nonpayment of the tax resulted in either a $2000 fine or five years in prison, and brought further difficulties to use of the plant atop everything else. In 1941 Cannabis was removed from the official American pharmacopoeia. Around the start of the 1960’s in North America and the Western world, the use of Cannabis began to see an increase in popularity again, especially among young people, with use in the US going from 5% in 1967 to 44% in 1971, to 68% having tried cannabis in 1980 and remaining approximately as high until today.
What Are Phytochemicals
These are chemical compounds produced by the plant. The two most extensively researched phytochemicals produced by the cannabis plant are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These have been shown to potentially have a multitude of therapeutic properties.
There are a whole host of other phytochemicals produced by the plant that remain woefully under-studied.
Although the Cannabis plant produces a vast array of phytochemicals, in 1964 the chemical compound thought to be mainly responsible for the therapeutic and psychoactive effects of the Cannabis plant, D9-Tetrahydracannibinol, was discovered in Israel by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, followed by the discovery of the human endocannabinoid system (a biological system that can be found in just about any creature with a vertebrae) in 1992, also by Mechoulam and his researchers. It was these discoveries, working backwards, and tracing the metabolic pathways of THC, which allowed scientists to discover an entirely unknown molecular signaling system that resides within the human brain, as well as thousands of other biological lifeforms, including almost everything on our planet with the exception of insects, known as the endocannabinoid system.
The way in which the endocannabinoid system works, like many other aspects of Cannabis, from proper taxonomy to the many potential therapeutic properties and place of origin are still not fully understood, or agreed upon, but with its looming legalization in Canada and many other places around the world, more research on this versatile plant is being undertaken every day, and as such we are getting closer to a time where its taxonomy and nomenclature, potential as a medicine and uses for textiles, fibers and oils can be fully realized.
Why Medical Cannabis?
The cannabis plant has been used for its healing properties as well as being used to produce cordage, oils, paper and textiles for thousands of years and is considered to be one of if not the first “cash crop” ever cultivated by humans. In more modern times scientists in Israel made an astounding discovery: There is a part of the human brain that responds to the chemicals contained in cannabis which they named the endocannabinoid system. They determined that the endocannabinoid system plays multiple key roles in the body’s many regulatory functions, including the heart, the digestive, the endocrine, the immune, as well as the nervous systems.
This discovery generated tremendous interest in the scientific and medical communities, and researchers around the world began to undertake numerous medical studies in an attempt to identify how these phytochemicals could help patients suffering from a variety of different conditions that affect all of these bodily systems. Thanks to the results of this irrefutable medical research, family practitioners and healthcare providers across Canada and many nations world wide can now and do, prescribe cannabis use for therapeutic and medicinal applications.
One of Atlas Growers’ main priorities is to facilitate further scientific research on medical cannabis through strategic partnerships with local agricultural professionals as well as Canadian universities. The goal of this research is to provide reliable, scientifically sound clinical data to Canadians and the world as this new market evolves. In doing so, Atlas offers opportunities for healing and hope, we want to help keep our neighbours healthy and our communities strong and growing.
Currently, the use of medical cannabis is legal in a multitude of countries, with more being regularly added at a rapid pace to the list, including Germany, Finland, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Israel, Portugal, Spain, Uruguay the Netherlands, Australia and Canada, with the legalization of recreational use following close behind in many places.
Medical cannabis can be administered via a variety of delivery methods which can include, through pyrolysis, (smoking) or vaporizing, orally in the form of edibles, mouth spray, tinctures (active ingredients dissolved into a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil) in an encapsulated pill form, or even topically as a cream, ointment or dermal patch. Each method has its pros and cons, and a qualified health care provider can help determine which method is right for an individual patient.
Treating Many Symptoms
Our goal is to provide the highest quality medically viable cannabis strains possible to our customers, free of harmful chemicals, mould, bacteria and any other contaminants or impurities that can commonly be problematic in cannabis cultivation, along with the knowledge they need to ensure that they are able to enjoy the plethora of benefits that cannabis can provide and to enjoy a pain-free life.
There is a large array of active chemicals produced by the cannabis plant that researchers believe, and numerous studies have begun to show, can have a wide variety of therapeutic applications. Currently cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two most extensively researched phytochemicals, (plant produced chemical compounds; cannabinoids and terpenes in the case of cannabis) which have been shown to have a multitude of medicinal properties, including addiction treatment, various symptoms of multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel diseases, sleeping disorders, arthritis discomfort, cancer reduction, general pain relief, anti-inflammatory, appetite enhancing and anxiolytic properties just to name a few. With this being said, the cannabis plant also produces many other phytochemicals, (cannabinoids including but not limited to CBN, CBG, CBC, THCV, and THCA as well as hundreds, potentially thousands of different terpenes) most which have had limited research committed to their study, and all of which may house a myriad of potentially health and wellness inducing benefits.
Over the past several decades scientists attempted as best they could to conduct research into determining how these cannabinoids and terpenes work in our bodies, together with each other in a synergistic manor in what is known as the “entourage effect,” and what medical benefits they could potentially provide. Restrictive government regulations that have been enforced in a large portion of the modern world for over the past three quarters of a century or longer however, have vastly hindered the scientific progress, by limiting what researchers were able to study and in general kept the scientific and medical communities from being allowed to determine the full effects and benefits cannabis may hold. For these reasons, Atlas Growers is excitedly anticipating the impending end to the Canadian cannabis prohibition, and to doing our part on shedding some necessary light into the medical research void that the prohibition of cannabis has instituted. We believe there may be untold therapeutic opportunities waiting to be unlocked within the amazing cannabis plant.
Today, as medical research into the healing properties of this important plant becomes possible, Atlas is determined to be at the forefront of this research and to sharing the results of these important studies with Canadians.