What is medicinal cannabis?
Medicinal cannabis is any pharmaceutical-grade medicine derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant used to treat or relieve a symptom, ailment or condition. Pharmaceutical-grade medicines must contain raw materials sourced from licensed manufacturers compliant to TGA standards for medicinal cannabis and microbiological standards for medicines.
Phytocannabinoids and other active constituents in medicinal cannabis
Whilst there are more than 100 different phytocannabinoids found in cannabis plants, the most abundant and widely studied in humans are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
In spite of variances between the phytocannabinoids and the cannabinoids made within the human body, similar actions have been observed owing to their medicinal properties. Cannabis contains over 400 different chemical constituents including a class of volatile compounds known as terpenes. Classically attributed to providing the characteristic flavor and fragrance of cannabis, the primary terpenes in cannabis are also reported to influence the behaviour of CBD and THC producing what is known as the “entourage effect”. It is reported that their inclusion in medicinal cannabis preparations may enhance the overall benefits of the primary phytocannabinoids.