Therapeutic & Medical Benefits
THC is one of the primary cannabinoids found in cannabis that is largely responsible for the psychological and psychoactive effects brought on from cannabis use [1,8,10]. THC itself has been demonstrated for its therapeutic uses in treating nausea, vomiting, and insomnia, as well as a number of other symptoms including pain, muscle spasticity, tremors, and bronchospasm often brought on by a range of medical conditions (see TABLE 1) [1,8,9,10,11]. Emerging research indicates a high level of therapeutic potential for a variety of health concerns, in some cases even at doses substantially lower than those required to feel the psychoactive effects of THC.

Atakan Z (2012) Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol 2: 242.

CBD is another major cannabinoid found in cannabis. Unlike THC, CBD does not administer the same psychoactive effect(s), however maintains therapeutic effects through its target to several other receptors including 5-HT1A serotonin receptors, and its blockage of neurotransmitter uptake [2,4,15]. It has become increasingly evident with the current research, that CBD greatly benefits patients suffering from epilepsy by significantly reducing the frequency of occurrent seizures [1,6,9]. There are a number of other conditions and related symptoms that have shown to benefit from CBD specifically (see TABLE 1); coupled with the lack of psychoactive response that accompanies CBD therapy, CBD is often a desirable choice for many individuals seeking cannabinoid therapies without impairing social functions.

Atakan Z (2012) Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol 2: 242.

Early traditional medicine has acknowledges the therapeutic benefits of cannabis for centuries, and has used it to relieve symptoms of pain, constipation, and those related to malaria. In the decades proceeding, negative stigma has enveloped the use of cannabis, especially in response to recreational use, which has grossly overshadowed the administration of cannabis therapies for medical purposes today.

As mentioned above, cannabis has been shown to benefit ailments specifically (see TABLE 1). For example, THC has also been shown to effectively treat anxiety, stress, and depression, as well as symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) [1,10,12,13], Parkinson’s disease [14,15], and those induced from cancers including glaucoma [1,7,10]. Alternatively, CBD has been better suited to treat symptoms of epilepsy [1,6,9], diabetes [5,16], varying symptoms of cancers [5,16], mood disorders including PTSD, ADD, OCD [9,15], and inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and inflammatory bowl disease (IBS) [1,16,17,18,20]. In addition, the benefits of cannabinoids extend far past the detrimental conditions listed above and have been shown to also reduce obesity and promote cessation of addictions to smoking (tobacco cigarettes) [5,21,22,23]. Although the benefits of cannabinoid therapies often differ between THC and CBD, there is often an overlap between the chemicals in which a combination of more than one is preferential.

**It is important to note that the medicinal benefits of cannabis extend far past this short summary provided**

TABLE 1: POTENTIAL THERAPEUTIC USES OF CANNABINOIDS AND THEIR SPECIFIC TARGETED SYMPTOMS, as suggested based on information collected via clinical trials1, pre-clinical trials2, in vitro assays3, or anecdotal reports4 [1]

It is important to note that the medical benefits of cannabinoids are not limited to the information displayed in this chart; the Encocannabinoid system has been shown to affect all regions of the body and as such is thought to be involved in a number of ailments including (but not limited to) liver disease, pancreatic disease, obesity, osteoporosis, as well as several joint and movement disorders. Conversely, some research presented in this table is not yet conclusive and/or is among preliminary findings that have yet been affirmed with further investigation. As such this table is to be regarded as a summary of the wide range of POTENTIAL therapeutic benefits that may be attained from cannabinoid treatment.


[1] Health Canada (2013) Information for Health Care Professionals: Cannabis (marijuana, marijuana).

[2] Fine PG, Rosenfeld MJ (2013) The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain. Rambam Maimonides Med J. 4 DOIe0022

[3] Huestis MA (2007) Human Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetics. Chem Biodivers 4: 1770-1804

[4] Fisar Z (2009) Phytocannabinoids and Endocannabinoids. Curr Drug Abuse Rev 2: 51-75

[5] Atakan Z (2012) Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol 2: 241-254

[6] Morabito D et al. (2016) A Review of Recent Advances in the Therapeutic Uses of Secondary Cannabinoids. Curr Addict Rep 3: 230-238

[7] Abrams DI, Guzman M (2015) Cannabis in Cancer Care. Clin Pharmacol Ther 6: 575-86

[8] Robson PJ (2013) Therapeutic potential of cannabinoid medicine. Drug Test Anal 6: 24-30

[9] Baron EP (2015) Comprehensive Review of Medicinal Marijuana, Cannabinoids, and Therapeutic Implications in Medicine and Headache: What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been… Head Curr 885-916

[10] Klein TW (2005) Cannabinoid-based drugs as ant-inflammatory therapeutics. Nat Rev Immunol 5: 400-411

[11] D’Souza G et al. (2012) Medicinal and Recreational Marijuana Use Among HIV-Infected Women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) Cohort, 1994–2010. Epid Prev 61: 618-626

[12] Pozzilli P (2013) Advances in the management of multiple sclerosis spasticity: experiences from recent studies and everyday clinical practice. Expert Rev 13: 49-54

[13] Notcutt WG (2015) Clinical Use of Cannabinoids for Symptom Control in Multiple Sclerosis. NeuroTher 12: 769-777

[14] Campos AC et al. (2012) Cannabidiol blocks long-
lasting behavioral consequences of predator threat stress: possible
involvement of 5HT1A receptors. J Psychiatr Res 46: 1501–1510

[15] Blessing EM et al. (2015) Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. NeuroTher 12: 825-836

[16] Izzo A (2004) Cannabinoids and intestinal motility: welcome to CB2 receptors. Br J Pharmacol 142: 1201–1202

[17] Malfait AM et al. (2000) The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Proc Natl Acad Sci 97: 9561–9566

[18] Sumariwalla PF et al. (2004) A novel synthetic, nonpsychoactive cannabinoid acid (HU-320) with antiinflammatory properties in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Arthritis Rheum
50: 985–998

[19] Massa F et al. (2004) The endogenous cannabinoid system protects against colonic inflammation. J Clin Invest 113: 1202–1209

[20] Mathison R et al. (2004) Effects of cannabinoid receptor-2 activation on accelerated gastrointestinal transit in lipopolysaccharide-treated rats. Br J Pharmacol 142: 1247–1254

[21] Black SC (2004) Cannabinoid receptor antagonists and obesity. Curr Opin Investig Drugs 5: 389–394

[22] Foulds J et al. (2004) Advances in pharmacotherapy for tobacco dependence. Expert Opin Emerg Drugs 9: 39–53

[23] Howlett AC et al. (2004) Cannabinoid physiology and pharmacology: 30 years of progress. Neuropharmacology 47: 345–358