History of medicinal cannabis 

The history of medicinal cannabis goes back to ancient times. Ancient physicians in many parts of the world mixed cannabis into medicines to treat therapeutic use in Western Medicine. Since then, there have been several advancements in how the drug is administered.

Endocannabinoid system

The system of receptors that cannabinoids bind to in the brain and body. It is responsible for regulating many different body systems: pain, memory, mood, and appetite. Cannabinoids communicate with the body the same way the body communicates with itself. Cannabinoids fire perfectly into specialised receptors found throughout the nervous system and immune system to improve the body’s own ability to maintain homeostasis and health.


CB1 - located throughout the brain and central nervous system as well as kidneys, liver, lungs, digestive tract, and even the eyes.

CB2 - primarily found in the peripheral organs, in particular tissues associated with the immune system, including: tonsils, thymus, spleen, and bone marrow.




Cannabinoids are chemical compounds concentrated in trichomes and offer a wide variety of therapeutic benefits. They provide such medical efficacy to humans because they mimic our own naturally produced endocannabinoids and bind to the same receptors located throughout the body.

There are over 400 compounds found within the cannabis plant, with over 100 being classified as cannabinoids. These unique compounds are sourced from within the flower, leaf and stem.

Currently, the two main cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) have the strongest medical interest due to their abundance in the plant.   


Forms of medicinal cannabis

There are a variety of ways to take medicinal cannabis. You can inhale a vaporised spray, smoke the flower or leaf, take a pill or liquid, or bake it into foods. All of the types differ in terms of how often you should use them, how they’ll affect your symptoms, and side effects you may feel.

Health conditions potentially treatable with medicinal cannabis

The following may benefit from medicinal cannabis products:

  • chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
  • refractory paediatric epilepsy
  • palliative care indications
  • cancer pain
  • neuropathic pain
  • spasticity from neurological conditions
  • anorexia and wasting associated with chronic illness (such as cancer)
  • others not listed above