by Deanna Gabriel CCH CN
Many consider cannabis therapy to be an “alternative therapy” already, but what many patients and non-patients may not know is that within cannabis therapy there are many styles and forms of cannabis to consider. Most are familiar with smoking cannabis as a therapeutic practice, but what many patients need to know is that smoke therapy alone might not be the best way to ease symptoms of disease. Alternative cannabis therapies such as tinctures, topicals and edibles are wonderful ways to address physical discomfort on a deeper level than smoking alone. Additionally, these forms of cannabis medicine are ideal for use by patients who are not interested in smoking cannabis due to a concern about lung health or an aversion to the effects of smoked cannabis. Outlined below are the benefits of these alternative cannabis medicines. Important therapeutic benefits of each medicine have been underlined.
Tincture therapy:tinctures are liquid extractions of botanical medicine typically made in alcohol or glycerin. This style of herbal medicine has been a traditional staple in herbal apothecaries around the world. Botanical tinctures are most commonly made using alcohol due to alcohol’s superior ability to extract healing plant constituents. Recent history has brought glycerin tinctures onto the scene as an alcohol substitute; however glycerin tinctures are often much less effective due to a lesser ability for extracting plant constituents. Upon visiting any health food store or herbal pharmacy one will find a wide variety of plant medicine tinctures extracted into alcohol. Many have had the experience of treating a cold or flu with Echinacea tincture. Cannabis is no different. Cannabis tinctures are extremely effective for relieving physical pain in joints and muscles, nausea, anxiety, sleeplessness and female reproductive discomfort. The psychoactive side effects of tinctures are often much more mild than the effects of smoking cannabis and typically relieve symptoms of pain much more effectively than smoking alone.
Salve therapy: Salves are traditional herbal ointments that showcase herbal infusions and are applied topically for a variety of ailments. Cannabis salves are fantastic remedies for soothing painful muscles and joints and also can relieve inflammations of the skin. Many patients suffering from chronic pain, injuries, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions in joints and muscles find that cannabis salves are one of the best therapies for relieving pain and providing increased mobility. Another unique element of traditional topical therapies is that the psychoactive side effects of cannabis are not experienced. This is extremely important and beneficial for many patients who wish to avoid the mental altering effects of common cannabis therapeutics such as smoking, or for patients who are already using smoke or edible therapy. Basically, topical cannabis use is a fantastic addition to smoke therapy and a wonderful alternative to smoking cannabis.
Edible therapy: This type of cannabis therapy is created from extracts of cannabis that are incorporated into foods and beverages. Cannabis edibles are extremely important therapeutics for many patients who suffer from diseases such as cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other chronic ailments with extreme physical discomfort. The effects of cannabis edibles go much deeper into the body, relaxing and tension and pain in muscles and joints. For many patients edible therapy is the most effective way to relieve nausea. Nibbling or sipping cannabis infused foods and drinks can be life saving for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Additionally, many patients cannot or will not smoke cannabis due to concerns about lung health, making edible therapeutics an essential form of medical cannabis.