Though cannabis, or marijuana, is commonly identified as a recreational drug, people use it as a medicine for thousands of years. Medical marijuana, also named medical cannabis, is a phrase for the cannabis Sativa plant, whose components are used to alleviate severe and chronic symptoms.
How Does Medicinal Marijuana Work?
The mind-altering component in marijuana is THC, short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. The volume of THC in cannabis differs and has been steadily rising over the past few years.
When THC enters the body, it adds to and activates cannabinoid receptors in the brain. The stimulation of these receptors influences the body in many ways. The final result includes the reduction of pain and inflammation, increased hunger, vomiting, and insomnia.
Another compound in cannabis that has beneficial health effects is CBD. This substance is psychoactive, yet it’s non-impairing and non-euphoric, suggesting it doesn’t deliver the “high” THC does.
Many experts believe that CBD has anti-inflammatory impacts on the central nervous system. It can change to multiple benefits in the body.
Uses of Medical Marijuana
The advantages of medicinal marijuana can be hard to find because of the strong opinions of both pros and cons. Researchers continue to analyze the curative benefits of cannabis. It may be useful in treating the following conditions:
Epilepsy and seizures
Severe and chronic pain
Multiple sclerosis and muscle spasms
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
An original article by the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC) revealed that marijuana might have many benefits for diabetic patients.
There are many weed strains available to reduce the symptoms of PTSD, ALS, anxiety, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, seizures, and many more.
Many patients use medical marijuana to ease the pain. It isn’t used to cure or heal illnesses. Using it won’t alter the result of a particular disease, but it can reduce certain symptoms, increase your quality of life and make you feel better.
Medical Marijuana Strains
There are thousands of cannabis strains, and many new ones are on their way. Picking the right strain for you will need some personal experimentation. Each strain of medical marijuana will have a somewhat different impact on each patient, so you need to try a few before choosing a strain that suits you the most.
When it comes to the effectiveness in controlling your health, cannabinoids are of the highest importance. The two main choices for cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabinol), with THC being largely more common. A standard strain of medicinal marijuana may carry 15-20% THC while having only 1% CBD or less.
Some of the most popular medical marijuana include Girl Scout Cookies, Jack Herer, Cheese High (CBD seeds), and Cannatonic High CBD seeds.
How Do You Get Medical Marijuana?
To have medical marijuana, you require a written prescription from an authorized doctor in states where that is allowed. Not every physician is ready to approve medical marijuana for their patients. You must have a disease that qualifies for medical marijuana usage. Each province has its own list of qualifying illnesses.
Your state might also ask you to get a medical marijuana ID card. Once you get that card, you can purchase medical marijuana at a shop called a dispensary.
How to Consume
Consuming medicinal marijuana is not the same as taking a tablet for a headache. There are many methods to consume cannabis for medicinal purposes. Each one has its advantages and limits, and no two ways deliver the same dosage in the same way.
Here are the ways you can use to consume cannabis for medicinal benefits:
Inhalation: vaping and smoking
Oral ingestion: oils, tinctures, capsules, and edibles
Topical: salves, balms, and patches
Suppositories: rectal or vaginal suppositories
Your physician will decide the frequency of medical marijuana that you need to use. Working with a qualified marijuana clinician can also be useful, as they can help you pick the right way and cannabinoid profile for your condition.
With some persistence and experimentation, you can get the type of strain and the method of using that gives you the highest benefit for your situation.
Benefits of Medical Marijuana
Cannabinoids – the active compounds in medicinal marijuana – are the same as substances the body forms in memory, appetite, movement, and pain.
Limited study suggests cannabinoids might have the following effects on your body:
Reduce inflammation and ease the pain
Control vomiting and nausea induced by cancer chemotherapy
Kill cancer cells and delayed tumor growth
Ease tight muscles in patients with MS
Stimulate hunger and promote weight gain in people with cancer and AIDS
The soothing effects of cannabis may help improve sleep disorders, such as insomnia. And it may also improve sleep patterns when pain is reduced from its usage.
Risks of Using Medical Marijuana
Just as synthetic medicines can treat some diseases and not others, cannabis isn’t a one-size-fits-all line of treatment. Even if it has many benefits, there are some risks linked with its use.
One potential risk of marijuana use is addiction. The dispute over whether marijuana is physically or psychologically addictive is continuing.
Using cannabis for a longer time might lead to short-term difficulties with memory, attention, learning, changing relationships and mood. Talking about cancer, there’s no solid proof that marijuana cures cancer. Relying on marijuana alone as a method or for managing side effects while avoiding or limiting conventional medical care for cancer may have severe health consequences.
Along with all these, undergoing the side effects is the most critical risk one takes when they consume marijuana medically.
Possible Side Effects of Marijuana
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), potential side effects of marijuana use include:
Low blood pressure
Increased heart rate
Short-term memory loss
Dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting
Short-term reduced attention span
Reduced problem-solving skills
Cognitive side effects of using cannabis medically can affect the following:
Sense of time
While common side effects include dry eyes, drowsiness, dry mouth, and stress.
Even if marijuana has many benefits, it is not legal everywhere. However, an increasing number of states have approved the use and/or cultivation of cannabis for medical (and even recreational) purposes. However, medical marijuana rules differ among geographical areas. We suggest you understand your state laws carefully before you proceed.