The world has shown mixed emotions ever since marijuana became widespread and accessible to the general public. The fist and the most critical question that comes to our minds with the word ‘marijuana’ is that ‘is it safe or not?’. This question is leads to many more, and here are the answers.

What is Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana is Cannabis Sativa or Indica, which are used to treat several different diseases. Its chemical structure is the same as recreational marijuana, but it is used as a medicine to cure diseases and reduce the uncomfortable symptoms to a minimum. The marijuana plant contains about 100 different compounds called cannabinoids, and the most famous of them are CBD and THC (Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabinol). Both of them incredible medicinal uses but THC is additionally associated with causing a high.

How medical marijuana works?

The two main compounds of medical marijuana are CBD and THC. The human body contains a sophisticated series of receptors making the endocannabinoids system. THC and CBD can interact with the CB1and CB2 receptors of the system and produced the desired changes. CBD can loosely bind to the CB2 receptors where are THC makes the perfect bonds with the CB1 receptors. The interaction of these cannabinoids help in various functions such as memory, appetite, pain management and anti-inflammatory responses. THC is famous for providing additional energy and creativity.

What are the health benefits of medical marijuana?

Extensive studies have been carried out to know about the health benefits of medical marijuana. Most of these studies show that medical marijuana helps treat the symptoms of several health issues. Even though more research is carried out on CBD, THC is also under study and plays a vital role for people with terminal illnesses. Here are a few benefits of Medical Marijuana.

Chronic pain

Easing off chronic pain is one of the main reason for which marijuana became popular. Severe pain may be caused by different health issues such as HIV, regional pain syndrome, chemotherapy, cancer, spinal cord injury and peripheral neuropathy. Physicians may advise opioids to deal with chronic pain; however, opioid addiction is a severe problem that kills thousands of Americans every year. Medical marijuana is comparatively safe and reduces pain by 40%. Research has shown that medical marijuana helps with back pain and arthritis in older people.

Insomnia

The ability of these cannabinoids to interact with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system sprawling in the brain makes them useful for improving sleep patterns. It may not be a permanent solution, but it can help with sleep problems created by diseases such as anxiety, fibromyalgia, sleep apnea and pain. The quantity of cannabis matters a lot. A small amount can help you to sleep while even a little overdose will keep you energetic and awake for hours. CBD can also help with sleep but make sure to ask your physician for appropriate treatment.  

Depression, anxiety and PTSD

Medical marijuana is also useful in reducing the symptoms of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Anxiety and depression are affecting all ages, and the therapeutic medicines available for these problems have other side effects. CBD rich marijuana strains are found to work better for these problems. People may think that using higher doses will have a faster effect but that not right. In fact, higher doses tend to create more problems in future. It is better to ask the doctor for the correct dosage and focus on the positive aspects of life.

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an excruciating condition that involves debilitating muscle spasms and intense pain. As the word about the benefits of medical marijuana spreads, more and more people are switching to seek its benefits. Cannabis seems to have the ability to reduce muscle spasms significantly. Medical marijuana vendors are trying to come up with a pure liquid extract of THC and CBD from the Marijuana plant specifically for the patients of multiple sclerosis. Cannabis-based drugs have become a sensation, and scientists are also trying hard to research more about their benefits and use.

Cancer pain

Cannabis has proven to be extremely useful for pain caused by cancer. Cancer also causes weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting and nausea. Chemotherapy, the treatment of cancer is another painful process which is associated with vomiting and severe pain. However, people who solely rely on marijuana for treating cancer end up at the hospital too late because eventually, radiation, chemotherapy and surgeries are the solutions of cancer.

Other health conditions

People also use medical marijuana for diseases such as migraines, fibromyalgia, symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease and glaucoma. Medical marijuana does not seem to treat all of these diseases, but it is valid for migraine. It is also suitable for the patients of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. However, patients of glaucoma must stick to their medicines as marijuana does not seem to work for them as much as it does for others. 

When is medical marijuana appropriate?

According to research, medical marijuana is highly beneficial for many health conditions. However, the question is that when is it necessary to use an addicting drug. The presence of THC makes it psychoactive, and we should not forget that its use, in the long run, can cause addiction. Different states have varying rules for medical marijuana qualifying conditions, but you will find the following diseases in all lists.

·         Alzheimer’s disease

·         Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

·         Severe and chronic pain

·         Severe nausea

·         HIV/AIDS

·         Cancer

·         Crohn’s disease

·         Epilepsy and seizures

·         Glaucoma

·         Multiple sclerosis and muscle spasms

You should not just switch to medical marijuana immediately. Talk to your doctor and discuss your case. If he/she agrees that there is no other cure than medical marijuana, go for it and apply for a medical marijuana renewal. Once you have your medical card, you are safe to possess and use marijuana. 

Side effects of medical marijuana

Everything comes in a package. If there are potential benefits of marijuana, there are some side effects associated with it as well. Some of them are:

·         dry mouth 

·         fatigue

·         dizziness

·         paranoia

·         mood changes 

·         hallucinations

Other risks associates with the use of marijuana include increased risk of Schizophrenia and lower level of IQ. Overdose of anything can prove to have adverse effects. Medical marijuana overdose can have much worse results than expected. You should always go for the calculated dose and know the consequences very well. 

Is medical marijuana legal?

The status of medical marijuana is somewhat ambiguous. It is federally illegal, but about 30 states have legalized its use, purchase and sale. However, it is still categorized as a Schedule I drug by the Federal Drug Administration. In almost all states, you will need a medical marijuana card to have legal access to medical marijuana. The current government seems to support the marijuana users, and therefore the process of getting a medical card certification is made very simple and easy. You just have to follow a few steps to have your certification. You can also apply for it online, and your card is delivered at home within a few working days.

Following states, along with some others have legalized the use of medical marijuana.

·         Alaska

·         Arizona

·         Arkansas

·         California

·         Colorado

·         Connecticut

·         Delaware

·         District of Columbia

·         Florida

·         Hawaii

·         Illinois

·         Louisiana

·         Maine

·         Maryland

·         Massachusetts

·         Michigan

·         Minnesota

How do you get medical marijuana?

In the States where medical marijuana is legal, it is readily available at shops and dispensaries. It is available in different concentrates varying in the quantity of THC. Medical marijuana is also available in edibles such as candies and cookies. It is for people who do not want to experience the bizarre taste of hemp. However, you require to have a medical marijuana card to access the dispensaries. Each state has its own laws regarding the cannabis card. It is usually issued if you are suffering from chronic health issues only. The cannabis card can be used for a year, and then you will have to renew it. The card will not only allow you to buy medical marijuana from the shops but also grow it at home. It saves cost and effort for terminally ill patients.

Is medical marijuana addictive?

The addictive effect of marijuana depends on the quantity of THC present in the strain. If the amount of THC is higher than 20-30%, it can cause intoxication. However, if you are using as strain with about 5% THC, it is safe, non-psychoactive and provides various health benefits. Marijuana overuse can have adverse health effects. No matter how gravely ill you are, make sure to consult your doctor before going for medical marijuana. Research also suggests that CBD could be a non-psychoactive alternative to medical marijuana. Extensive research is being carried out to know more about the effects, benefits and health hazards associated with both CBD and Medical Marijuana.

Wrap up

Medical marijuana is becoming famous, and because of health-related benefits. It is being used extensively to cure and reduce the symptoms of many health issues. However, we need to realize that it is not for everyone. It has a pronounced effect on the brain. If it can cure and affected the nervous system, then it can also have adverse effects on a healthy mind. If your friends have suggested you to use medical marijuana, always consult your licensed physician before taking a decision. Let’s wait until scientists come up with benefitting principle related to medical marijuana and provide a risk-free solution to use it regularly.