The case for marijuana legalization has been made far and wide, yet cannabis still remains illegal in the majority of states. Medical marijuana, however, has been approved at much higher rates, much to the dismay of resistors.
Currently, thousands of people in the U.S. have prescriptions for medicinal cannabis to treat a number of debilitating conditions. If you’re not familiar with the use of medical marijuana, here are a few things that you may not know:
The purpose of medical marijuana is not to get high and ignore pain or illness, but to relieve the symptoms that come with many incurable diseases and conditions. The specific strains of marijuana that are grown for medicinal use contain less of the chemicals that cause euphoric effects.
The chemicals found in marijuana are called cannabinoids. There are hundreds of these found in the marijuana plant but two main ones that we are familiar with are THC and CBD.
THC is what creates euphoric effects that recreational users look for, but also has properties that treat medical conditions. CBD is still being researched, but some reports show that it is able to treat health issues, Marijuana plants have hundreds of chemicals, known as cannabinoids. The two main ones are THC and CBD.
THC gives some of the pleasurable effects that pot smokers are looking for, but it also has some effects that may treat health problems. Some research suggests that CBD may be helpful for some health issues, but it doesn’t cause you to get high.
Marijuana has been used to treat a number of hard-to-treat and incurable conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, anxiety, and more. It has been used to ease pain, reduce nausea, and increase appetite in many cases.
Some studies show that the drug may help reduce seizures in epileptic patients and others with seizure-related disorders, but the research is not definitive. “Charlotte’s Web,” a strain with very low levels of THC, has been used in some cases to treat children with epilepsy, and has been found to be successful.
In patients who suffer from MS, marijuana has been shown to ease muscle stiffness and spasms, as well as reduce pain and frequent urination.
Medicinal cannabis is not acquired on the black market like illicit drugs, but available through a pharmacy — known as a dispensary — to those who have been prescribed. Users carry a card that certifies that they are approved to have the drug.
These pharmacies have different strains of marijuana that are used to treat different conditions, as there is no single cure-all.
- Not all medicinal cannabis is smoked. While many users do choose to smoke it, it can also be taken in pill form, brewed in teas, and eaten in cooked food. Cannabinoid receptors have also been found in the skin, so topical creams have also been developed to treat aches and severe pains from arthritis, MS, and menstrual cramps.
Of course, there are side effects of using marijuana, so be sure to consult with your doctor before using marijuana to treat your health conditions.