As more than half of the US states have legalized Medical Marijuana in some form or the other, it’s important for us to understand what makes marijuana eligible for medical use. The other states are considering bills for the same. On the other hand, the research is underway for discovering more safe and effective uses of cannabis. To learn about the details on the medical marijuana composition, it’s therapeutic properties and its side effects, continue to read on.
What is Medical Marijuana?
Medical Marijuana refers to the use of unprocessed marijuana plant along with its extracts for the treatment of certain medical conditions and its symptoms. Currently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recognised the marijuana plant as a medicine.
As per a scientific study, marijuana contains more than 100 various chemicals called cannabinoids. Each one is known to have a different effect on the body. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the main components of the medicine.
The discovery of cannabinoid element has led to two FDA-approved medications in the pill form. If the research continues it may lead to more medicines. The THC component is responsible for the “high” that people feel when they smoke pot or eat foods containing it.
Since the marijuana plant contains properties which can help in the treatment of a range of illnesses and symptoms, many people are supporting the legalization of Marijuana. This has brought it to the limelight and made the lawmakers take notice. The result of which can be seen with rapid legalization happening across various states and bills being processed in others.
How does it help and the conditions it is used to treat?
With the presence of Active chemicals called cannabinoids, the effects of marijuana are like chemicals that impact the appetite, movement, memory and pain. As per research, cannabinoids can do the following:
- Reduce Anxiety
- Relieve pain by Reducing Inflammation
- Control Nausea and prevent vomiting which occurs during Chemotherapy provided to Cancer patients
- It can kill Cancerous cells and slow tumour growth
- Relax stiff muscles in people with multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Helps stimulate appetite and lead to weight gain in people with cancer and AIDS
It is used to treat several different conditions, including:
Alzheimer’s disease, Appetite loss, Cancer, Crohn’s disease, Anorexia, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, Schizophrenia, Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Multiple sclerosis, Muscle spasms, Nausea, Pain, Wasting syndrome (cachexia)
However, it’s not yet proven to have helped in all the above conditions but there are a few exceptions. The greatest amount of evidence for the therapeutic effects of cannabis relates to its ability to reduce chronic pain, nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, and spasticity [tight or stiff muscles] from MS.
How to buy and consume Medical marijuana?
Medical marijuana will only be sold to you at the marijuana dispensary if you show its prescribed from the doctor in states where it is legal. You must know that to get such a prescription, you should have a condition that qualifies for its use. Each state has its list of qualifying conditions. In some states, you are also required to carry your Medical Marijuana ID card. Upon showing that card you can easily buy the stuff from your nearest dispensary.
It can be consumed in the following conditions:
- Smoke it the old school way
- Inhale it through a vaporizer
- Eat it — for example, in a brownie or lollipop
- Apply it to your skin in a lotion, spray, oil, or cream
- Liquid drops
Each method works differently in your body. While smoking or vaping can help you feel the effects very quickly. Consuming it in the edible form can take 1-2 hours to take effect.
What are the Side effects?
Although there is no long-term damage that has been reported it can lead to temporary side effects like:
Dizziness, Fast Heartbeat, Bloodshot eye, Hallucinations, low blood pressure
Depending upon the quantity consumed it can lead to clouded judgment and affect your coordination, which may cause injuries.
In Adults, if the marijuana is taken in the smoking or vaping form, then it’s long term side effect would be chronic bronchitis due to combustion. While in teenagers, as their brain function is still developing the effects may be different.
Many research professionals around the world are constantly putting in the time and effort to identify further medical uses of marijuana.
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