More American states are permitting the use of medical marijuana for treating different medical conditions. So what is this wonder drug really, and how does it contribute to the human body?
The key reason people get a prescription of medical marijuana is to deal with the pain involved in different types of medical conditions. It can be pain associated with anything from a headache to life-threatening disease, such as cancer. Long-term medical conditions, such as nerve pains can also warrant a prescription of medical marijuana in some cases to deal with the constant pangs of pain.
How it Works?
Medical marijuana may be used to treat different conditions, such as:
- Muscle pains arising due to multiple sclerosis
- Nausea and pain associated with cancer chemotherapy
- Weight loss and a poor appetite after a serious illness, such as nerve pain or HIV
- Crohn’s disease
- Seizure disorders
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary mind-altering ingredient found in medical marijuana. FDA-approved studies on THC have even led to the preparation of prescription drugs using the compound. The pills are used for improving appetite and treating nausea.
Interestingly, the medicinal studies on marijuana have also displayed its potential in treating other medical conditions. For instance, the pain associated with glaucoma, an eye disease that increases pressure in eyeball, is known to be relieved with the use of medical marijuana.
Another study on the effect of THC on revealed the ability to increase lung capacity and reverse the carcinogenic effects of tobacco. Cannabidiol, another chemical found in marijuana besides THC is known to stop the spread of cancer in the body. There is another study published by Harvard Medical School research that suggests the ability of marijuana in reducing anxiety.
How is Medical Marijuana Used?
The drug is used in a number of forms. It can be smoked, eaten, vaporized or consumed as liquid extract. Vaporization is different from smoking in that the former only requires the ingredients to be heated until they are released in the form of vapors without the formation of smoke.
Side-effects of Marijuana
Marijuana has some temporary side-effects that usually go away with time. The mild side-effects include drowsiness, dizziness, euphoria and short-term memory loss. In most cases, the side-effects last a few hours or overnight. In few cases, serious side-effects, such as psychosis and anxiety have been reported.
Where is it Legal?
There are as many as 23 American states that permit the use of medical cannabis or medical marijuana with another three awaiting the passing of law in favor of medical marijuana. Interestingly, stories have surfaced about people who shifted from one state to another only to gain access to medical marijuana legally.
If your state permits the use of medical marijuana, your doctor will issue a “marijuana card” that allows you to purchase cannabis or marijuana from dispensaries authorized to sell it.
Risks of Medical Marijuana Use
Unlike FDA-approved medicines, the use of medical marijuana cannot be monitored. While using it, you cannot be certain of its side-effects. In some cases, people smoke marijuana in harmful substances, such as tobacco. Likewise, you are also unsure of the potency and purity of the substance you consume.
Do not use medical marijuana unless you have a prescription card. It is also not permissible for marijuana to be administered to anyone below the age of 18. It is also advised that someone with a history of psychosis, a person with heart disease or a pregnant woman should not use medical marijuana.
Todd Nelson, D.Sc. trained at the International Center for Natural Health and Medicine, graduating with both a Naturopathic Doctor degree and a Doctor of Holistic Health Sciences degree. Aside from heading the Tree of Life Wellness Center in Lakewood, Colorado as a doctor of naturopathic medicine, Todd is also a co-author of 3 books.