Despite its age-old use for a variety of health purposes, the use of medical marijuana has caused an unprecedented emotional reaction from doctors, researchers, scientists and the general public. The topic brings up a variety of questions as well.
Is the use of medical marijuana safe? Should it be made legal? What is the efficacy of such a treatment? Is this treatment addictive? Is there a way to keep it out of teenager’s hands? Or, perhaps medical marijuana is a ploy to legalize pot for all?
These and many more questions can be argued. However, for the sake of this article we will focus on two important points: why do people find medical marijuana useful and how can you use the compounds in medical marijuana for your own health benefits?
Marijuana use has been decriminalized and legal in 29 states, including Washington D.C. Nevertheless, this plant is still a controlled substance on a federal level. During the Obama administration, prosecuting marijuana use was not made a priority, not even a minor priority.
Donald Trump’s administration has not interfered with those who are seeking medical marijuana treatment, although there are rumors that this policy will be reversed. 85% of Americans are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana and it has been estimated that millions of Americans use this substance for treatment.
What is Marijuana Without the High?
On the less controversial side of the cannabis family is the notable extract CBD (cannabidiol) that lacks any psychoactive properties. The cannabis plant carries a variety of impressive phytocompounds called cannabinoids. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the cannabinoid that causes the signature “high” when cannabis is ingested, smoked or otherwise consumed. CBD, on the other hand, is a compound of cannabis that is nonpsychoactive and contains little to no THC content.
Those who have been treated with CBD have reported a wide range of benefits that include relief of insomnia, anxiety, spasms, indigestion and even life-threatening conditions like epilepsy. One condition called Dravet Syndrome has been very hard to treat with conventional medication but responds well to a CBD dominant strain of medical marijuana called Charlotte’s Web.
Uses of Medical Marijuana
CBD is most commonly used to control a wide variety of painful conditions. While CBD will not relieve the pain of a broken bone, it has powerful applications for a variety of chronic pain and inflammatory conditions. One of the greatest aspects of CBD as a pain reliever is that it is not as bad for the health as the use of opiates and NSAIDs, like Aleve. Furthermore, there is no threat to those with kidney malfunctions.
More importantly, marijuana use seems to ease the pain of conditions that are hard to treat with conventional pain medication. Multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia are two such conditions. The most common pain medications prescribed for these conditions include Lyrica or Neurontin, which are highly-sedative opiates. On the other hand, those that have used CBD for treating these conditions have claimed that marijuana allows them to resume their regular activities without feeling drowsy or disengaged.
CBD has also been found to work as a terrific muscle relaxant and many users have enjoyed great relief from the condition of Parkinson’s.
Medical Marijuana is also a great appetite stimulant and can control the feelings of nausea, weight loss and glaucoma. This has made CBD an impressive product for treating PTSD in veterans returning from military excursions. The reports from medical professionals and veterans alike show great promise and this has been one of the motivators for the government’s loosening of Marijuana restrictions. The use of medical marijuana has also been found especially good for treating Crohn’s Disease, IBS and those suffering from the pain and suffering of HIV.
This small article is not even an in-depth look at all the amazing benefits and pharmacological properties of this age-old natural medication. Of course, as with any other medication you are planning to use to treat a medical condition, it is important to approach this potentially beneficial treatment with caution and professional advice.