Marijuana: What is the Medical Importance of Cannabis ?
The medical use of marijuana, obtained from plant Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica, includes relieving symptoms of certain diseases and conditions. This plant has been used for medicinal purposes around the world for centuries. Strong opinions, including both pros and cons, exist related to medical importance of marijuana. Some traditional uses, off label uses and more cropped up researches in regard to this plant are summed up in this article.
THC or Tetra-hydro-cannabinol is the psychoactive component in marijuana. It is responsible for the euphoria people feel after taking it. There are two synthetic forms of this drug called dronabinol and nabilone that are manmade. These are strong anti-emetic and approved from FDA for people receiving chemotherapy to prevent nausea and vomiting.
CBD or cannabidiol is another component in marijuana which is not psychoactive in nature and is thought to have the majority of the medicinal benefits. A CBD oil extract named Epidiolex is umdergoing clinical trials for its capability to treat epilepsy.
Nabiximol is a specific plant extract with an equal ratio of THC and CBD. It is approved as a drug in the UK and elsewhere in Europe for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, spasticity, neuropathic pain, overactive bladder and other indications.
Medical marijuana products are available with a huge range of THC and CBD concentrations. Expert opinion states that 10mg of THC should be considered “one serving” and a person new to medical marijuana should inhale or consume no more until they know their individual response.
- One of the active ingredients in marijuana, tetra-hydro-cannabinol (THC) interacts with the reward system of our brain through mimicking the action of a neurotransmitter called anandamide. It is the part that responds to things that make us feel good and energized. Therefore, it can be used as a nootropics supplement as well.
- Some studies have indicated that overuse of marijuana can be difficult for some people, the more often you trigger that euphoria by taking this drug, the more your brain will become dependent to it and the less you will enjoy in other natural experiences.
- Depression is a widespread social issue in most people who are not even aware about it. The cannabinoids in marijuana can help to stabilize moods which can calm down anxiety and depression.
- Marijuana has chemical compounds such as cannabinoids and cannabidiol, which are known for their therapeutic properties. Those benefits can include anti-inflammatory and pain relief. Therefore, cannabis is very much effective for treatment of chronic pain. Chronic pain is the most common cause that most people request medical marijuana for.
- According to a journal of American Medical Directors Association, marijuana might actually prevent people from more vicious drugs. Drug addiction is more common in patients suffering from some chronic pain. It is suggested that legal access to cannabis can lower the use of prescription only medications with high rate of side effects. In USA, drug overdose is the leading cause of deaths in people under 50.
- When you smoke a cigarette, your lungs are at stake but by smoking marijuana your lungs are not damaged. In fact, a study found that marijuana actually helps to increase the working capacity of the lungs, rather than causing any harm to it.
- A drug named Epidiolex (which contains CBD oil) is likely to become the first of its kind to be approved from the FDA to treat childhood epilepsy. The study is under process and is exploring CBD for its potential use in people with Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that initiates in infancy.
Is marijuana legal?
Some states in USA have legalized marijuana for medical purposes and with multiple restrictions. Few states such as Colorado and California, have legalized recreational use of marijuana as well. However, it is classified as a Schedule I substance by the Federal Drug Administration. Therefore, it is illegal at the Federal level. In almost all states where recreational use has not become legal, a prescription, authorization, or medical recommendation is strictly required and a license is issued to the person.
How can you get marijuana?
In states where cannabis is legal, dispensaries and pharmacies often sell marijuana products in a variety of forms. Medical marijuana is available in edible form such as candies or gums, oils and extracts, and as the plant which can be smoked or powder to be inhaled. You must have a medical marijuana card before they will sell you these products. How people can obtain a marijuana card or license varies from state to state. It either require a prescription from a licensed pharmacist or a doctor.
Is marijuana “addictive?”
If it is taken as recommended and in low therapeutic doses, there are very less chances of addiction of this drug. Concerns about psychological dependence are in heavy consumers and in case of marijuana abuse.
Side effects of cannabis are minimal if it is used at low doses but in some cases, you may feel one of the following inconveniences: Dry mouth, fatigue and lethargy, dizziness, paranoia, mood swings and hallucinations.
There are concerns about side effects of marijuana in adolescents because the risks of brain damage are greater in immature neurological system. These issues include increased risk of schizophrenia and brain fog.