What does it mean?
Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is a recognized recreational drug, but it has been used as a medicine since ancient times. Recreational use of marijuana is still illegal, but many states in America and other countries have legalized it for medical use.
Medical marijuana refers to the usage of the marijuana or cannabis plant as a whole and unprocessed or its extracts as treatment to symptoms of diseases and other medical conditions. Marijuana is not exactly the cure itself, but it can relieve symptoms of illnesses or side effects of the treatment of certain diseases. It can ease pain, make a sick person feel better, and can improve the person’s overall quality of life...
Many people dispute that marijuana should be illegal for medical purposes because of the many health benefits it offers. The cannabis plant contains chemicals that help treat a handful of illnesses and symptoms of certain diseases. The number of states and countries that have legalized marijuana for medical use are growing. More and more people are embracing the medical benefits of this plant, which no other plant can.
You can find the ingredients of legally sold marijuana that is used as medicine the same with the contents of the kind of marijuana that people use for pleasure. However, most marijuana that are used for medical purposes are grown specifically to have less chemicals that cause the feelings of euphoria, which are innate to the marijuana plant.
Generally, there are more than two ways to consume marijuana as medicine, which provide different effects on the patient. When marijuana is smoked, its effects are felt almost instantly. According to research, marijuana can make breathing problems worse when smoked. Those who smoke medical marijuana regularly may get respiratory problems, such as cough, bronchitis, and a higher risk of lung infections. When you eat it, its effects are experienced for up to an hour after it is consumed.
You can smoke medical marijuana in pipes of in paper-rolled cigarettes. If you want to drink it or consume it as food, you may brew it into a beverage, mix it in cooked foods. You can also take it in pill form. Marijuana as a pill can have a strong and long-lasting effect, making it hard to tell how it will affect a person. Another way to take marijuana is to inhale it through vaporizers. Some use topical marijuana in the form of lotion or oil for relief of pain and inflammation, as there are also cannabinoid receptors found in the skin. However, more research is needed regarding this application.
Medical marijuana can change your mood and state. It can make you feel happy, calm, drowsy, or anxious. Marijuana can make you feel relaxed and stress-free. Your short-term memory and ability to make decisions can also be disrupted when you take marijuana. These side effects, however, are just temporary, which can last for one to three hours.
On the other hand, when you take large doses of marijuana, it can make you hallucinate, have delusions and paranoia. Many studies also claim that regular use of the drug can cause mental illness, depression, less motivation, and suicidal thoughts. Pregnant women who use marijuana increases the risk of health problems in babies. Ultimately, marijuana can definitely result to addiction.
Can legalization stop people from using opioids?
According to some studies, the legalization of medical marijuana may be a result of the decreased prescription of opioid use and overdose deaths. However, there is no sufficient evidence yet to back this up.
One study claims that a decrease in Medicare Part D prescriptions filled for all opioids in states where there are medical marijuana laws. A Medicaid prescription data was also examined and the study found that there is lower opioid prescribing rate with laws in medical marijuana adult-use marijuana in place. Moreover, medical marijuana legalization is associated with fewer overdose deaths from prescription opioids, according to a study that has been funded by NIDA.
However, these studies cannot prove enough that medical marijuana legalization is the reason behind the decrease in deaths and opioid prescriptions because these studies are population-based. A more detailed analysis was made by a NIDA-funded study revealed that it is not only the laws of medical marijuana were associated with these matters, but also legally protected medical marijuana dispensaries were the reason. Because of this, there has been a decrease in opioid prescribing, misuse of opioid, and treatment admissions for opioid addiction.
More research is done and more data are looked into to prove the association of medical marijuana with decrease in opioid prescription and usage. Additional studies are being funded and supported by NIDA to determine the relationship between medical marijuana use and the use or misuse of opioids pain reliever. These studies are also addressing its possible role for treating opioid use disorder.
What are the two main ingredients in Medical Marijuana?
Marijuana refers to the dried leaves and flowers of the Cannabis Sativa plant, containing over 450 different compounds. Out of the 450 compounds in the plant, 70 are identified as phytocannabinoids. Two of these compounds are the two main ingredients on medical marijuana, which are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), which are of greatest interest today.
These two elements belong to a unique class of compounds called cannabinoids. Their chemical compositions might be the same, but the impact they have on the brain is different. As a result, people label THC as the “bad” cannabinoid, as it affects the brain negatively, and the CBD as the “good” cannabinoid because it does not give users the “high” feeling. There are many different effects of the chemicals present in the cannabis flower. While some can have very powerful effect, others have no real effect at all.
Medicinal and psychoactive properties are found in the flowering plants of the genus Cannabis, but herbal cannabis is widely used as a recreational drug. Further research are being conducted on the therapeutic effects of the molecules.
The THC compound has a psychoactive and pain-relieving effect, which is produced by the heating of the acid precursor of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (D9-THC). CBD has an effect on immunological function and can help counteract the negative psychoactive effects of THC.
THC is labeled as an illegal drug in most countries because it has immediate and long-term side effects on the brain. The person will have impaired reasoning and thinking and his ability to plan and to organize is reduced. Ability to make decisions will also be altered, and his control over impulses will also be affected. Continuous use of THC can also lead to major abnormalities in the brain and in the heart.
On the other hand, CBD lacks all the harmful effects of THC. CBD can even counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. With the increasing demand for medical marijuana, new strains are bred to feature higher CBC component than THC. This will minimize the negative effects of marijuana and make it more ideal for medical use and not as a recreational drug.
What are cannabinoids?
The body normally produces cannabinoid chemicals that help regulate pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, body movement, appetite, and pain. It is also important in regulating the five human senses, including taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight.
In the marijuana plant, there are over 100 cannabinoids, and they are associated with the compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the mind-altering ingredient of marijuana. It is what makes people "high." Many strains of cannabinoids are developed and produced by scientists and illegal manufacturers. Some of these cannabinoids can be very dangerous to one’s health when misused. They are extremely powerful and can lead to serious health problems.
Why are cannabinoids useful as medicine?
THC, just like the cannabinoids that are produced naturally by the body, can help increase appetite and reduce nausea. These are the common symptoms associated with illnesses such as cancer. This compound of marijuana may also relieve pain, inflammation, and muscle control problems.
On the other hand, CBD is the type of cannabinoid that does not make people "high," unlike THC. This compound also helps reduce pain and inflammation, control epileptic seizures, and treat mental illness like schizophrenia. These are the two major compounds of marijuana that are focused for medicinal purposes. Further studies continue to explore the possibilities of using cannabinoids as medical treatment.
According to recent studies on animals, marijuana may help kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of other types of cancer cells. Evidence from one study with rodents proved that purified marijuana extracts could slow down the growth of cancer cells specifically from a serious type of brain tumor. Other studies conducted on mice revealed that the cancer-killing effects of the radiation is increased by using purified extracts of THC and CBD treatment together with radiation.
Scientists have put some effort in conducting preclinical and clinical trials with marijuana and its extracts in the pursuit to find treatments for diseases and other medical conditions that affect the immune system. Examples of these conditions include HIV or AIDS, multiple sclerosis (MS). These diseases cause gradual loss of muscle control. Other illnesses that can be treated by marijuana include seizures, substance use disorders, mental disorders, and those that are accompanied by inflammation and pain such as arthritis and osteoporosis.