In 2018, the US FDA granted approval to Cannabidiol Epidiolex, a compound obtained from marijuana. The drug is useful for reducing seizures in patients with epileptic conditions such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. This approval has officially launched medical marijuana and opened the doors for medical communities to do more research on medical cannabis, which is legally still a “Schedule I” drug,
As the researches and studies increased, more of the cannabis therapeutic qualities came into light. Today there are over 4,400 people that have a medical marijuana card in San Diego alone. This post sketches the nitty-gritty of this magical herb.
Medicinal Properties of Marijuana
Marijuana is rich in chemical compounds known as Cannabinoids. Synthetic versions of these compounds have been used for nonspecific treatments in the past, mostly as pain killers and medications, which bring down vomiting and seizures, apart from increasing appetite. Preliminary investigations have also confirmed some of these promising results from using medical marijuana in cases of
- Alzheimer’s patients;
- Epileptic patients;
- Multiple Sclerosis patients
- Patients with Crohn’s disease and other digestive system related disorders;
- Patients with Parkinson’s disease and other muscular spasms related ailments
- Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy to reduce vomiting and nausea
- Patients with Cachexia
- Patients in pain due to peripheral neuropathy
And there are many kinds of research that are ongoing in this regard.
Strains of Marijuana for Medical Usage
Scientifically, the two strains of hemp, i.e., Indica and Sativa, are used in the medical field. In addition to these two are the hybrids. These strains have market names such as Acapulco Gold, LA confidential, Bubba Kush, Afghan Kush, Purple Kush, Northern Lights, etc. Each strain exhibits different properties. Some are more effective in relaxing muscles and reducing pain, while others may be preferred for feeling energetic. Strains like “Super Silver Haze” bring down vomiting sensations. It is best to consult the physician to confirm which particular strain is ideal for the medical condition a person has, as there are effective hybrids too in the market.
Using Medical Marijuana
MMJ can be used in many different ways. Traditionally it was smoked or eaten. But it can also be inhaled using vaporizers, or applied on the skin, combining it with cosmetics such as cream, or lotion. Alternately, the liquid extracted from the hemp can be used under the tongue to get the desired benefit. However, in order to possess MMJ, you need an MMJ card authorized by your county or state law enforcement.
Adverse Reactions and Side Effects of Medical Marijuana
Adverse effects of medical marijuana, when used for long term include:
- Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, which is nausea and/or vomiting caused by long-term usage of medical marijuana. Schizophrenia is also one of the side effects of prolonged usage of medical marijuana
- Addiction to marijuana
Normally, though a person who has taken medicinal marijuana in excess of what the body is in a position to tolerate, he or she may exhibit the following adverse reactions:
- Fast heartbeat
- Bloodshot eyes
- Low blood pressure
- Dizziness; and
The major concern when buying medical marijuana is strength or potency. This varies from one place to another and from 1 state to another simply because, as of now, it is not under any regulatory authority. This apart, the hemp is addictive, and that cannot be denied. Only purchase your strains from a licensed medical cannabis dispensary.
33 US States have legalized usage of medical marijuana, and 14 others have permitted usage of drugs with low concentrations of Tetrahydrocannabinol, with some restrictions, of course. While the trend definitely favors medical marijuana users, it is the medical fraternity that needs to offer more concrete results indicating medical benefits from it.
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