Recent studies suggest that marijuana can be valuable in the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions. If you are curious about the benefits of medical marijuana, read on as we break down the most researched benefits as well as a few considerations you should make note of when considering treatment.
What is medical marijuana?
Medical marijuana is made from the marijuana plant or chemical properties of the plant known as cannabinoids. It is used to treat various medical diseases and conditions. The active chemicals within medicinal marijuana behave similarly to chemicals naturally made in the body that are involved with appetite, memory, muscle movement, and pain receptors. While very beneficial, it is important to note that medicinal marijuana is not a one-size-fits-all line of treatment as it can help some conditions and not others.
There are over 100 known cannabinoids found within the marijuana plant. The most common cannabinoids used in medicine are THC and CBD. High levels of THC produce the “high” effect that many people associate with marijuana. A majority of medicinal marijuana contains higher levels of CBD which are known for their anti-inflammatory conditions and effect on the body’s central nervous system.
Medical marijuana can be inhaled through smoke or vapor, consumed through an edible as a cookie or herbal tea, as a liquid applied under the tongue, or even applied topically as a lotion, spray, oil, or cream.
What is it used for?
Medicinal marijuana is primarily prescribed to help treat forms of epilepsy, nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatment, and the loss of appetite or weight loss associated with autoimmune disorders such as HIV or AIDs. It has also proven helpful in the management and relief of chronic pain conditions and muscle stiffness associated with conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
What other conditions can medicinal marijuana help to treat?
In addition to the conditions described above, there is also evidence that medical marijuana can help to treat the following:
- Chronic and neuropathic pain conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and migraines
- Sleep disorders
- Inflammation from conditions such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome
- Symptoms of anxiety and mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Muscle stiffness and disorders such as Tourette syndrome or Parkinson’s disease
What are the risks of medical marijuana?
As with all medical treatments, there are side effects or risks associated with medical marijuana. Depending on the method of consumption, your body may react differently. If inhaled or smoked like cigarettes, it can damage your lungs.
The side effects of medical marijuana may include:
- An altered perception of reality
- Bloodshot eyes
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry mouth
- Impaired judgment
- Increased appetite
- Increased heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Poor motor skills and coordination
- Rapid breathing
Medicinal marijuana comes in a variety of products and varying strains with different percentages of CBD and THC. It is important to know that the side effects of medical marijuana can vary between people even when diagnosed with the same condition and prescribed the same treatment.
If you are interested in the potential benefits of medical marijuana for your health, please reach out to our office. We can guide you through the benefits and discuss the potential risks to determine if medicinal marijuana is right for you. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Largo Clinic today.