Medical marijuana, also known as medical cannabis, is a derivative extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant, and it's used to treat symptoms of certain medical conditions. There has been a lot of interest in using marijuana as a medicine.
You've probably wanted to use or heard someone thinking of using medical marijuana but have questions like: Is medical marijuana legal? What conditions does it treat? And does it have side effects? To answer those questions, this post will outline the most important things to know about medical marijuana.
What Is Medical Marijuana?
As mentioned, medical marijuana refers to the derivatives of the Cannabis sativa plant, which may help treat diseases and illnesses. The cannabis Sativa plant contains many compounds, but its most active compounds are delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC is the primary compound that makes people high, while CBD doesn't have mind-altering effects. The federal government considers medical marijuana illegal, but some states allow it to be utilized for medicinal purposes.
However, to use medical marijuana, you must acquire a medical marijuana card from a reputable source like Rethink Medical Marijuana Doctors. The card shows you're a qualified patient to use medical marijuana; thus, you can't be arrested or charged.
What Does Medical Marijuana Treat?
THC and CBD may help ease the symptoms of certain medical conditions. For instance, medical marijuana may help manage various physical and mental issues such as anxiety, Alzheimer's, glaucoma, epilepsy and seizures, appetite loss, insomnia, severe nausea and vomiting, chronic pain, muscle spasms, Crohn's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, etc.
However, state laws differ on the illnesses that medical marijuana can legally treat. There's also not enough evidence to show that medical marijuana can treat all these conditions, so further research is needed.
In addition, what may work for one person may not work for you, as people respond to drugs differently. Therefore, even if you want to use medical marijuana for a medical issue, you must consult your doctor first.
Forms Of Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana comes in different forms: pills, oil, powder, liquid, dried leaves, and topical forms like cream or gel. These forms differ in how they get absorbed in the body, how often you should use them, and how they affect your systems.
Therefore, you should consult your doctor before taking any medical marijuana. Medical marijuana shouldn't be smoked often, as this can raise the risks of cancer, stroke, and heart disease.
The forms of medical cannabis are different from the forms of recreational cannabis. Medical cannabis is treated as medicine and follows established guidelines, such as containing limited amounts of THC and CBD.
Side Effects Of Medical Marijuana
Just like any other medicine, medical cannabis can also have some side effects. The main ones include dizziness, feeling sleepy, increased appetite, drug interactions, potential addiction, withdrawal symptoms, hallucinations, dry mouth, nausea, and diarrhea. However, these side effects depend on how much medical marijuana you take and how often you take it.
Therefore, always follow your doctor's instructions to avoid severe side effects. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience some of the above side effects after taking medical marijuana. If you think you've overdosed on the medication, contact the poison control center for help.
Warnings And Precautions For Medical Cannabis
Not everyone can qualify to use medical marijuana. For instance, if you're allergic to marijuana or its constituents, you shouldn't use medical marijuana. You should also use the drug with caution if your family has a history of mental illnesses, schizophrenia, hepatic diseases, and cardiovascular disease. That is because if the medicine is contaminated with molds or bacteria, it can be hazardous to patients with the named conditions.
Pregnant and lactating women should also refrain from using medical cannabis as it can interfere with the growth and development of a baby. Moreover, people using anticoagulants, antiplatelet drugs, or supplements to reduce blood clotting shouldn't use medical marijuana as it can interact with the medication and increase the risk of bleeding. It also interacts with antidepressants and anti-viral drugs. Therefore, consult your doctor before using medical marijuana if you're on any medication.
Although growing and smoking marijuana is still considered illegal by the federal government, several states have legalized it for medical purposes as it has been shown to ease symptoms of certain health conditions. However, before using medical marijuana, you must apply for a state identification card showing certain health conditions that allow you to use medical marijuana. But remember, medical marijuana shouldn't be the first line of treatment; it should only be used when other forms of treatment have failed.