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Medical marijuana, also known as medical cannabis, refers to either cannabis or cannabinoids that are used by physicians to treat various illnesses. Canada has taken up cannabis use for medicinal purposes, and many patients have benefited from the use of the plant. Over time, a variety of questions have been raised about the use of cannabis. Here, we analyze the traits of medical marijuana and the myths behind this form of medication.

What exactly is medical marijuana and how is it different from marijuana used for recreation?

This purified form of marijuana consists of extracts from the cannabis plant to treat illnesses. The chemicals present in medical marijuana are also present in cannabis used for recreation. This treatment method, however, is offered in doses and is administered to treat ailments only. Its use is therefore limited and is ceased as soon as the disease is eradicated. Recreational marijuana use is mainly as a result of a habit and is only for enjoyment purposes. It is not targeted at any particular medical condition.

What is medical marijuana used to treat?

Cannabis has proven to be beneficial for a variety of conditions. Currently, there are positive results that the drug can treat or contribute to the treatment of the following illnesses:

    Chronic Pain

    Alzheimer’s

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

    Depression

    Schizophrenia

    Different types of cancers

    Nausea

    Cachexia, or wasting away syndrome

    Crohn’s disease

    Brain aneurysms

    Eating disorders like anorexia

    Multiple sclerosis

    Glaucoma

    Gout

    Diabetes

    Muscular dystrophy

    Sleep apnea

    Attention Deficit Disorder

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Addictions

Marijuana doses have also shown positive results in being used to help addicts cope with their dependencies. Specifically, the medication has been used as part of rehabilitation programs for alcoholics, methamphetamine addicts and people addicted to opiates. Currently, however, there are no large clinical trials for the treatment of most of these conditions. That should not make you think medical cannabis does not work. For all the diseases listed above, there have been successful scientific experiments or theories that prove that the drug’s effectiveness to treat the diseases.

How Does Medical Marijuana help treat all these conditions?

There are components in cannabis referred to as cannabinoids. Some of these compounds are the ones that cause the ‘high’ feeling associated with marijuana’s recreational use. Cannabinoids have a similar effect to endocannabinoids found in the body. Endocannabinoids are a naturally-produced chemical,and are involved with appetite, movement, pain, and memory. When cannabinoids enter the body’s system, they affect these areas as well. Specifically, research has shown that cannabinoids can do the following:

  • Cause a reduction in inflammation as well as reduce pain
  • Cannabinoids can reduce levels of anxiety
  • They can slow down the growth of tumors as well as kill cancer cells
  • Cannabinoids have been shown to relax tight muscles in people living with multiple sclerosis
  • They have also been shown to increase the appetite of people suffering from HIV
  • They can decrease the levels of nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy treatment for cancer patients
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What about seizure disorders? Can medical marijuana treat those?

There was an extensive discussion on the impact cannabis has on seizures when some parents came forward and said marijuana-based treatment had helped their children recover from these episodes. They also said that a particular form of medicinal cannabis had helped get the seizures under control. Despite these claims, there is currently no scientific proof that the drug works to treat seizures. Some epilepsy centers across the world, however, have begun investigating the use of a drug called Epidlolex. This medicine is made from CBD. The medication is set to be used on people who have seizures that are very severe or are hard to treat with conventional medication. Some studies have also shown participants experience a drop in seizures after cannabis use. Currently, Epidlolex is yet to receive FDA approval.

How can you get access to medical marijuana?

To get medical cannabis or its synthetic form for your use, you need to obtain a written prescription from your medical doctor. You should note that not every doctor will be willing to recommend a treatment program including the use of cannabis. To get a prescription, one needs to have a condition that falls within the list of diseases medical cannabis has been proven to be beneficial towards. Your healthcare provider and the government may also require additional proof of qualification to obtain this form of medication. For example, you might be required to get a medical marijuana ID card to obtain the drug from dispensaries. Using this card will allow you access to buy.

How to Take Medical Marijuana

This form of medication can be administered in a variety of ways. The most popular method is smoking. Alternatively, medicinal cannabis can be inhaled through a vaporizer or eaten through different foods such as cupcakes or cookies. In case you prefer not to ingest the substance, you can apply it to your skin like oil or lotion. You can also receive this drug’s healing effects by placing a few drops of it underneath your tongue. Depending on the method used, you can begin experiencing the drug’s effects as soon as you take the drug to around three hours from ingestion.

Marijuana’s use and Approval in the pharmaceutical industry

Currently, this form of medication has not been granted approval by the FDA. This is because there hasn’t been enough research on a large number of people to prove that the medication works consistently. The FDA has however granted two medicines based on cannabinoids approval. These are dronabinol and nabilone. Syndros, which is a liquid form of the drug dronabinol, has also gained FDA approval recently.

Want to learn more?

If you have talked to your doctor about treatment with cannabis, and would like to browse our selection of products, visit our flagship online dispensary .

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