When you think of medical marijuana, do you think of glazed doughnuts and a brownie? Or do you imagine a miracle drug that has helped millions of people around the globe deal with their pain and discomfort? Medical cannabis, sometimes called medicinal marijuana among others, is a highly effective, safe and affordable medication from the cannabis plant that is used both for medicinal and recreational purposes by individuals who are diagnosed with chronic or debilitating diseases.
The plant has been used for centuries by our Native American and African cultures to help ease pain, treat wounds and treat conditions such as seizures, cancer and nausea. However, evidence suggests that the medicinal use of this plant may have much deeper roots and the United States government has recently concluded that it is an “effective, safe and affordable” treatment option for those who need it most. Currently, the only approved drugs for the treatment of serious illnesses are two: The synthetic pain killers known as Oxycotin and the FDA-approved medication, Sertraline. While both of these drugs can be used to treat a wide variety of ailments, the plant itself is still largely untapped.
In recent years, medical cannabis has grown from a niche market to one that is consumed by millions each year. Patients across the United States are experimenting with cannabis for a number of different reasons. Some patients use it to ease the symptoms of arthritis, cancer and nausea, while others use it to control severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. There are even some who believe that it has been found to relieve the symptoms of certain brain disorders such as MS, epilepsy and depression. Despite the fact that there is no single cannabis drug that meets every patient’s needs, there are many doctors and researchers who are currently investigating the medicinal properties of cannabis.
Currently, three main types of cannabis are available on the market: THC-based medicine (tinctures), CBD-based medicine (cannabis extract), and OTC (over the counter) marijuana remedies. Some people prefer to make their own edibles because they believe that edibles are a better alternative to smoked cannabis because the oils used in many of these edibles do not contain any pharmaceutical compounds, which means there are fewer side effects to worry about. However, even with this benefit, many people are still opting to buy medical marijuana rather than using an edible remedy. The reason for this is because many people feel that using cannabis in any form is less harmful than smoking, which is the most dangerous form of ingesting the drug.
A major difference between marijuana and hemp plant cannabis is the presence of cannabidiol, which is the chemical in marijuana that produces the “high,” or the “trip,” that most people identify with when thinking about cannabis. When CBD is present in the plant, it does not produce the “high” that people feel when using marijuana. However, when THC and cannabidiol are present in the cannabis, the experience is significantly different. People who consume cannabis that contains only trace amounts of cannabidiol will not feel a “high,” but instead will feel a calming effect that will cause a feeling of well-being and relaxation.
Despite the differences in the way that the two forms of cannabis are consumed, both have shown significant potential as medicine over the past few years. While much more research is needed to determine the long-term effects of consuming cannabis and hemp plant extracts, people who are interested in experimenting with this new type of weed can do so without fear of negative side effects. In addition, because the two types of cannabis are derived from the same plant, a patient can consume one type of cannabis without fear of consuming another. For these reasons, many people are choosing to add cannabidiol to their regular daily dose of medication.