Marijuana as a form of medicine is growing in popularity. Although it’s been used for thousands of years, it’s slowly becoming known as the new medicine in North America. Patients with varying medical conditions seem to be flocking to it as an alternative treatment and the population at large is warming up to it. Why? It’s natural and it works.
Considering its rise to popularity in the medical community, you might be wondering what it’s all about. So here’s your ultimate cheat sheet on medical cannabis.
There is still a lot of controversy surrounding medical marijuana-government officials believe that it’s a “gateway” drug, that recreational users will abuse the system, that there isn’t enough evidence to prove its effectiveness or understand its potential long-term harmful effect. The list goes on. Despite these arguments, medical marijuana has been legalized in all of Canada for over a decade and is legal in 23 states-with three more pending legislation in the United States. Governments decided that it was illegal to make patients choose between treatment and jail time, and thus, that they should have access to this treatment if they choose to.
Types of Cannabis
You might think that all cannabis is the same-but in fact, there are thousands of different strains. All strains either come from Indica or Sativa plants, or are a mix of both, called hybrids. These three variations, and the thousands of strains derived from them, can all have slightly different therapeutic effects on patients, including reduced muscle spasms, pressure, nausea, headaches, and pain, and improved appetite and mood. Patients choose the strains that best work to reduce their specific symptoms.
There is no solid list of conditions that are eligible for medical cannabis. Eligibility depends on the symptoms a patient suffers from and whether or not traditional medicines have worked in the past. However, scientific research and self-reports have found it to be useful at suppressing the symptoms of certain medical illnesses, which are more likely to be approved for treatment. These conditions include glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, cancer, AIDS, spinal cord injuries, anxiety, insomnia, Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, colitis, kidney failure, migraines, muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, PTSD, back and neck problems, and Parkinson’s disease, among others.
Pharmaceutical drugs can produce a long list of serious side effects-like organ failure, blindness, and even death. Medical cannabis, on the other hand, is much safer, which is why patients are increasingly trying it as a form of treatment. Sometimes, the adverse effects of pharmaceutical drugs can be as debilitating as the medical condition itself-making it difficult to live a comfortable life. The minor side effects of medical marijuana include a sore throat, dry mouth, dry eyes, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, fatigue, or depression. Many patients would prefer to deal with these temporary effects than with the potentially devastating effects of traditional medicines.
Forms of Consumption
Medical cannabis doesn’t have to be smoked through a joint, pipe, or bong. Many patients choose to use a vaporizer, capsules, or oral sprays to ingest their medicine. Others prefer to cook with their marijuana to create edibles.
Why Do Patients Choose Medical Marijuana?
Patients with all forms of pain are finding relief with the use of medical marijuana. Often, this is relief that they could not find with traditional medicines. Other patients simply aren’t willing to risk the addiction or severe side effects of pharmaceuticals, or want to choose a natural form of treatment. Regardless of the reason, medical cannabis has been proven to help them lead more fulfilling lives free from pain and suffering.