The never-ending war on drugs has programmed some people to think that marijuana is a drug that is of no benefit to the human body. Part of the problem is years and years of propaganda and prohibition have made it difficult for researchers to answer simple questions such as: is cannabis a safe and effective medicine? Is it safe for people of all ages? Etc.
That aside, the difference between recreational weed and medical marijuana is very simple, the difference is the quality of the product. Here is the thing; the term medical marijuana refers to using the whole unprocessed cannabis plant or its extracts to treat a disease or symptom. That means that there is not much difference between medical marijuana and the high-quality weed you buy on the streets.
I know it sounds confusing, but hear me out. As the name suggests medical marijuana is used to treat different conditions and symptoms, because of that, it is very important to know how the plant was grown before using it. See the thing is if you are sick and you consume weed that contains pesticides, herbicides, and other dangerous chemicals. You may end up creating more health problems for yourself.
So in simple terms, medical marijuana is high-quality weed that doesn’t contain pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, insecticides or any other unwanted contaminant.
Is Medical Marijuana Legal in the US?
The answer to that question is it depends on where you are, in some states you are allowed to use it and in others getting caught with marijuana may land you behind bars. The reason why marijuana remains illegal is very simple, according to the FDA; there haven’t been enough studies to prove that pot is a safe and effective medicine.
Currently, some states allow CBD use for select ailments and others including Nebraska and Idaho have completely banned medical and recreational cannabis. Here is a list of states where cannabis is still illegal:
- South and North Carolina
- South Dakota
How to Consume Medical Marijuana
The most common route of consuming medical marijuana is smoking followed by vaporization and then the oral route. Experts recommend the oral route, why? Although the association between cannabis smoke and lung cancer remains unclear, we know that marijuana smoke contains carcinogens such as benzopyrene and compounds such as ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide that are bad for your health.
Exposing your lungs to these compounds may cause lung infections, bronchitis, coughs, wheezing and many other respiratory problems.
What is Medical Marijuana?
THC is the principal psychoactive constituent of marijuana, some researchers have found that CBD attenuates the effects of THC and others claim that it doesn’t. That debate is still open. What you need to know is, CBD and THC are cannabinoids found in marijuana plants. THC gets you high and CBD doesn’t.
Most people prefer cannabis sativa because it contains very high levels of THC.
If you are only in it for the health benefits, you should consider using high CBD strains or hybrids, why?
The reason why some people shy away from marijuana is very simple; they don’t want to get high. For instance, if you have a sick child, you don’t want him or her to start seeing things or to be stoned all day every day. Also being stoned or high may keep you from doing your job. The point is if you are sick but you still have to work or go to school, CBD is the better option.
Weed as Medicine
Your body protects itself from bacteria and other invaders through an elaborate dynamic network of organs and cells which we refer to as the immune system. We know that THC modulates the function of immune cells in two ways. It diminishes the immune response in some people and it enhances it in others.
What I am trying to tell you is, people react in different ways to weed i.e. it is beneficial to some and it may cause some problems in others.
This makes it very important to talk to your doctor before you start using medical marijuana.
Although the effects are short lasting, there is evidence to suggest that cannabis is beneficial to patients who suffer from glaucoma. The thing is the side effects of marijuana don’t last very long. That means that if you have glaucoma, you will have to continually consume it to overcome this problem. In simple terms, it works but not as good as available treatments.
If you have epilepsy, you should know that THC alone won’t yield therapeutic benefits. On the other hand, CBD is showing a lot of promise as a treatment for seizures because of its anti-convulsive properties. More research is needed but we know that it works.
Cannabis and its products are used every day to treat many different types of pain including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Cancer pain
- Multiple sclerosis
- Postoperative pain
- Chronic unexplained pain
- Neuropathic pain
Chemotherapy Nausea and Vomiting
The side effects of chemotherapy are brutal; they include nausea, insomnia, vomiting, diarrhea, appetite loss, weight loss, and many others depending on the type of chemo you are undergoing. Synthetic cannabinoids (fake weed) are used to treat these problems. Also, there is evidence to suggest that cannabinoids help your body to fight many types of cancers.
Cannabis acts as an appetite stimulant in patients with cancer or HIV; this prevents weight loss and improves your overall health.
What are The Risks?
It depends on what you are smoking or ingesting if you are sick and you consume let’s say pesticide ridden marijuana. You may end up becoming sicker than you are right now, so always insist on quality or grow your own supply if you can.
Some studies report that marijuana use may lead to:
- Impaired judgment and thinking
- Financial problems
- Persistent cognitive decline
- Lung problems such as wheezing, bronchitis, sputum production, and chronic cough.
- Anxiety and depression.
According to the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Center, younger age of initiation of cannabis use, as well as longer duration of use, increase the risk to individuals of the listed adverse consequences. In other words, if you are under 21, you are at more risk.
In your opinion, what is medical marijuana? Tell us in the comment section.
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