With so many holistic and natural treatments on the market for improving your overall health, probably one of the most effective (but also controversial) is medical marijuana.
Despite increasing acceptance of cannabis for both medical and recreational use, many people still know little about the promises of this green herb. For those of you seeking natural solutions to anything from pain to multiple sclerosis, it might interest you to read about these four medical issues that marijuana can help to treat.
How can medical cannabis help?
Before diving into the medical treatments, it might help to dispel any confusion about cannabis and the differences between medicinal and recreational forms of the drug.
Marijuana has two main active chemicals, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Besides these two, there are over 400 total chemicals and 60 cannabinoids. THC is the chemical that produces the psychoactive effects of feeling ‘high’ and is what recreational users seek out.
CBD doesn’t have these effects but instead helps with issues like pain, nausea, and more.The medical form of cannabis has higher CBD content levels.
Your doctor can tell you whether cannabis could help your medical condition. Most reputable dispensaries will also provide similar information, so if you live in a place with legalised medical cannabis, you have many options.
If you wish to keep your purchases private, your safest bet is to seek out the best online dispensary in Canada or wherever you are located where medicinal marijuana is legal. Online dispensaries carry many different products in stock.
If you’re approved by your doctor and live somewhere that medical cannabis is legal, here are four issues that medical marijuana can help treat.
This is not only the most common reason for patients asking for a prescription, but it is also the best supported medical use for marijuana. It has been used to treat pain in some cultures for almost 5,000 years, so it’s a safe bet it can alleviate your pain.
With the major problem of opiate addiction stemming from the overprescribing of highly addictive pharmaceutical pain medications, marijuana can be a safer alternative treatment for many types of chronic pain. Furthermore, there has been a steady, significant reduction in the amount of opiate overdose deaths in places where medical marijuana has been legalised.
Seizures and Dravet’s syndrome
There have been many reports of CBD helping with some treatment-resistant types of epilepsy and severe seizure disorder. As well, it has been shown to help with Dravet’s syndrome, which can also cause developmental delays.
One popular strain for treating seizures is a high CBD-low THC blend of oil called Charlotte’s web. This was named after a girl with Dravet’s Syndrome who was treated by Dr Sanjay Gupta in his film Weed.With medical marijuana, Charlotte went from having over 300 seizures a day to only one every seven days.
Some patients have also reported that smoking a little amount of herb after a seizure helps the mind and body relax. It helps to reduce the amount of time needed to recover after having more severe seizures.
Glaucoma is caused by an increase in intraocular pressure, which puts pressure on the optic nerve and leads to blindness. Research in the 1970s proved that smoking marijuana reduced the intraocular pressure in the eye.
While smoking will reduce this pressure,it only lasts for several hours. Now, researchers are trying to come up with a compound that can be made from the one of the 60 cannabinoids in marijuana that would have an extended effect. This entails that the patient with glaucoma would not have to smoke as frequently.
A study in the Canadian Medical Association journal reported that 30 patients with MS who weren’t responding to any other treatments felt less pain from their severe muscle contractions after a few days of smoking marijuana.
The research seems to point to THC binding with the receptors in the nerve and muscles,which reduces the pain.
With all this research, the time has come for more people to seriously consider THC and CBD as effective alternatives for treating many medical problems. While the results will differ from person to person,the research into medical cannabis is showing promising results.
Wendy Whitehead worked as a teaching assistant at two special needs schools in London before embarking on a different career as a marketing consultant.