Is Medical Marijuana Safe and Effective as Medicine?

Is Medical Marijuana Safe and Effective as Medicine?

VicesFebruary 08, 2021

Since medical marijuana has been legalized in more than 33 states, lots of evidence suggests that marijuana helps many conditions that affect people worldwide. You may be thinking, "Hey, it's marijuana, I don't want to navigate the green world." Often, that's not how things work. Usually, consumers have a medical marijuana doctor who shows them which products to use. Older people may believe that they'll get high from vaping medical marijuana, but they aren't aware of the many times medical marijuana helped patients treat their pains.  

How do things work? You get a medical marijuana card, the doctor gives you recommendations, and then, you're free to use it. Medical marijuana will help you alleviate the symptoms of different conditions. It's like going on a vacation: you enter the dispensaries, which are loaded with lots of tinctures, oils, vape pens, skin patches, mouth sprays, and so on. However, the products sold differ in each state, so you must be aware that dispensaries can carry lots of illegal products.  

What is medical marijuana?  

First of all, this is not the marijuana people used to smoke back in the 70s. More than 33 states permit medical marijuana for patients. Usually, a doctor's prescription and a medical marijuana card are required before you can use it. So, medical marijuana is the plant used to treat many conditions. It's the same as recreational marijuana, but only it's used for medical purposes. The medical marijuana plant contains over 100 different cannabinoids. Each one has a different impact on the body. THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the main compounds used in medicine.  

What is medical marijuana used for? 

Medical marijuana is used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including: 

  • Cancer 

  • Alzheimer's disease 

  • Glaucoma 

  • Epilepsy 

  • Multiple Sclerosis 

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 

  • Schizophrenia 

  • Multiple sclerosis 

  • Muscle spasms 

  • Pain 

  • Seizures 

  • Nausea 

  • Anorexia 

  • Autism 

  • HIV/AIDS 

  • Ulcerative colitis 

Experts say that many studies are still in need before concluding the real benefits of medical marijuana. 

 

Should you get a medical marijuana card? 

Most of you probably wonder if getting a medical marijuana card is useful. A medical marijuana card is a form of identification, which demonstrates that you have a qualifying medical condition, and you are legally allowed to buy cannabis products in dispensaries to treat your condition. Without this card, you are not even allowed to enter the dispensaries.  

But this can depend from state to state. Severe illnesses or any serious medical condition tend to qualify patients for a medical marijuana card in any state, but it's recommended to look up the list for your state. If you have a condition that is not on the list, don't worry: you are still qualified to use a medical marijuana card, because, in many states, doctors are authorized to determine whether a patient's condition would benefit from treatment with medical marijuana.  

How to apply for a medical marijuana card? 

For example, if you want to apply for a medical marijuana card in Utah, it's advisable to talk to a medical marijuana doctor to get approved. First, book an appointment to see a qualified medical marijuana doctor in Utah. The doctor will evaluate your condition, and while they do that, you may feel free to ask questions about medical marijuana. After the appointment, the patient will be required to register with the state and submit their application online. The doctor will be notified of the submission, and will be required to provide a recommendation for medical marijuana. The state will process the application, and email the patient once they can get the card. Once you have it in your hands, you can begin your shopping from dispensaries.  

How do you take medical marijuana? 

To consume medical marijuana, you can: 

  • Eat it (brownies, candies) 

  • Smoke it 

  • Apply if on the skin (spray, lotion, cream, oil) 

  • Inhale it using a device called a vaporizer 

  • Tinctures – place a few drops under your tongue 

How you take medical marijuana is up to you. Each way to take it will work differently for each person. Smoking, for example, will make you experience the effects of cannabis rapidly. But generally, it takes up to two hours until you can feel the impact.  

Medical marijuana basics 

Medical marijuana is a very discussed topic nowadays. Some people still view cannabis negatively because they believe it's bad for health. They even made campaigns and painted the plant in a negative light. Most countries have been legalizing cannabis in the past few years, including Canada. But is medical marijuana actually safe, and does it offer any medical benefits? 

Current researches indicate that medical marijuana works by interacting with a complex system in the body – it's called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Cannabinoids are active compounds found in cannabis, which have effects on the body. Our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids. Still, we don't have much research on the endocannabinoid system, but scientists theorize that the human body produces some substances that stimulate its cannabinoid receptors. These cannabinoid receptors are located in the brain, fat, muscles, and digestive tract.  

How the endocannabinoid system helps human bodies? The ECS regulates pain, appetite, mood, memory, motility in the gut, emotions, immune functions, stress, and so on. When someone ingests THC or CBD, which are like molecular sizes to endocannabinoids, they go into the same receptors and activate reactions that result in neurotransmitters.  

Medical marijuana is used by individuals to relieve their pain. Although THC is a psychoactive compound, CBD is the opposite. It also has medical benefits, but it doesn't produce psychoactive feelings. Yet, medical marijuana has proven to be safe, as it has no overdose potential. No one has died exclusively from taking cannabis, although you may be careful because it can interact with certain medications, causing harm.If you wish to use medical marijuana on your condition, it's important to talk to a healthcare specialist and get informed, rather than buying from sellers.