Medical marijuana has been legalized in 26 out of 50 U.S. states, as well as in Guam and the District of Columbia. Medicinal uses marijuana date back to 2737 BC when Shen Neng, the Emperor of China, promoted cannabis tea as a remedy for malaria, rheumatism, poor memory, and gout. The popularity of this drug for medical purposes has spread throughout Asia. It was primarily used for stress relief and pain.
How are things going today? Proponents of medical marijuana, supported by a number of studies, claim that this drug has a lot of therapeutic effects. On the other side, the opponents of this theory (the government of the United States before all) say marijuana doesn’t have legitimate healing value while providing a high risk for abuse. That’s why medical marijuana application is still a time-consuming process that could be a daunting challenge for applicants. By the way, it’s not possible at all in many countries in the world yet.
What is medical marijuana?
Medical marijuana implies the use of either marijuana chemicals or plant in treating of the certain diseases and health conditions. Basically, medical marijuana has the similar properties like recreational marijuana, but it is exclusively used for medical purposes.
There are more than hundred different chemicals (called cannabinoids) in marijuana plant, each of which has a distinctive effect on the users. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the main marijuana compounds used in medicine.
It appears in a variety of forms. Thus, medical marijuana can be vaporized, smoked, or ingested either in an edible form or a pill. It’s often added to some foods like chocolate bars, brownies, and cookies. In addition, medical marijuana can be applied to the skin in a cream, lotion, oil, or spray. It also appears in a liquid form, whereby a few drops should be placed under the tongue.
What diseases can medical marijuana treat?
A number of diseases and conditions can be treated with medical marijuana, including:
- Muscle spasms
- Appetite loss and eating disorders like anorexia
- Mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and schizophrenia
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Wasting syndrome (cachexia)
- Multiple sclerosis
However, it isn’t still proven to genuinely treat many of these illnesses, with only a few exceptions.
What are the health benefits of medical marijuana?
So, how does medical marijuana help? It’s all about cannabinoids. These active compounds are very similar (by chemical structure and influence) to the chemicals our body produces that are involved in pain, memory, appetite, and movement.
Medical experts suggest cannabinoids can:
- Relieve pain
- Reduce inflammation and anxiety
- Relax tight muscles in those suffering from multiple sclerosis
- Slow tumor growth and kill cancer cells
- Improve weight gain by stimulating appetite in patients with AIDS and cancer
- Control nausea
One might ask: what’s the problem then? A ban by governmental organizations is one of the main reasons why more researches in this field have not been done. This conflict exists for many years and it’s quite likely that the things won’t change anytime soon.