Medical Marijuana Explained
Understanding Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana refers to the use of the marijuana plant, or its basic extracts, as a physician-recommended form of medicine or herbal therapy. The plant contains more than 100 different chemicals, known as cannabinoids, each having different effects on the human body. The two main chemicals used in the medicinal application of marijuana are Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
The Medical Benefits of Marijuana
Medical marijuana is used to treat a number of different health conditions, including:
- Alzheimer's disease
- Appetite loss
- Crohn's disease
- Eating disorders such as anorexia
- Mental health conditions like schizophrenia and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscle spasms
- Wasting syndrome (cachexia)
How Does It Work?
Cannabinoids, the active chemicals in medical marijuana, are similar to chemicals the body makes that are involved in appetite, memory, movement, and pain. Research suggests cannabinoids might:
- Reduce anxiety
- Reduce inflammation and relieve pain
- Control nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy
- Kill cancer cells and slow tumor growth
- Relax tight muscles in people with multiple sclerosis
- Stimulate appetite and improve weight gain in people with cancer and AIDS
Side Effects of Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana, like any other medication, can have side effects. These may include:
- Fast heartbeat
- Low blood pressure
- Bloodshot eyes
Legal Status of Medical Marijuana
The legal status of medical marijuana varies from country to country and in the U.S., from state to state. In some regions, it is completely legal, while in others it is only allowed for certain medical conditions. In some areas, it is still completely illegal. It's important to check the laws in your specific area before considering the use of medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana is a complex topic. . As with any treatment, a discussion with a healthcare provider is essential to understand the potential benefits and risks, and to determine if it is the right option for you. Call Dr. Harrison to discuss the benefits of medical marijuana and obtaining your medical marijuana card.