This article goes over some of the most commonly asked questions with regards to medical marijuana.
In today’s day and age, every state has different laws governing the use of marijuana. Nearly 70% of the states have already legalized it for medical purposes and even more have bills on the table considering it. The bottom line, however, is that it is really only approved for the treatment epilepsy and very little else. In fact, the DEA still lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug, on par with drugs like LSD, ecstasy, and heroin. So with that in mind, what exactly is medical marijuana?
Medical marijuana is basically the same product as recreational marijuana, but it differs in that it is used to treat various diseases, and therefor taken for medical purposes rather than recreational ones. Medical marijuana can be used for the treatment of a number of things, including, but not limited to the following:
- Crohn’s disease
- Appetite loss
- Immune deficiency diseases such as MS, and AIDS
- Chronic pain
- Muscle spasms
Medical marijuana may help any or all of these conditions, but for the most part, it is not technically ‘proven’ to help or cure them. Basically, the cannabinoids found in marijuana are similar to chemicals in the body and research suggests that they might do things such as:
- Reduce anxiety
- Control nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy
- Reduce pain and inflammation
- Relax muscles in MS patients
- Kill cancer and/or slow growth of tumors
- Stimulate appetite to induce weight gain in people afflicted with AIDS and cancer
There are various ways that you can take marijuana including smoking, vaping, eating it in a food such as a brownie or candy, apply it to your skin, or take a few drops under your tongue. Each method works slightly differently and will have a different potency or effect. The method you choose is up to you. For example, eating marijuana can take 1-2 hours before there is any effect, but smoking or vaping it can have near immediate effects.
There are some side effects to taking medical marijuana that you may want to consider and be aware of. These include: dizziness, depression, bloodshot eyes, fast heartbeat, and low blood pressure. Marijuana is also known to affect a person’s judgement and coordination and during a person’s younger years while the brain is still developing, it can affect IQ as well as mental functionality. Smoking marijuana can also have an effect on your lungs because some of the characteristics are the same as found in tobacco.
Marijuana is considered to be addictive and it can be difficult to stop once you have started taking it. The more THC contained in the strain of marijuana you use, and your frequency of use, the more likely you are to become dependent upon it. Much like any drug, it is best when taken in moderation so that you do not become addicted.
Currently to get medical marijuana, you will need a written recommendation from a licensed doctor in a state where medical marijuana is legal. To get on, you must have a condition that qualifies and each state has its own list of qualifying conditions. Some states also require that you obtain a medical marijuana card.