Medical marijuana is a hot topic. Many people have strong opinions about its legalization. It is important to know the facts. The term medical marijuana may refer to the whole plant or extracts removed from the plant. With the exception of two medications, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved medical marijuana.
There are hundreds of different compounds in the marijuana plant. These are known as cannabinoids. Two variants are commonly used in medical marijuana.
- Chemicals related to delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These compounds are responsible for the mind-altering effects of marijuana.
- Cannobibiadol (CBD), compounds have shown to have positive medical attributes without producing any mind-altering effects.
Medical marijuana is often associated with the treatment of glaucoma. In fact, it has been used for glaucoma treatment since the 1970s. Of course, this was a matter of self-medicating since the treatment could not be legally prescribed. There has been a great deal of research related to its medical potential since then.
- Alleviate pain and inflammation.
- Increase appetite and reduce nausea. This is extremely beneficial for cancer patients.
- There is evidence it may improve muscle control for neuromuscular conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
- Reduce epileptic seizures.
How Medical Marijuana is Used
Some opponents believe it is simply an excuse to get high. They envision people sitting around and smoking joints all day. This could not be farther from the truth. While smoking is a valid method for its use, medical marijuana is available in many forms.
- Vapor. The marijuana is heated but smoke is not produced.
- Consumed. It is frequently used in baked goods.
- Lotions or salves. These are used topically to alleviate pain and inflammation.
Opponents may be surprised to learn that many senior citizens are avid supporters of medical marijuana. Some baby boomers may have sampled marijuana in their youth. However, they are no longer seeking a “buzz.” Medical marijuana is an effective treatment for the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. It also improves appetite which is a common problem with the elderly.
It is so widely used that some communities offer chartered buses to transport seniors to buy their supplies.
Check the laws regarding the use of medical marijuana in your state. Several states have passed legislature and others are on the cusp of making it legal. Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule1 substance.at the federal level. This is the same classification as heroin.
The legalization of medical marijuana will increase research and public awareness of its potential.