Today, the use of medical marijuana is steadily gaining ground with more states passing laws allowing its use. As such, it is important to arm yourself with information on what it treats as well as who can and should use this drug.
According to a pain medicine specialist, Barth Wilsey, MD, of the University of California Davis Medical Center, the main reason why people request for a prescription when it comes to medical cannabis is for the treatment of pain. The pain could be as a result of headaches, a disease such as cancer, or even from a long-term condition such as nerve pain or glaucoma.
As a patient, you will typically get a marijuana card if you reside in a state where the use of medical cannabis is legal and according to your doctor, the application of this particular drug will be helpful to you.
As long as you have a valid marijuana card, your name will always appear on a particular list, allowing and enabling you to purchase marijuana from any authorized seller, commonly referred to as a dispenser.
Doctors can also prescribe the use of medical marijuana for the treatment of:
• Crohn’s disease
• Nausea caused by chemotherapy
• Muscle spasms, which are caused by multiple sclerosis
• Loss of weight and poor appetite as a result of chronic illness such as nerve pain or HIV and Aids
• Seizure disorders
A principal ingredient in marijuana, THC, has also been approved by the FDA for the treatment of nausea and to help enhance appetites. THC is consequently available today by prescription, either in the form of Cesamet (nabilone) or Marinol(dronabinol).
How medical marijuana works
Human bodies usually make chemicals containing properties that are quite similar to those of marijuana. These chemicals have a significant impact on inflammation, pain, and several other processes that occur in our bodies. According to University of Colorado’s Laura Borgelt, PharmD, medical marijuana can significantly assist these natural chemicals to achieve better levels of performance.
How to use medical cannabis
The ingestion of medical marijuana can be through several methods:
• Vaporizing, in which you will heat up the marijuana until it releases active ingredients. Smoke is not formed during this process
• Ingestion either as candy or cookies
• Ingestion as a liquid extract
Some of the side-effects resultant from using marijuana are:
• Short-term memory loss
The side effects mentioned above are short-term. However, medical marijuana also has some severe side effects such as severe anxiety and psychosis.
Risks and Limits
Medical marijuana’s use is not as monitored as FDA-approved medicines, which means you might not have adequate knowledge on its potency, purity, side effects, or potential to cause cancer when using it.
Medical cannabis should exclusively be used by individuals bearing valid marijuana cards. Doctors can never prescribe medical cannabis to persons under the age of 18. Some of the people who should not use this medication are:
• Anyone suffering from heart disease
• Anyone with a history of psychosis
• Pregnant women