Medical Marijuana: What are Its Uses?

Science

Medical marijuana is becoming an increasingly popular option in healthcare as people are reporting more and more positive experiences with its use. But what is it that medical marijuana is used for? It is said to have many benefits, such as relieving pain and reducing the symptoms of epilepsy, among many other things.

What are some of the common uses of medical marijuana?

Several studies have shown that medical cannabis could potentially benefit several conditions. Some of these conditions include:

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Epilepsy and seizures
  • Multiple sclerosis and muscle spasms
  • Severe nausea or vomiting (usually associated with cancer treatment)
  • Severe and chronic pain

One of the most common medical marijuana uses is to control pain. Although it is not strong enough to help with severe pain such as post-surgery or a broken bone, it is reported to be effective against chronic pain and long-term pain conditions. The appeal of marijuana for a lot of users is that it is relatively safe and can be used instead of NSAIDs like Aleve or Advil if people are unable to take them due to kidney problems, ulcers or GERD.

Marijuana and Pain Relief

It seems that marijuana is beneficial in the easing of pain associated with multiple sclerosis as well as general nerve pain. This is something that has very few other treatment options and the options that are available tend to make patients extremely drowsy. It is reported that marijuana can be a good alternative which allows them to live more normally without feeling too drowsy and disengaged.

Similarly, studies have shown that marijuana is a great muscle relaxant, which can make it popular for people looking to lessen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Experts believe that it can be successful for use to aid patients with conditions such as endometriosis, fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis and most other conditions which can trigger chronic pain in patients.

There have also been many reports from patients of the benefits of taking CBD medically, such as relieving anxiety, insomnia, pain and spasticity, as well as reportedly holding many benefits for life-altering conditions such as epilepsy.

Other potential benefits

Marijuana is also used to help lessen symptoms of nausea and is said to be effective in weight loss as well as the treatment of glaucoma. Research concerning the medical use of marijuana in relation to PTSD in veterans returning from combat zones is promising, showing improvement in the symptoms of trial patients, and leading to the request for more studies. Studies are also showing that patients suffering from symptoms of HIV such as pain and wasting syndrome, as well as people suffering from Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome are all showing positive results from the use of medical marijuana.

What is the difference between marijuana and CBD?

More and more, the wellness community is embracing CBD – a compound sourced from the cannabis plant. While similar, there is a significant difference between a simple CBD oil and medical marijuana.

Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is an extract from the hemp plant which has little to zero intoxicating properties. Many people have incorporated CBD into their wellness routines, looking to take advantage of a range of potential benefits including alleviating stress and anxiety, and reducing painful inflammation throughout the body. CBD is thought to work through its unique interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

The substance commonly known as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the chemical contained in marijuana which causes the “high” feeling. It is found in relatively high concentrations in many strains of cannabis, but can also be extracted and ingested through weed edibles, which offer the psychoactive effects of weed in a more palatable way. These products are incredibly popular among recreational users, since they offer a much more controlled dosage than, say, smoking a joint. This makes it a lot less daunting to first-time users.

Of the countless strains of cannabis plant out there, there is massive variety in terms of how much THC and CBD are naturally found within each one. This is why dispensaries and stores offer such a broad range of buds – because everyone will have slightly different requirements from their marijuana.