Before modern medical science came into existence, cannabis and other products of nature were extensively used to heal and repair the human body. In the nineteenth century, cannabis, or marijuana, was highly revered in the West for its medicinal benefits for a range of conditions, including respiratory illnesses, migraine, menstruation-related issues, pain management and insomnia.
Marijuana gradually earned a bad name as there were no standard dosage guidelines for using medical cannabis to treat health conditions, which resulted in adverse effects on patients’ health. Owing to its widespread abuse for recreation and its misuse as a medicinal herb, cannabis was made illegal in the United States in the beginning of the twentieth century.
In the recent past, however, cannabis use has been legalized in 29 US states and has increasingly interested scientists and researches for its potential to alleviate and even treat chronic illnesses, particularly where the conventional allopathic medicine has not brought relief to certain patients.
Most common medical conditions treated with medicinal marijuana
The most popular healing benefit of medical marijuana is the alleviation of chronic pain and nausea brought about by chemotherapy in cancer treatment and as an appetite stimulant in persons with HIV.
Other highly researched uses include the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and neuropathic pain, asthma, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, spinal cord injury and PTSD. Other conditions for which medical cannabis is being used include Alzheimer’s, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Parkinson’s disease, hepatitis C, sickle cell anemia, Tourette’s syndrome, ulcerative colitis.
Cannabinoids: the chemical compounds that give cannabis its healing power
The medicinal benefits of cannabis come from three types of chemical compounds (called cannabinoids). These are: phytocannabinoids (present in plants), endogenous cannabinoids (naturally occurring in humans and animals), and synthetic cannabinoids (produced chemically by humans only).
Some medicinal marijuana products contain high amounts of the intoxicating chemical compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), found in high levels in the Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica varieties of the plant. Most scientists researching the medicinal use of cannabinoids have been using pharmaceutical THC.
The other chemical compound, which has very low intoxicating effect and is widely used in treatment of a number of diseases, is cannabidiol or CBD. The benefit of CBD-based formulations is that the patients don’t have to suffer the wanted “high” that may come with consuming THC-dominant products.
Today, you can walk into a medical dispensary san Francisco and purchase marijuana for medicinal or recreational use. Some shops will even deliver it at your doorstep if you can’t go buy it yourself.
THC or CBD – which one should you choose?
Medical marijuana should be bought and used after consulting a qualified and experienced doctor. The type, concentration and delivery method of your marijuana medication depends on your specific health condition, its symptoms and the diagnosis given by the physician.
While some patients need a CBD-dominant preparation, others would benefit more from a THC-based formula. Yet others will need prescribed dosages of both THC and CBD extracts. Marijuana medication should be procured based on what a certified medical marijuana doctor considers best for managing your condition and its symptoms.
In which US states is it legal to buy and use medical marijuana?
Currently, it is legal to use medical marijuana in the District of Columbia and the following 29 US states.
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.
Restricted use of medical marijuana is permitted in the following states.
Alabama, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Utah, Louisiana, Virginia, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Missouri, Georgia, Iowa, South Carolina, and Wyoming.
How cannabis provides relief in chronic conditions
Chronic or Acute Pain
For decades cannabis extracts have been used to provide relief to people suffering from chronic or acute pain from a variety of conditions, including menstrual pain, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis pain, post-surgery pain, unexplained pain, cancer-related pain, fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain.
Many people who found the traditional line of medicine ineffective have benefitted from the pain-relieving properties of medical cannabis. Studies on the effect of pharmaceutically prepared cannabis on chronic pain have found some benefits along with some side effects.
Studies have shown that CBD extract may be effective in reducing the occurrence of acne owing to its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to reduce the production of oil secretions (sebum) in the skin.
Some chemical compounds in marijuana, CBD in particular, have been found to be effective in controlling seizures. In fact, CBD strains have been found to be highly effective in controlling the seizures associated with Dravet syndrome, a form of epilepsy that affects young children.
Anxiety and mood disorders
Medicinal cannabis has been found to be effective in helping people living with chronic anxiety, chronic insomnia, suicidal thoughts, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.
Marijuana physicians say that cannabis-based medication for mood disorders can be safely used alongside traditional psychiatric medication.
Medical marijuana has long been prescribed as an alternative treatment for the tremendous side effects of chemotherapy such as pain, vomiting, and nausea. However, more and more cancer researchers are now increasingly interested in finding out whether cannabis extracts can be used as a first-line treatment for cancer itself.
Due to the psychotropic effects of THC (that is, the high a person experiences on consuming a THC-based medication), cancer specialists have now directed their attention to the role of CBD (cannabidiol) and CBG (cannabigerol) in treating certain types of cancers.
Cannabidiol oil is now a popular alternative remedy for arthritis joint pain. The anti-inflammatory effects of the chemical compounds present in marijuana have been shown to provide relief from pain, stiffness and swelling in people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Adverse effects of smoking cannabis and the better delivery methods available today
Smoking is not the only way to consume medical cannabis. In fact, it has been associated with many side effects, including the risk of addiction, impaired judgment, anxiety, cognitive decline, respiratory illness, heart attack, stroke, and some types of cancers.
Marijuana medication is available in a variety of forms, such as edibles (candies, brownies, lollipops), topical ointments (creams, lotions, oils, and sprays), capsules, juice, tinctures, vaporizers, sublingual liquids (placed under the tongue), and even rectal and vaginal suppositories.
If you intend to use medical cannabis, you need to obtain a valid prescription from your physician and who will prescribe the optimal dosage and the delivery method that will work best for your medical condition.
For best results, buy marijuana in edible, sublingual, topical or tincture form from a good dispensary San Francisco ca.
How much medical cannabis do you need?
On average, about 0.2 grams is considered a good dosage to provide relief to patients; however, your exact dosage should be based on your physician’s advice. For instance, one patient may find even a small dosage as little as 0.05 grams to be effective while another may need a much higher daily dose to get the desired relief.
Choose pharmaceutical cannabis or cannabinoid medication, as that will ensure that you are getting a standardized product with the right ingredients and dosage. This way, you will how much cannabis you are consuming each time you ingest a capsule or cookie or spray.
The best bet is to avoid taking medicinal cannabis on your own and leave it a qualified medical practitioner to prescribe the right dosage for you.
How to obtain a certification to use medical marijuana?
The rules differ from state to state. Check your state’s laws regarding marijuana use for medical and recreational purposes. One common rule is that to buy medical marijuana, you must obtain a certification from a licensed physician and that there should be a lawful and authentic (bona fide) patient-doctor relationship between the patient and the certifying professional.
How to store your medical marijuana supplies
If you live in or around San Francisco, check out the best dispensary in sf for high-quality medical and recreational cannabis products.
Here are six tips to store medical marijuana to protect its efficacy.
- Use a glass jar or bottle with an airtight lid rather than a plastic container.
- Use a lightweight container that you can take along when traveling or keep a separate handy container just for travel.
- Store your medical marijuana products in a cool, dry and dark place.
- Don’t let medical cannabis get wet or turn dry. Protect the products from humidity, water, and dry air.
- Check if the product comes with an expiry date and remember to discard it when expired.
- Keep cannabis safely out of reach of children and pets.
If you intend to use medical cannabis to relieve symptoms or side effects of a chronic condition or first-line treatment, it is advisable to educate yourself about which strain to use and how to use it. In addition, it is important to consult a healthcare professional first and to source medical marijuana from a trusted seller of quality products.