Medical Marijuana Explained - A Guide To MMJ
More and more people are discovering that medical marijuana works. The majority of American states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use. Countries that are implementing laws that allow the use of medical marijuana include Canada, Uruguay, and Australia.
But what exactly is medical marijuana and can it work for you?
Marijuana in the United States
Marijuana is a slang term that refers to the flower of the cannabis plant.
In the early 1900’s, Mexican immigrants flooded into the U.S and spread the trend of smoking “marijuana”, a term that was later popularized by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. The U.S government influenced the American public with anti-cannabis propaganda which led to the enactment of the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act. This act criminalized cannabis on a federal level. Once prohibition ended and alcohol became legal in the 1930’s, there proved too much competition for the cannabis industry to thrive.
Almost a century later, the marijuana industry is thriving and is on the verge of being accepted by the masses.
What is Medical Marijuana?
The cannabis plant has been used as medicine for thousands of years in regions that include India, China, Greece and even ancient Egypt cherished the healing power of marijuana.
According to drugabuse.gov, “The term medical marijuana refers to using the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions.”
Cannabis used to treat serious medical conditions is often more potent than weed used for recreational purposes. The most potent forms of cannabis comes in the form of oils, tinctures and edibles that can be purchased from a dispensary. Medical marijuana is usually recommended by doctors to treat their patients who are suffering from chronic illness or pain.
Where is it Legal and How Does it Work?
Over the last two decades, 29 states have instituted medical marijuana laws and now have fully operational medical marijuana facilities that provide patients with high-quality medicine. The U.S may be considered one nation, but each state, city, and county, function under their own government and laws. Cities like Denver, Colorado and San Francisco, California, each have MMJ retail stores that function under different rules and regulations.
Each state that has enacted medical cannabis laws, has also set-up a system where you can get an appointment with a professional medical doctor, and receive a recommendation that is usually valid for up to one year. This “recommendation” or card, will allow you access to that particular states’ medical marijuana dispensaries where you can usually purchase up to an ounce of cannabis products at a time.
Qualifying conditions vary from state to state but people suffering from cancer, Crohn's disease, or debilitating pain can usually get approved with some form medical history.
What Can Medical Marijuana Treat?
Anxiety, PTSD, ADD, and ADHD are all conditions that cannabis can help alleviate and, in some cases, eliminate. CBD fights inflammation which causes most of the health issues that people deal with on a daily basis. Pain is subdued by the magic combination of THC and CBD as they soothe the nerves and relax the muscles. Other cannabinoids like CBG, have been known to help people with glaucoma by reducing intraocular pressure.
Cannabis can be a great sleep aid, given its ability to relax the body and combat insomnia. Using it in combination with other natural sleep remedies like camomile tea can give you an even better night of relaxation and sleep.
Higher THC strains can boost your energy and mood which can help with depression. Over 350 million people around the world suffer from depression, and at least half of them may never get treatment that could improve their quality of life. Marijuana can create a happy and relaxed atmosphere, which can be an effective treatment for anyone who deals with chronic sadness.
Synthetic THC has be prescribed since the 1980’s for nausea, but using natural marijuana could be even more effective for anyone experiencing the harsh side effects of chemo or radiation.
What Types of Medical Marijuana are Out There?
The two main cannabinoids that are of medical interest are THC and CBD. Much like humans, every cannabis strain is different and each person will feel an affinity towards the one they need the most. Each has varying amounts of THC and CBD along with terpenes, which affect the flavor and overall experience. Depending on your symptoms, you will have better results with some strains over others.
There is such a variety of cannabis products now that it’s easy to find the perfect strain, potency or flavor for almost any health condition. The main three ways that cannabis is divided is based on effect. Different types of MMJ include indica, sativa, and hybrid. Cannabis Indica is known to have sedative effects that can help with sleep, pain, and appetite. Cannabis Sativa is known to stimulate cerebral function which has been known to fight depression, PTSD, and other mental illness. Most edibles that can be purchased at a dispensary come in the form of a hybrid, which is a combination of indica and sativa.
The best way to choose the type of medical marijuana that is right for you is to mostly consider aroma and taste in addition to the effects it has on your mind and body. Any strain with a citrus flavor can inspire energy and creativity. Bud that has a distinct lavender aroma can help fight inflammation and pain. Your body knows exactly what you need, sometimes you must let your nose decide.
Consuming Cannabis is More Than Just Smoking Weed
Smoking weed is not the only effective way to consume medical marijuana. For anyone that has sensitive lungs, there are other forms of cannabis consumption to consider. Dispensaries and cannabis companies are now making powerful tinctures, oils, and ointments which provide many medical benefits without the combusted properties of burned flower.
CBD oil, in particular, has been shown to treat arthritis, muscle pain, and nerve damage. This oil or isolate can also come in a pill form which can be taken on a daily basis with other vitamins.
For instant results, consumers are vaporizing concentrated cannabis oils and now “dabbing” is becoming the preferred way to consume for most smokers.
Who Can Benefit From MMJ?
People who are looking for a non-addictive alternative to prescription medication have come across cannabis and had positive results. Adults who want a therapeutic medicine that doesn't come with nasty side effects are shying away from dangerous narcotics. Medical Marijuana is an attractive option for the health conscious looking for long-term relief. Anyone who needs safe and effective medicine can benefit from MMJ.
Talk to Your Doctor about Medical Marijuana
It's important to feel confident in your medical decisions so make sure you talk to your doctor about why you want to switch to a natural alternative. Explain that you want a long-term treatment without the negative side effects associated with many pharmaceutical drugs.
Most Americans now support medical marijuana legalization and implementation so chances are, your doctor is already an advocate!
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