What You Need to Know About Medical Marijuana

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Medical marijuana, also known as Cannabis, is used for a wide variety of health conditions. There are people around the globe consuming it for chronic pain, cancer, epilepsy, and many other conditions. In fact, a 2016 study in the peer-reviewed Health Affairs journal revealed a decrease in medical spending of nearly $170 million over a three-year period that’s attributed to the use of medical marijuana.

Recent studies have revealed a decline in the number of prescription drugs used to treat a wide range of disorders where medical marijuana has been legalized. This includes psychosis, depression, anxiety, nausea, chronic pain, sleep disorders and even seizures. There has also been a reduction in the number of deaths across the United States from a prescription drug overdose.

While the laws surrounding medical marijuana are constantly evolving, as of 2019, 33 states allow the use of medical marijuana and more than a dozen states allow the use of cannabis derivatives. The reason why there is pushback concerning the legalization of medical marijuana is because under the Controlled Substances Act, it’s been classified as a Schedule 1 drug. This essentially means it’s unsafe and doesn’t have any medical use. There are many professionals in the medical community that disagree. In fact, there are many doctors that recommend its use for certain medical conditions.

The active compounds in medical marijuana are called cannabinoids. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the compounds, and it’s the ingredient that causes a person to feel high. It’s believed that a compound known as cannabidiol (CBD) is the ingredient that has medical benefits; this particular compound doesn’t have any psychoactive properties. There has even been a report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicating that CBD is not harmful to the public.

Despite the fact that CBD is still listed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, the report issued by WHO indicated that as an independent compound, CBD may be effective in the treatment of some cancers, as well as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. As previously mentioned, the laws are constantly evolving, which is often in response to ongoing research. Ironically, the amount of research conducted is limited because of the government’s position on the safety of medical marijuana. One of the reasons why there’s a lot of controversy surrounding medical marijuana is because it contains many different compounds.

When considering the use of medical marijuana, as with any other treatment, it’s important to communicate with your doctor to ensure you’re making the best decision based on your unique situation. Even if you obtain medical marijuana from a dispensary that’s licensed by the state, it can impair your motor skills and thinking. This means you should never drive a vehicle while consuming medical marijuana.

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