The last thing we think about is marijuana when it comes to medicine. But a growing body of research suggests that marijuana can help with certain medical conditions. This is supported by some health providers and patients who swear by its effect on their symptoms. Several marijuana-based medications have been approved or are undergoing clinical trials. So, marijuana has been shown to have some medicinal properties, but is it safe to use? Here we look at medical marijuana and whether it is safe to use or not.
What is Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana is a term used to describe the cannabis plant as medicine or herbal supplement. The Cannabis sativa plant contains over 100 chemicals called cannabinoids. The two most well-known cannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the cannabinoid that causes the “high” feeling associated with marijuana use, while CBD does not cause a high but may have other benefits. There are also marijuana-based medications that do not contain THC but CBD.
Marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. There has been renewed interest in its potential therapeutic benefits in recent years, as researchers study its effects on conditions such as cancer, chronic pain, and epilepsy. Despite this interest, there are still some states where marijuana is illegal. However, some allow medical marijuana use with a doctor’s recommendation. Much of this has to do with the fact that marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means that the DEA believes marijuana has no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
However, this classification may be changing soon, as there is now mounting evidence of marijuana’s therapeutic benefits. In fact, in June 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, the first cannabis-based medication. This medication treats two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and Dravet syndrome.
Is Medical Marijuana Safe To Use?
The potential medicinal properties of marijuana and its components have been the subject of many studies. While the results have been mixed, most of these studies suggest that marijuana can be a safe and effective treatment for certain conditions when used under the supervision of a health care provider. But like with any medication, it is essential to talk to your health provider about whether it is the proper treatment for you. The short answer is, yes, medical marijuana can be safe to use. There are a few things that you should know before using medical marijuana:
1. There Are Different Ways To Consume Marijuana
There are different ways to consume marijuana, and all methods depend on your needs and preferences. For instance, inhaling marijuana smoke can deliver THC quickly and effectively, but it also has drawbacks. Eating marijuana-infused foods can take longer to kick in, but the effects can last for hours. And marijuana tea is an excellent option if you don’t want to experience the “high” feeling. Drops, sprays, and pills containing THC or CBD are also available. Talk to your health care provider to find out which method is best for you.
2. Marijuana Can Cause Side Effects
Just like any other medication, marijuana can cause side effects. These can range from mild (dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue) to more serious (anxiety, paranoia, psychosis). Smokers of marijuana may also be at risk for respiratory problems, such as bronchitis and lung cancer. For consistent users, some experience a decrease in mental ability and motivation. Also, cannabis has been linked to developmental problems in infants exposed to it in the womb. It is essential to talk to your health care provider about the side effects you may experience and how to manage them.
3. Marijuana Is A Controlled Substance
Marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance in the US, which means that it has a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use. This classification makes it challenging to research marijuana and its potential benefits and drawbacks. However, this may change as more states legalize marijuana for medical use.
4. You Need A Prescription From A Doctor To Use Medical Marijuana
There are different types of medical marijuana, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana that makes you “high.” CBD is a non-psychoactive component that does not have the same side effects as THC. For this reason, CBD-rich strains are becoming more popular. To use medical marijuana, you need a prescription from a doctor who specializes in recommending medical marijuana. This doctor will assess your condition and determine if marijuana is the proper treatment for you.
Marijuana can be a safe and effective treatment for certain conditions when used under the supervision of a health care provider. However, it is essential to talk to your health care provider about whether it is the proper treatment for you. Remember to always consult with your doctor before starting any new medication, including medical marijuana.