Medical marijuana is a term used to refer to the whole unprocessed cannabis plant or its extracts which are used to treat or provide remedy to certain symptoms or medical conditions. In the United States, marijuana is not approved as a medicine by the Food and Drug Administration, though there are a good number of states which already allow the use of medical marijuana under certain circumstances.
Several studies have been done revolving marijuana’s ability to be used as a medicine. The main focus of such studies is on a chemical in marijuana known as cannabinoids, and currently, there are two FDA-approved medications which contain this chemical in pill form. It is believed that with further research and findings, more medications will be created and maybe FDA will finally enlist marijuana as a medicine.
How marijuana works
In order to understand how marijuana works and why it is a candidate for medicine targeting various ailments and conditions, it is important to first understand what cannabinoids are and how they function. Cannabinoids is related to tetrahydrocannabinol and it is the main mind altering substance which makes people high they smoke marijuana. A typical marijuana plant will have more than 100 cannabinoids and it is this substance that most studies aim at extracting, investigating and applying as a remedy to various medical conditions.
The body already produces chemicals similar to the cannabinoids present in marijuana. These chemicals are associated with body processes such as pain, movement, appetite and memory. It is believed that the cannabinoids from marijuana help those produced by the body to work faster and better. Numerous researches involving cannabinoids have come to the conclusion that the cannabinoids from marijuana might help in the following:
- reducing anxiety
- relieving pain and reducing inflammation
- kills carcinogenic cells or reduces the instances of malignancy
- can control nausea and instances of vomiting during chemotherapy
- can help in the relaxation of tight muscles for people suffering from MS
- can stimulate appetite and improve weight gain in cancer patients and persons living with HIV/AIDS
What ailments can marijuana strains help with?
There are quite a number of ailments that medical marijuana is currently being used to treat. They include but are not limited to the following:
Asthma – marijuana has a dilating effect on human airways and it makes it easier for asthmatic people to breathe properly. It also has less harmful effect on the lungs compared to tobacco and cigarettes.
HIV/AIDS – though it is not a cure, it helps people living with HIV/AIDS to have good appetite and sleep well. These are very vital for their continued survival.
Alzheimer’s – marijuana has been effective in treating symptoms associated with this condition such as depression, anxiety, hallucinations, insomnia and aggression.
Multiple Sclerosis – patients suffering from multiple sclerosis who take marijuana report to experience less tremors, pain, muscle stiffness and muscle spasms.
Menstrual cramps – this is not a disease, but ladies who experience painful cramps during their periods can smoke medical marijuana to ease the pain. Even Queen Victoria did the same during the early 19th century.