What You Need To Know About Medical Marijuana

WHAT IS MARIJUANA?

We may know it by many names like marijuana, weed, hemp, hashish, ganja, etc. but scientifically it is widely known as “CANNABIS”. it is a psychoactive drug extracted from the dried stem, leaves, and flowers of “Cannabis sativa” or “Cannabis indica” (scientific names of plants) and has physiological effects as it mainly targets the cannabinoid receptors present in our CNS(central nervous system) along with various other organs is especially popular among people for recreation which causes relaxation along with euphoria also known as the feeling of getting “stoned” or “high”;hence people mis-utilize this and for this reason it is termed as illicit drug and is banned from use in many countries . Apart from that, the importance of cannabis in the medicinal field is far more important and it serves as a helping hand to patients suffering from various life-threatening diseases.

MARIJUANA DOCTORS

The physicians, who specialize in the field of medical marijuana and are willing, certified (qualified) to recommend medicinal marijuana to the patients in need are the marijuana doctors. They are just the same as the other doctors you see but have a vast knowledge about medicinal marijuana, like their requirements and the side effects. The marijuana doctors have all the privileges and rights to practice in your country. These doctors are well aware of the requirement of cannabinoids according to their patient’s health conditions and recommend them a number of ways to intake medicinal marijuana keeping the concentration (dosage) in mind.

MARIJUANA AS A MEDICINE 

Medicinal marijuana, as the name indicates cannabis(marijuana) and its components(cannabinoids) are used in the field of medicine and are prescribed by marijuana doctors mainly for cancer patients as it helps to reduce the feeling of nausea when a cancer patient is an ongoing chemotherapy , it is also used in case of HIV/AIDS patients in order to improve their appetite , it is helpful to treat epilepsy in children, but it is mainly prescribed by doctors in case to relieve chronic pain (consistent feeling of pain) and spasms in muscles.

We can say that medicinal marijuana is the green miracle for the patients; but “what makes the medicinal marijuana so different from the simple marijuana we know?”. If we dig deeper into this matter we need the help of science. Cannabis plants produce around 80 – 100 cannabinoids and among these, there are two main components used by patients for therapeutic benefits which are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol(THC) and cannabidiol(CBD). THC affects or reacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system (the communication system in our body that consists of neurotransmitters and neurological pathways) making it is one responsible for the euphoria(high) or sleepiness people experience as THC has high psychoactive effects on our central nervous system as it acts on the sites of neuro-transmitters thus altering the conduction of nerve impulses throughout the body resulting in abnormal functioning of brain(affects memory centers) . But it has great medicinal value as it has antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. On the other hand, CBD (cannabidiol) doesn’t contribute to inducing the feeling of euphoria or any effect on our brain receptors but is used to treat schizophrenia, epilepsy, inflammatory diseases, psychotic disorders, tumors, etc.

The marijuana we know has all the cannabinoids as secreted by the cannabis plants along with some harmful impurities like terpenes which have a role in deteriorating our health as it doesn’t go through any extraction procedure so none of the other harmful cannabinoids present in the plant gets filtered out along with the pesticides and insecticides. But the medicinal cannabis or “Pharmaceutical cannabis” products are prepared in labs ensuring the removal of the unwanted cannabinoids along with other present impurities and microbes which can have adverse effects. So that leaves the medicinal marijuana with the main two cannabinoids only contains CBD or THC or both, and they are approved for medicinal purposes by organizations like Therapeutic Goods Administration {TGA} and FDA.

METHODS FOR INTAKE 

There is plenty of medicinal marijuana available in the market and more than that are the number of ways to take it but surely not without the proper prescription by a certified marijuana doctors.

  1. Capsules and pills 

Pills are a safer way for the intake of marijuana for those who suffer from respiratory disorders like asthma or other lung problem. These capsules are also known as canna caps. Benefits of capsules are it can provide the patient with a particular dosage (required amount of cannabinoids according to the requirements) as canna caps have a designated composition of the amount of THC or CBD present per capsule. This is also the most recommended method of intake by the marijuana doctors.

  1. Edibles

Some peoples also like to take marijuana infused in their foods like snacks, candies, chocolates which contain the least amount of THC and comparatively more CBD thus making it suitable for patients who depend on the edibles for their pain relief. But it this way of ingestion takes around two to three hours for the onset of the effect of marijuana. Hence it’s not the best method for people seeking instant pain relief.

     3.Cannabis sprays 

Canna sprays are alcohol-based or oil-based sprays and are meant to be taken sublingually (under our tongue). Like he edibles and capsules, the canna sprays also have a definite proportion of THC to that of CBD and can be used by patients as per their requirements but unlike the edibles, these sprays provide fast action as the can be easily absorbed by the buccal cavity into the bloodstream. These sprays are also convenient for people with asthma and respiratory conditions

4.Beverages

People like to drink their tea with some marijuana and some prefer coffee (canna coffee), lattes, sodas, cocktails, etc. people can easily brew a cup of medicinal marijuana tea with only CBD in it, and will get the medicinal benefits from it without the danger of being high. This type of composition (CBD tea or coffee) is available in the cannabis stores. People also like to make their cannabis drinks by mixing the decarbed CBD concentrate on their preferable drinks.

  1. Creams

There are many lotions and crèmes available in the market and along with  them the canna creams that also made its place on the shelf. As we know CBD and THC are potent antioxidants anti-inflammatory substances and pain relievers so they are widely used by athletes for rapid pain relief caused by muscle spasms or joint pains but these lotions are for external application only and don’t cause euphoria on application. Canna lotions can also be used to treat rashes and inflammations.

  1. Skin Patches

These are developed with the same concept as that of nicotine patches      and are simply placed on the skin are developed for purely medicinal purposes only as they don’t have any psychoactive effects. These patches transmit CBD into the bloodstream of the patient through the epidermal cells of the skin and provide discreet and consistent pain relief. But in this, the action of the cannabinoids is slower than the results achieved by sprays.

  1. Vapes

The most popular method of consumption of marijuana as it is convenient and with low health risks as in this case, the cannabis is heated to a high temperature(not burnt) by the battery present in the vape pens which significantly reduces the risks of inhaling the toxins and burnt carbon particles. These vapes can also regulate the temperature to which the marijuana is being subjected to, thus you can regulate the amount of smoke emitted.

  1. Smoking cannabis

The most primitive method of intake of marijuana since ancient times and also the quickest of all the others for the onset of action of marijuana as the smoke is directly absorbed into the bloodstream through diffusion in the alveoli of the lungs, thus reaching the brain within minutes. You might be thinking that this might be the best method of taking marijuana, but it is the most harmful one.

WHY SMOKING MARIJUANA IS BAD?

Majority of the people like to smoke marijuana. And the market has seen to it that people get what they want by providing bongs, bowls, bubblers, joints, blunts, etc. But how is smoking marijuana bad while it can be an instant relief to those in chronic pain? The reason is when we smoke marijuana along with the cannabinoids our body is exposed to more than 60 carcinogens(the chemical substances which are responsible for causing cancer ) and in the process of smoking the marijuana is burnt which leads to release of unburnt carbon particles which on inhalation causes serious health issues(lung cancer). Smoking marijuana will have the same adverse effects on our lungs as that of smoking tobacco.

And most importantly, in smoking, we cannot regulate the amount of cannabinoids uptake according to the requirement of our body making them unfit for the patients. So almost every marijuana doctors are well aware of the concentration of the cannabinoids present in the medicinal marijuana they prescribe according to the condition and requirement of the patient and smoking doesn’t ensure the quantity of the cannabinoids reaching the patient’s body.

IS VAPING MARIJUANA (CBD OILS) GOOD?

Vapes are currently the most popular method for the consumption of medical marijuana in Florida due to its reduced health risks as compared to smoking. Both vaping and smoking involve the intake of marijuana through smokes which is the fastest way for marijuana to show its effects, but vaping is even a considerable method for the intake of dose as prescribed by your marijuana doctors rather than taking an uncontrollable amount of toxins as in smoking. As in vapes, marijuana is not subjected to any flame but it is rather heated by the battery of the vape pens and the amount of smoke can be easily controlled, making it easy for people who like to intake marijuana by smoking and within a limit. And most importantly in smoking vapes there is least chance for the uptake of the carcinogens and carbon particles that we encounter in normal smoking, as in vapes there are cartridges which contain the purified CBD oils, which can be solely used for medicinal properties without having the psychoactive effects (euphoria) .but same as the two sides of coins vaping has its own merits and demerits.

MERITS OF VAPING

  1. It is undoubtedly the fastest way for the onset of effects of marijuana in the patients requiring immediate pain relief within 5-7 minutes.
  2. The amount of CBD intake can be very effectively altered as prescribed by marijuana doctors or specialists.
  3. We can choose the best CBD oils available for the vapes. The CBD oils are most beneficial in cases where CBD is extracted using carbon-dioxide or ethanol as solvents as these are the cleanest methods for the manufacture of vape cartridges and doesn’t contain any other chemicals as impurities.

DEMERITS OF VAPING

  1. Vaping is pretty new to the market and is not approved by the scientists as there are no long term studies about its adverse effects. But as of the recent case studies in the USA, there are 26 deaths related to heavy vaping.
  2. It is not recommended for the persons who suffer from lung issues like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, etc. as vaping can increase those issues. Currently, there are more than 1400 cases of lung-related issues due to vaping in the USA alone.
  3. For patients who are using marijuana almost daily and for the long term are restrained from using vapes for it may lead to any of the above-mentioned lung diseases.
  4. In some cases when the vape pens heat the CBD oil cartridges which can degrade chemicals which can result in toxin formation and will be inhaled along with the CBD vapors.
  5. Some people show allergic symptoms so certain kind of chemicals like propylene glycols and polyethylene glycols which are used in the CBD oil cartridges.
  6. Studies show that the heating coils in the vape pens are subjected to release heavy metal sediments which are combined along with the CBD vapors and end up inside the human body.
  7. We cannot be sure of the CBD oils cartridges as they might be with some additives or with unwanted substances like being diluted with medium-chain triglycerides (MCT)

The answer to the question is “NO, VAPING IS NOT GOOD” and is strongly avoided in medical cases where the marijuana doctors strongly restrain patients from vaping, as in their case they constantly require a dosage of marijuana and vaping might lead to severe health issues. the recommended method for the intake of medicinal marijuana is capsules, pills, patches, sprays which require some time for onset of action but have the least side effects as they can be provided in a controlled amount. 

ADVERSE EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA

Medicinal marijuana can ultimately be the herbal miracle for the patients who are in immediate need of pain relief but that can be achieved by the intake of a particular dosage as prescribed by marijuana doctors. Even the uncontrolled uptake of purified CBD or THC oils can also have serious effects on our body like dizziness, loss of static and dynamic balance, impairment of nervous system, acute memory loss, suppression of immune system, testicular cancer, mutation or changes in the human genome, decrease in brain functioning, etc.

BOTTOM LINE

 It all comes down to the user taking control of the medicine and if the user is successful to walk the proper way of medication as guided by the experts(marijuana doctors) then marijuana can be god’s gift to mankind.

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