The recreational use of marijuana dates back to 1000 BC. Nevertheless, it was only during the 19th century, medical marijuana found therapeutic use in western medicine. Medical uses of marijuana or cannabis are legalized in most of the countries. However, many nations still consider it illegal to use marijuana for recreational purposes.
An introduction to Medical Cannabis
The research conducted on the use of the chemicals derived from the cannabis plant is limited. However, the vastly studied cannabidiols derived from the plant is known to benefit in vascular health, digestion, neuroplasticity, epilepsy, etc.
In fact, the FDA has legalized the use of cannabinoid derived drugs: Marinol, Syndros, Cesamet, and Epidiolex. While Cesamet, Marinol, and Sundros are used in treating nausea induced from chemotherapy, Epidiolex is vastly used for treating epilepsy.
What is medical marijuana?
Medical marijuana or cannabis, cannabinoids, CBD (cannabidiol), and THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) are derived from the Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa plants.
The chemicals (cannabinoids) derived from marijuana plants help in treating numerous diseases. While there are over a hundred different chemicals known as cannabinoids; only CBD and THC are mainly used in medicine.
What is medical marijuana used for?
As the name suggests, medical marijuana is legally used for treating many ailments, right from cancer to Alzheimer’s to anxiety, to name a few. So, how does medical marijuana work?
The human body produces certain chemicals that help to relieve pain, inflammation, etc. Most of these chemicals are similar to the plant produced by marijuana. Thus, cannabinoids like CBD and THC when used, help the marijuana-like chemicals produced by the human body to work better.
Can medical marijuana help with seizure disorders?
While studies have shown marijuana to help with seizure disorders, Epidiolex is specifically used to treat two of the most severe forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastuat syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
In fact, the FDA approved cannabidiol or CBD drug Epidiolex in 2018 as it turned out to be the most effective and proven treatment for very rare and hard to treat forms of epilepsy.
What are the health benefits of medical marijuana?
The therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana are many. While it is used for relief from pain, muscle spasms, anxiety, etc, medical marijuana is used for:
- Reducing inflammation
- Arthritis pain relief
- Slowing the growth of tumor cells, and, for killing cancerous cells
- Treating Alzheimer’s
- Treating depression
- Regulating and preventing diabetes
- Treating people with multiple sclerosis
- Stimulating appetite and improving weight gain in cancer and AIDS patients
Unlike the over-the-counter-medicines, medical marijuana-based drugs are prescription drugs sold only when your doctor prescribes it. Except for treating epilepsy, health care professionals generally do not recommend medical cannabis or marijuana for age groups under 18. Apart from children, medicinal marijuana is not recommended for pregnant women and people with heart diseases.
Medical cannabis or marijuana is considered to be legal in many countries; in fact, few of the marijuana-based medicines are FDA-approved. Medical marijuana is used in treating various ailments and diseases like anxiety, depression, inflammation, Alzheimer’s, cancer, among others.