Today, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) still considers marijuana as a schedule I substance. Regardless, the District of Columbia and twenty-three other states have legalized the use of medical cannabis. So, it’s fair to say that marijuana is here to stay. In a recent market study, the global legal cannabis market size is expected that reach $73.6 billion by 2027.
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While many people are familiar with CBD and THC as the only major cannabidiol, other not-so-popular compounds have medicinal value. They include tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCa), Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv), Cannabinol (CBN), etc. At different combinations, these compounds work with terpenes to offer relief for various ailments.
Here is an in-depth look at how medical marijuana works to alleviate different health conditions.
How Medical Marijuana Works
In the states where medical marijuana is legal, physicians recommend it for different conditions and diseases; most are chronic illnesses. Just a heads up, there are various ways medical marijuana is used to treat these conditions. First, the healing properties of marijuana are derived from its high CBD, terpenes, and flavonoids.
The psychoactive compound (THC) that causes the high is what most recreational users are after. Unlike THC, CBD in cannabis makes it beneficial and therapeutic for anyone suffering from chronic illness. That being the case, if you have any health condition that can be treated using cannabis, it’s best to learn how the herb affects you.
If you are better informed on medical cannabis and its compounds, it should make marijuana less intimidating once you begin to use it for your treatment. To come up with a plan best suited for a specific condition, marijuana breeders have found a way to create a balance of different compounds that target specific symptoms.
A compound such as CBD can reduce the frequency and severity of seizures and relieve nausea and anxiety. CBC (Cannabichromene) can alleviate pain if combined with THC. Medical marijuana with CBN (Cannabinol) and CBG (Cannabigerol), a compound with antimicrobial and sedative effects, helps lower glaucoma-eye-related pressure.
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Medical Marijuana and Brain Function
Your brain is designed to control bodily functions such as emotions and thoughts, which it achieves through a chemical-based communication system. Different areas of your nervous system and your brain produces chemicals called neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are responsible for delivering messages to different structures called receptors.
The human body has two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CBD 2 receptors). The CB1 receptors are found in the organs, gonads, glands, nervous system and connective tissues, while the CBD 2 receptors are expressed in the hematopoietic cells and the immune system.
Receptors are responsible for sending messages altering your physical functions, including slowing down your heart rate or removing your hand from a hot burner. They also generate brain chemicals that can induce emotions, which increase the sensation of stress or euphoria. Your body already has neutral cannabis-like chemicals that affect pain, inflammation, and other processes.
Once you consume medical marijuana, it helps the neutral chemicals work more effectively. Some of the body areas with the most cannabinoid receptors are; basal ganglia, Neocortex, brain stem, Amygdala, Cerebellum, Hypothalamus, and Hippocampus. Most of these areas are related to driving, reward, motivation, and memory.
When you use cannabis, the reward and motivation areas of your brain light up, driving a sense of euphoria as your brain keeps on releasing more reward-driven neurotransmitters. Given that cannabis affects your hippocampus, it still affects your appetite, and this is why people have “the munchies.”
Why Patients Are Opting for Medical Marijuana
Among the reasons why many patients turn to medical marijuana is the treatment of chronic pain. Marijuana can help reduce stubborn pain to tolerable levels. This is especially the case for cancer patients with pain resulting from bone invasion, tumor growth in sensitive areas, inflammation, and nerve injury.
The other reason why most people turn to medical cannabis is because of its therapeutic effects. They include; anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, antipsychotic, and antiepileptic properties. Cannabinoid (CBD) engages your body through the neutral receptors around your body.
These receptors are located in the liver, kidneys, immune system, brain, and lungs. Any therapeutic or psychoactive property of cannabis occurs when it activates any of your cannabinoid receptors.
Interaction of Medical Cannabis with Other Medication
You need to understand that there is an interaction between herbs, supplements, and anticoagulants used to reduce the chances of blood clotting. If medical cannabis is used along with such substances, you are at high risk of bleeding. The interaction between medical marijuana and anti-depressants can potentially increase its sedative effects.
There is still a possibility of interaction with antiviral medication, but you should consult a medical professional to know where marijuana may interact with your prescription.
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Learn How Medical Cannabis can be Beneficial!
Medical marijuana is fast becoming a disruptive force in helping people with different life struggles. If you have chronic pain, anxiety, cancer, or any other condition that you feel you should be evaluated for medical marijuana, feel free to contact MMJDoctors.
Our professional and experienced team of medical professionals will evaluate your condition and provide advice on how to proceed with your medicinal marijuana treatment.