You may be wondering Is Medical Cannabis Right for Me?
#Medical Cannabis for Me
Make the best decision about medical cannabis by talking to your doctor and learning what current research shows.
The medical properties of cannabis and its therapeutic uses have come into focus in the past few decades. Although marijuana is still a Schedule I controlled substance in many states, public and legal opinion has shifted dramatically in the past few decades. New research indicates promising benefits for medical marijuana. Cannabis is not a miraculous cure-all, but it can have surprisingly beneficial effects for certain individuals.
A Brief History of Cannabis As Medicine
Marijuana has a long, well-documented history as a therapeutic drug. There are extensive writings about its use from thousands of years ago. Scientific analysis of ash remnants definitively proves that cannabis was used as a medicine as far back as 400 AD. In the United States, cannabis was a ‘patent medicine’ in the 19th and 20th centuries. In fact, the first recorded use of medical marijuana in the US is cataloged in the United States Pharmacopoeia, dating back to 1850.
Federal cannabis restrictions first entered the public lexicon in the 21st century, with the passage of the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act. Over the coming decades, regulations and legal penalties increased, and cannabis was removed from the Pharmacopoeia in 1942. Selling, procuring, and possessing cannabis became illegal, cemented into the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Fast-forward a few decades to the 1990s, California legalized medical marijuana under the 1996 Compassionate Use Act. The tide of public opinion on cannabis had shifted, and the law was slowly following suit.
The Modernization of Medicine
These days, countless US states have legalized medical marijuana accompanied by varying degrees of restrictions. A handful of states have made it legal for recreational use. Today, the medical benefits of cannabis are widely accepted, and its therapeutic use is enshrined in state and federal law.
So what can medical marijuana do for you?
A recent study from the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine suggests that marijuana can have positive outcomes when used to relieve the symptoms of depression. The study noted that 95.8% of subjects experienced symptom relief after consuming cannabis, with an average symptom intensity reduction of nearly four points.
The same Yale study found that the use of THC was the “strongest independent predictor” of relief from symptoms of depression. 64% of polled subjects cited positive side effects of using cannabis, especially the immediate relief of depression symptoms. Users reported feeling optimistic, peaceful, relaxed, and happy after consuming cannabis. 20% of users also reported some negative side associated with depression, including lack of motivation. Overall, though, the outcome of the study seems to show that the vast majority of its subjects experienced short-term antidepressant benefits.
It’s already known that CBD, or cannabidiol, an ingredient in hemp and marijuana, has remarkable pain-relieving qualities. CBD can be taken in oil drops, edibles, or applied topically. CBD is often used by individuals experiencing chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia and has also been used to treat certain seizure disorders.
CBD is the second most prevalent compound found in marijuana and is not psychoactive—meaning it doesn’t get you high. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, meanwhile, is the primary compound and possesses intoxicating properties.
Because it is an intoxicant, THC has been subject to much debate over safety concerns, the potential for abuse and misuse, and misinformation. And of course, intoxication can lead to an individual putting themselves in potentially harmful situations. While there are no known cases of marijuana overdose or fatality, there’s always an associated risk: it’s the same reason most medications come with the warning, “do not operate heavy machinery while using.”
As with any medication, there is potential for misuse and harm. If you wish to use medical marijuana, it’s essential to regularly consult with your physician to assess how it’s working for you. However, with proper consultation, regular reassessment, and careful consumption, you too can reap the benefits of medical cannabis.
Our goal at Medical Cannabis Doctors is to improve quality-of-life for those experiencing illnesses by providing credible cannabis education, access to compassionate licensed medical marijuana doctors, and an engaged community.