Slowly but surely, marijuana is becoming more accepted by the American medical establishment. Numerous doctors are now arguing that marijuana’s hundreds of compounds known as cannabinoids have a massive healing effect on the human body. The most controversial of these cannabinoids, of course, is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (aka THC), which is what gives users the “high” feeling. As marijuana grows in popularity in the field of medicine, more Americans than ever before have questions about this herb’s uses. Below, we’ll go through a few key points every American needs to know about how medical marijuana works.
Legality of Medical Marijuana
Marijuana is definitely becoming more mainstream in American culture. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it is still listed as a Class I drug. This puts marijuana in the same league as MDMA, heroin, and ecstasy.
There have been attempts to make marijuana a Class II drug in recent years. Nevertheless, most legal experts don’t expect major changes in marijuana’s legality anytime soon. The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has also not approved marijuana for medical use.
No matter what state you’re in, you’ll first need to obtain a recommendation from a licensed physician. Certain states also require patients to get a medical marijuana ID card before purchasing their medication.
Conditions That Could Be Eligible for Medical Marijuana
There’s no official list of conditions that can be cured by using medical marijuana. Research into marijuana’s healing effects are still ongoing and some diseases seem to respond better to marijuana than others.
The most common reasons for prescribing marijuana include reducing nausea/appetite loss caused by chemotherapy, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. A few other conditions marijuana could be helpful for include Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, and PTSD.
Even if you’re living in a state that allows medical marijuana, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can get marijuana for any condition. All states have different lists of acceptable conditions for medical marijuana use, so be sure to do some extra research in your state’s laws.
How Does Medical Marijuana Work?
Of course, smoking is the most common form of taking marijuana. There are, however, many other ways people take this drug for medicinal purposes. For example, you could use a vaporizer device to sniff your marijuana or you could eat marijuana leaves. If you’re using marijuana for a skin condition, you could apply it topically.
Some pain experts recommend taking marijuana in capsule form because it’s less likely to produce a strong “high” reaction and side effects. Smoking marijuana gives users a quick spike in symptom relief accompanied by a “high,” but capsules have a more gradual and less intense effect on the body.
Talk with Your Doctor for More Information
Of course, the best person to answer your specific questions about medical marijuana is your primary care physician. Be sure to ask your doctor about whether he or she feels you’d be a good candidate for medical marijuana treatment at your next visit. Note, not all doctors are supportive of medical marijuana treatment and they aren’t required to write out prescriptions for you.