In the last few years, the expansion of medicinal marijuana consumers has risen exponentially. Cannabis sales are skyrocketing and are expected to top $30 billion in 2022. While this is a shift from past decades that rejected the use of cannabis in any form, marijuana has been used for thousands of years among other medicinal plants.
From a 2900 BC Chinese emperor to the Book of Exodus, there is no shortage of historical references to the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. In modern times, people have used marijuana to lower stress, manage anxiety and alleviate symptoms caused by chronic pain. Some states allow patients to apply for and carry medical marijuana cards, which grants them the ability to buy and carry cannabis from legal dispensaries. But despite the widespread conversation online about the benefits of medical marijuana, science is still divided. In this article, we will explore the potential risks vs. benefits of cannabis for medical purposes to help you decide if it is a good choice for you.
Its Efficacy Varies from Person to Person
You can’t expect every prescription drug to be effective for everyone, and the same principle applies to cannabis. Some people swear by it while others try it and don’t notice any difference. The medicinal properties of cannabis come from its cannabinoids, which attach to the brain’s endocannabinoid receptors. These receptors help regulate processes like sleep, mood, and appetite. They are part of the larger endocannabinoid system, which everyone has regardless of whether or not they use cannabis. Because everyone’s body reacts differently, there is no guarantee that using any type of medical marijuana will deliver desired results. It is not a magic cure-all for anything, but it has been used to stop seizures in certain types of epilepsy.
CBD Is Not for Everyone
The soothing effects people talk about when they refer to medicinal cannabis are caused by CBD or cannabidiol. This is not the same as THC, the primary compound in the marijuana plant that creates its characteristic high. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, and it can provide relief from a variety of conditions. However, there are still potential side effects of CBD to be aware of. These include dizziness, dry mouth, diarrhea, and fatigue. CBD is not safe for everyone, especially those who already take prescription medications. It does not react well with blood thinners, and there are also concerns relating to the purity of a CBD product and its dosage.
Medical Marijuana is Not Homemade
Synthetic marijuana made in a lab is not the same as cannabis grown in someone’s house. There are around 540 chemical substances found in the Cannabis sativa plant, and there are over 100 other cannabinoids besides CBD and THC. You do not have any way of knowing what is in an herb if you buy it from someone, especially an unregulated source. If you are genuinely interested in using medical marijuana, you should talk to a doctor. They may be able to write you a prescription.
There are Different Methods of Consumption
You do not have to roll and smoke joints if you are using marijuana. You can buy a CBD dry herb blend and consume it through a vaporizer, which is gentler on the throat and does not produce a smell. For someone who wants to make their cannabis portable, the Arizer Solo 2 Vaporizer is best for battery life. Exploring different options, including other types of CBD products, can help you make the best choice for yourself. However, you should always speak to your primary care physician before trying new herbs or other types of self medicine. Although holistic treatments can include herbal remedies, they should always be approved by a doctor first. This prevents any interactions with existing medications or substances you take, including alcohol.
Marijuana and Mental Health
Beyond physical pain relief, many people swear by CBD’s ability to help them deal with psychological disorders, namely anxiety, and depression. However, there is not enough scientific research to support these claims from a medical standpoint. While you may find that smoking or vaping helps you feel more relaxed, it does not replace the value of psychotherapy.
Mental health problems are complex, and unfortunately, there is no single action or product that can make symptoms disappear. Instead, you have to work to identify your triggers, find out what’s causing issues in your life and make small, consistent changes to see lasting results. Even if you are someone who is naturally more prone to feeling anxious, you can build skills and learn positive thought strategies that make you more confident.
Some doctors do prescribe medical marijuana to treat conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If this is something you would like to try, you should always go through proper channels first instead of trying to self-medicate with street weed or something from a dispensary. Marijuana with high levels of THC can actually trigger psychotic symptoms, panic, and anxiety attacks, so be mindful.