What Is Medical Marijuana?
When people talk about medical marijuana, they’re talking about any portion of the marijuana plant that can be utilised to treat a variety of ailments. People don’t use it to get high; instead, they use it to relieve medical issues.
When cannabis is lawfully sold as medication, it is usually identical to the variety used for recreational purposes.
New medical marijuana strains, on the other hand, have been produced with less compounds that cause euphoria and more chemicals that are known to have additional medicinal benefits.
- the chemicals that make up medical marijuana,
- how cannabis affects the brain,
- side effects that accompany the drug,
- What manmade drugs have been created based on the chemical features of marijuana?
- Medical marijuana regulations in states that have allowed it, as well as the use of medical marijuana to treat minors.
THC and CBD in Medical Marijuana
Cannabinoids are a group of over 80 chemical components found in cannabis. The psychedelic properties of the plant are due to these compounds. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), both discovered in the early 1960s, are the two most investigated chemicals. THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana, while CBD has recently gained popularity as a treatment for disorders such as seizures.
THC and Medical Cannabis
THC has been the most investigated molecule in marijuana because it is the main psychotropic element.
THC is thought to have a variety of effects on the human body, including affecting body temperature, heart rate, time perception, anxiety, drowsiness, analgesia (pain reduction), short-term memory, and spatial awareness.
THC is also the molecule that produces the euphoric high that recreational cannabis users are looking for.
CBD and Medical Cannabis
THC and CBD have quite distinct effects. To have any effect on cannabinoid receptors, the places in the body that interact with cannabinoids, CBD must be 100 times stronger than THC. CBD, unlike THC, does not produce intoxication or euphoria. CBD appears to have the opposite impact of THC in various instances.
THC, on the other hand, appears to enhance anxiety, whilst CBD appears to lessen anxiety.
How Does Marijuana Affect the Brain?
The effects of marijuana on the brain are complex and vary from person to person. The speed with which cannabis works is determined by how it is eaten. Because THC enters your circulation swiftly through your lungs when smoked, the effects are felt almost instantly. This enables dopamine to be released from brain cells, resulting in bliss. When you eat cannabis, the effects take longer to manifest, sometimes up to an hour or more.
THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors in the human brain. Human cells include cannabinoid receptors, which are engaged in a variety of processes that help the body maintain consistency despite changes in its environment, a notion known as homeostasis. CB1 and CB2 are the two most common cannabinoid receptors.
CB1 receptors appear to have an impact on cognition, memory, locomotion, and pain perception. The brain has the majority of CB1 receptors, but some are also located in the nerves of the liver, thyroid, uterine, bones, and testicular tissue.
CB2 receptors are predominantly prevalent in immunological cells, the spleen, and the gastrointestinal tract, unlike CB1 receptors.
CB2 receptors are located in the brain as well but to a lesser degree. From embryonic development to sperm survival, CB2 receptors play a function in human reproduction. Cannabinoids lower gastrointestinal inflammation in diseases like inflammatory bowel disease by acting on CB2 receptors (IBD).
Cannabinoids and Endocannabinoids
Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids that your body produces on its own. Endocannabinoids are involved in a variety of functions associated to maintaining homeostasis, including breastfeeding, growth, and injury response.
Marijuana’s cannabinoids interfere with the body’s normal chemical balance, particularly dopamine.
Cannabinoids, according to researchers, allow more of these compounds to be released than would otherwise be the case.
Medical Marijuana Uses
Various areas of study into marijuana’s health impacts are now underway. Medical cannabis research has been impeded by the drug’s illegality since the 1930s, a condition that is only just beginning to improve for would-be researchers. This implies that, while many intriguing medicinal cannabis advantages are being investigated, in many situations, additional and repeated studies will be required before these applications can be approved by doctors.
Medical Uses of THC: Increased Appetite
Increased appetite for AIDS and cancer patients, those with wasting disorders, and other patients who might benefit from an increase in appetite is one of the most well-established medical uses for cannabis.
Marinol, a synthetic THC tablet, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. In 1985, the Food and Drug Administration was created specifically for this purpose. Marinol has been demonstrated to increase appetite while also decreasing nausea and vomiting.
Other Medical Uses of THC
THC may be effective in medicine in a variety of ways besides stimulating appetite. Here are a few of THC’s potential medical advantages:
- Pain reduction
- Inflammation reduction
- Improving problems in muscle control
Medical Uses of CBD
CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid contained in cannabis, has received a lot of attention in the media for its usage in young children to treat the symptoms of severe seizures.
CBD has a slew of other medical applications, including
- neuroprotection from conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson’s disease,
- pain reduction for conditions like cancer, MS, and rheumatoid arthritis,
- anti-tumor effects,
- anti-psychotic effects for schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder,
- anti-anxiety effects, and
- treatment for drug addiction, particularly morphine and heroin addiction.
Medical Marijuana Side Effects (Short Term)
Medical marijuana has a number of possible health benefits, but it also has a number of potential adverse effects.
Medical marijuana can temporarily impair short-term memory, decision-making abilities, and mood, making a patient feel joyful, calm, drowsy, or worried.
Some persons who use medical marijuana in heavy dosages develop hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions. If a patient has breathing problems, such as bronchitis, smoking marijuana might aggravate the condition.
Medical Marijuana Side Effects (Long Term)
Is Marijuana Addictive?
- has a strong desire or compulsion to take cannabis;
- has trouble controlling when they take cannabis, when they do not, and how much they take;
- experiences withdrawal when reducing or stopping use of the drug, including either symptoms of withdrawal or use of a similar drug to achieve similar results;
- requires more marijuana to get the same results;
- neglects other pleasures and interests in order to either use, obtain, or recover from marijuana;
- continues to use cannabis even though it causes harm.
Marijuana addiction dangers are fewer than those of other commonly used medications. Cannabis dependence is estimated to be at 9%, compared to 32% for nicotine, 23% for heroin, and 15% for alcohol. When marijuana usage begins in adolescence, however, the chance of addiction rises to 16%. This risk is further increased if you have a family history of addictive behavior.
Dronabinol vs. Nabilone: Drugs Made From Marijuana
Dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone, both based on the marijuana cannabinoid THC, were approved by the FDA in 1985. (Cesamet). Both are used to boost appetite, reduce nausea and vomiting, and alleviate pain.
Dronabinol is a cannabis extract made from the resin of the plant. This means that the THC in dronabinol is the same as the THC in natural cannabis. It also indicates that dronabinol produces the same mood and perception alterations as THC in cannabis.
Nabilone, unlike dronabinol, is not derived from cannabis. Nabilone is a synthetic cannabinoid that resembles THC in structure but is not THC. As a result, the effects are more predictable, eliminating or considerably diminishing the euphoria that THC can cause.
Ways of Using Medical Marijuana
Ingesting Medical Cannabis
Cannabis can be consumed in a variety of ways. It may be baked into a cookie or brownie, infused into a drink like soda, or made into a tablet-like the medications in the preceding slide. Medicinal marijuana is frequently referred to as a “edible”
when it is prepared as a food or drink. When consumed, the effects of medical marijuana are delayed. The effects usually take 30 to 60 minutes to kick in. After two to three hours, these effects usually peak. When medicinal marijuana is consumed, the effects take far longer to begin and peak, making it difficult for a patient to control the dosage. As a result, patients frequently drink more than they anticipated. When medical marijuana is consumed, the effects stay much longer, sometimes up to ten hours.
THC edibles can include cookies, cupcakes, hard candies, chocolate, jerky, salads, and burgers because it can be blended into butter or oil. Medical users should keep these meals away from children, pets, and unwary others because they mimic foods without cannabis.
Breathing Medical Cannabis
The most frequent way to consume cannabis is to smoke it, whether in a rolled paper cigarette (also known as a “joint”), a pipe, or a water-filtering bong.
Cannabis smoking has many of the same risks as smoking cigarettes. Regular marijuana users may get more upper respiratory infections, produce more mucus, and cough on a daily basis. Although marijuana smoke contains some of the same cancer-causing elements as tobacco smoke, multiple studies have failed to show that marijuana smokers have an increased risk of lung cancer.
Despite the fact that marijuana smoke is often kept in the lungs for considerably longer than tobacco smoke (sometimes for 10-15 seconds), this practice is ineffective and perhaps hazardous. One study revealed no difference between a study group that held marijuana smoke in their lungs for 20 seconds, a study group that retained smoke in their lungs for 10 seconds and a third group that did not hold marijuana smoke in their lungs at all.
Vaporizers are another, more contemporary method of inhaling cannabis. Some studies have found that vaporizing (or “vaping”) marijuana reduces potentially dangerous tars and causes fewer respiratory symptoms than traditional cannabis smoking. However, another study found that vaporizing marijuana produced higher quantities of hazardous ammonia, which can irritate the lungs and cause asthma.
Applying Marijuana Topically
Where Medical Marijuana Is Legal
California voters approved the first medical marijuana laws in the US in 1996. Since then, all but eight states have approved legislation legalizing medical marijuana in some manner.
Medical Marijuana for Children
According to several research, children with difficult-to-treat epilepsy may get relief from their seizures by using medical marijuana. Because “Charlotte’s Web” includes high quantities of CBD but extremely low levels of THC,
it’s easier to treat kids without getting them high. Because the use of medical marijuana by children is still relatively new, few studies on its effects have been conducted. In a study of 74 children with intractable epilepsy ages 1 to 18, 89 percent experienced some seizure reduction after receiving CBD oil medication.
Increased behavior and attentiveness, better communication, language improvements, improved motor skills, and better sleep were among the other favorable effects mentioned by these participants.
Drowsiness, exhaustion, stomach trouble, and irritability were among the side symptoms reported.