Marijuana use has a long history, dating back to around 500 BC. Over the centuries the cannabis plant provided fiber for things like fabric, paper. Most importantly, cannabis provides reliable pain relief.
In the 1800s Europeans commercialized marijuana. Doctors sold cannabis tinctures to ease stomach pain from cholera.
In the mid-1900s, marijuana use was demonized. No amount of propaganda can change the fact that cannabis helps people. Lives changed for the better after patients were allowed to partake.
Nowadays, for patients to use cannabis, they need a medical marijuana referral.
Do you qualify for a referral? This guide will explain what conditions respond the best to medical marijuana.
Understanding How Marijuana Helps
Cannabis contains over 100 compounds called cannabinoids. The most well-known compounds are THC and CBD.
THC is a psychoactive compound. It creates a sense of euphoria in those who take it. This helps distract the mind and eases pain symptoms.
CBD doesn’t cloud the mind at all. Instead, it goes to the root of the problem and eases inflammation.
How do these compounds work within the body? They mimic compounds already created by our bodies called endocannabinoids.
The endocannabinoid system (EDS) is a messaging system for cells and nerves. Cannabinoids attach to receptors throughout the body to tell them what to do.
For instance, say you’ve got inflammation in your knee. Your body releases cannabinoids to the joint, telling it how to fix this problem.
Some scientists think that a deficit in natural cannabinoids may cause chronic conditions. These conditions include irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia.
Luckily, the cannabinoids in marijuana function exactly like endocannabinoids. Patients whose EDS doesn’t produce enough cannabinoids can supplement with cannabis.
The EDS controls the following bodily processes:
Appetite and digestion
Skin and hair growth
Mood and stress
Immune system response
Memory and learning potential
The EDS works to maintain homeostasis. It helps balance your body’s functions so everything operates as it should. This is why a deficiency in this system causes severe chronic disorders.
By far the best way to receive medical marijuana health benefits is through smoking. Ingesting cannabis cuts back on the bioavailability. This means that only a small percentage of the helpful cannabinoids make it into your system.
Marijuana Use for Chronic Pain Conditions
Over half the states in the US implemented medical marijuana legalization. That’s because about 90% of Americans support medical marijuana use.
One compelling reason for medicinal marijuana legalization is that it is safer than opiates. Chronic pain patients accounted for around 60% of recent overdoses. They are also at higher risk for abusing those medications.
Medical marijuana is a good replacement for NSAID pain relievers. These medications raise blood pressure and damage the kidneys.
Patients with sensitive stomachs can use marijuana instead of NSAIDs or opiates. They don’t have to worry about getting sick to feel better.
Unlike many other pain medications, cannabis works on nerve pain. Low THC, and high CBD strains allow patients to function normally. Many patients feel that opiates leave them too disoriented to do anything productive.
Medical marijuana eases chronic pain conditions such as:
Sickle cell anemia
Defects in the spine
Degenerative hip disorder
Connective tissue disorder
Medical marijuana is sometimes paired with opiates. It counteracts the intense nausea most patients report after taking pain medications.
Marijuana Eases Inflammation
The CBD in marijuana has long been championed as an anti-inflammatory. Other cannabinoids in cannabis likewise trigger the EDS to reduce inflammation.
It’s not just the cannabinoids doing all the heavy lifting to make you feel better. Marijuana also has beneficial terpenes.
Terpenes are the compounds responsible for flavor and scent in marijuana. There are over 200 terpenes found in cannabis.
These compounds work with cannabinoids to boost your EDS system. When all the compounds in marijuana work together it is called the entourage effect.
Without the other cannabinoids and terpenes, CBD isolate isn’t as effective. Isolates are legal to sell in every state, making them easier to find. But it won’t work the way patients expect without the entourage effect.
To get a measurable inflammatory reduction, it is better to use medical marijuana.
Inflammatory conditions that respond well to marijuana include:
Irritable bowel syndrome
Decreasing inflammation throughout the body improves the patient’s quality of life. Patients who faced difficulty moving due to inflamed joints are free to move without pain.
Prolonged exposure to pain increases stress hormones. These hormones cause depression and anxiety.
Using Marijuana to Treat Neurological Disorders
A 2017 study on Dravet syndrome found that children who used cannabis had fewer seizures. In some patients, it cut the number of seizures in half. For 3 patients, the cannabis solution stopped all their seizures.
This study led the FDA to approve a CBD-based drug to treat the syndrome. It also treats Lennox-Gastaut syndrome with similar results.
Encouraged by the study, doctors prescribed medical marijuana for other neurological disorders.
Neurological disorders treated with marijuana include:
The future of marijuana depends on expanded scientific testing. There may be many more medicinal marijuana health benefits than what we already know.
Marijuana as a Sleep Aid
Around 60 million Americans are plagued by insomnia or other sleep disorders.
Sleep deprivation results in problems like:
Weak immune system
Many of these functions are also controlled by the endocannabinoid system. Using medical marijuana to treat insomnia restores your body’s internal balance.
Often insomnia is a symptom of other problems, such as chronic pain. CBD-heavy medical marijuana strains can treat both problems.
Get a Medical Marijuana Referral Today
Did you find any of your health conditions in this guide? If so, it’s time to get your medical marijuana referral.
Don’t let the stigma behind marijuana use prevent you from seeking relief. Chronic pain causes serious long-lasting health problems. Medical marijuana provides instant relief from almost all these problems.
Do you still have questions about getting your medical marijuana referral? Feel free to visit our blog or contact us. We provide all the information you need to understand the process.