Medical marijuana usage is a hotly debated topic among medical professionals, patients, and the government. This article aims to shed light on one of the most important questions for potential medical marijuana users: where is it used? Is it safe? How can you talk to your physician about it? Read on!
Where is Medical Marijuana Used?
While marijuana is a controlled substance under the US Federal Law, many states allow the use of medical marijuana for symptoms like pain and nausea. The following are the most common symptoms and conditions for which medical marijuana is used.
The most common usage for medical marijuana in the US is for pain, although it’s not strong enough for severe cases (broken bones or post-surgery pain). People prefer medical marijuana over other opiates.
Medical marijuana is effective in relieving nausea as well as vomiting. Cannabis can also decrease nausea caused by chemotherapy.
Medical marijuana is effective against multiple sclerosis and paralysis. Multiple sclerosis symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness, vision issues, and cognitive dysfunction.
Medical marijuana can also help treat appetite loss caused by conditions like HIV and AIDS, as well as certain types of cancers.
Mental Health Issues
The use of marijuana is also effective at lifting low moods and calming chronic tension caused by anxiety and depression. Medical marijuana is also being considered for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.
For a patient to be allowed to acquire medical marijuana, they must apply for medical cannabis certifications online in Pennsylvania first. This certifies that the patient has a medical condition that’s treatable with medical marijuana.
Over 12% of Americans have reported using marijuana in 2021 alone, and the number is expected to rise even more this year.
Possible Side Effects
While medical marijuana is gaining support in many states, debates about its safeness and side effects are ongoing. Research suggests that if you become dependent on cannabis, you may suffer from withdrawal symptoms, which may include:
- Decreased appetite
- Mood swings
Opponents of medical marijuana use also put forward the following arguments:
- Memory gap: frequent marijuana use is believed to seriously affect short-term memory.
- Cognition: marijuana dependence can also negatively impact your cognitive skills.
- Abuse: as mentioned, marijuana usage carries the risk of abuse and addiction
- Lung damage: smoking marijuana can damage lung tissue as well as increase the risk of lung cancer.
- Accidents: marijuana intake is believed to impair driving skills, increasing risks of collisions and accidents.
Knowing about these side effects is important for those who plan to take medical marijuana. However, these only happen when one becomes too dependent on its usage, along with larger doses (especially for first-time cannabis users).
How is Medical Marijuana Taken
Medical marijuana can be taken and/or administered through various methods, which may include the following:
- Inhalation: such as through smoking and vaping
- Topical: by using patches, balms, and salves
- Oral: through oils, capsules, tinctures, and edibles
- Suppositories: rectal or vaginal suppositories
The frequency of medical marijuana intake is determined by your doctor. As such, you must work with a qualified medical marijuana clinician, who will guide help you find the right cannabinoid profile for you.
Consulting Your Doctor
The American Cancer Society plans to do more research into the effectiveness of medical marijuana for people with cancer. Even so, it’s still regularly prescribed to alleviate the symptoms — not cure — of many conditions and diseases. Talking to your healthcare provider can provide clarity around your usage of cannabis.
Remember that doctors cannot prescribe cannabis; they can only write a recommendation or certify patients for its use. When discussing this with your doctor, be entirely open and honest. Tell them that you consider such conversation as part of your care, and you expect them to be educated about the topic. This will help you and them find the right direction or information that may be of use.