This page will describe how cannabinoids are used in medicine. When people talk about medicinal marijuana, they mean any cannabis plant component that is utilized to treat a medical condition. Instead of using it to get high, some utilize it to ease their medical issues. Cannabis that is sold legally for medical purposes typically looks and tastes the same as cannabis used for recreational purposes.
Understanding the Laws, Uses, and Safety of Medical Marijuana
Here are some specifics regarding how cannabis is used medically in this article:
New strains of medical marijuana have been developed, though, with fewer euphoria-inducing compounds and more chemicals thought to offer additional therapeutic benefits.
The slides that follow will provide you information about
- The components of medical cannabis,
- Effects of marijuana on the brain,
- The side effects that come with the medication,
- What characteristics of marijuana’s chemical make-up led to the development of medications,
- The regulations in place in jurisdictions where medical marijuana is truly authorized;
- Treating children with medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana’s THC and CBD
Cannabis contains cannabinoids, a class of chemical compounds with more than 80 components. The psychedelic effects of the plant are caused by these compounds. The two compounds most thoroughly studied among them are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), both of which were found in the early 1960s. The primary psychoactive component of cannabis is THC, but CBD has gained attention recently because it may be able to treat conditions like epilepsy.
Medical marijuana and THC
THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis, has also been the compound that has been studied the most. THC is thought to have a variety of physiological effects on the body, including changes in body temperature, pulse rate, perception of time, tension and anxiety, drowsiness, analgesia (a reduction in the perception of pain), short-term memory, and spatial awareness.
THC is also the substance that causes the euphoric high that recreational cannabis users commonly seek.
CBD and medicinal marijuana
CBD functions significantly differently from THC. For CBD to have any effect on cannabinoid receptors, the places in the body that connect with cannabinoids, it takes about 100 times more of the compound than THC. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t make you feel high and euphoric at the same time. CBD seems to work the opposite of THC in several methods. For instance, CBD seems to reduce tension and anxiety while THC tends to increase anxiety.
What Effect Does Cannabis Have on the Brain?
The effects of cannabis on the brain are complex and unique for each individual. How marijuana is ingested affects how quickly it acts. When smoked, the effects are almost immediate since THC enters the bloodstream quickly through the lungs. Dopamine is released from brain cells, creating a blissful experience. Cannabis effects are noticed more gradually when consumed; in some situations, this might take up to an hour or longer.
A receptor for cannabinoids
THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors in the human brain. Human cells have cannabinoid receptors, which are part of various processes that help the body maintain consistency despite changes in its environment. This concept is known as homeostasis. The main cannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2, which are linked.
It appears that CB1 receptors have an impact on learning, memory, locomotion, and perception of pain. The majority of CB1 receptors are found in the brain, but some have also been found in the nerves of the liver, thyroid, and uterine, as well as in bones and testicular tissue.
CB2 receptors are more frequently found in immune cells, the spleen, and the digestive system than CB1 receptors. In the brain, CB2 receptors are also present, albeit to a smaller degree. Additionally, CB2 receptors are involved in human reproduction, from sperm survival to embryonic development. In disorders like inflammatory bowel disease, cannabinoids reduce gastrointestinal inflammation by acting on CB2 receptors (IBD).
Endocannabinoids & Cannabis
Endocannabinoids are the cannabinoids that your body produces on its own. In order to maintain homeostasis, endocannabinoids participate in a wide range of processes, including development, nursing, and injury response. Cannabis contains compounds called cannabinoids that interfere with the body’s natural regulation of many molecules, including dopamine. Cannabinoids, according to researchers, promote the release of more of these compounds than they would otherwise.
Medical Uses of Marijuana
There are numerous ongoing research projects looking into cannabis’ effects on health. However, since the 1930s, the drug’s illegality has prevented study into medical marijuana, a situation that is just now beginning to change for aspiring scientists. This shows that while there are numerous prospective advantages to using medical marijuana that is being investigated, in most situations, more extensive and replicated research will be required before doctors can approve these applications.
THC for Medical Purposes: Increased Cravings
One of the most well-known medical uses of cannabis is to increase appetite in cancer and AIDS patients, people with wasting disorders, and other patients who might benefit from an increase in appetites.
In 1985, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Marinol, a synthetic THC pill, for just such a use. It has been demonstrated that Marinol increases appetite while reducing nausea and vomiting.
THC’s other medicinal uses
Beyond its ability to increase appetite, THC may also have other therapeutic benefits. Here are a few potential medical advantages of THC:
- Less discomfort
- A decline in swelling
- Resolving issues with muscular control
Health Benefits of CBD
The non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD, which is found in marijuana, has received a lot of press attention for its ability to help children with severe epilepsy symptoms. More medical applications for CBD have been suggested, including
- Neuroprotection from ailments like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke,
- A reduction in discomfort for illnesses such as cancer, MS, and rheumatoid arthritis,
- Anti-tumor properties
- Antipsychotic effects on Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder;
- Impact on anxiety, and
- Drug addiction treatment, particularly for morphine and heroin addiction.
Side Effects of Medical Cannabis (Short-term)
Medical marijuana has a wide range of possible health benefits, but it also has a number of potential drawbacks. Medical marijuana can temporarily alter a patient’s mood, making them happy, relaxed, drowsy, or anxious. It can also interfere with decision-making and short-term memory.
Some people who use medical cannabis at high doses may experience hallucinations, panic, and deception.
Smoking marijuana can make a patient’s breathing difficulties, such as bronchitis, worse.
Side Effects of Medical Marijuana (Long Term).
Regular marijuana users may experience unfavorable consequences over the long run in addition to short-term negative effects. For those who consume medical cannabis by smoking cigarettes, these side effects include respiratory issues like lung infections and a constant cough; pregnant women who use marijuana, they may also experience anxiety, worry, inspiration loss, suicidal thoughts, and health problems for their unborn children.
Cannabis: Is it addictive?
Marijuana addiction has long been a contentious topic of debate. Although there is no universally accepted definition of cannabis addiction, the World Health Organization has set standards for cannabis dependency. An individual must be an active user of marijuana and meet three or more of the following criteria in order to be classified by the WHO as marijuana-dependent. The person:
- Is consumed by a strong want or passion to use marijuana;
- Struggles with self-control over whether to use cannabis, when not to, and how much to use.
- Suffers withdrawal after lowering or ceasing drug use, which may involve withdrawal symptoms or the use of a related drug to get similar results;
- It takes more marijuana to achieve the same effects;
- Sacrifices other interests and pastimes to obtain, use, or recuperate from cannabis;
- Despite marijuana’s damaging effects, he continues to use it.
The risks associated with marijuana dependence are lower than those associated with other common drugs. Marijuana dependence is thought to pose a 9% harm to public health, compared to a 32% threat from nicotine, a 23% threat from heroin, and a 15% threat from alcohol. However, when marijuana use begins in adolescence, the risk of dependence increases to 16%. Additionally, this risk is increased by a family history of addictive behaviors.