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Medical Marijuana: Understanding the Basics

Marijuana is often considered a taboo topic. But the truth is, marijuana has a lot of potential benefits for those who suffer from various medical conditions. In this post, we’ll discuss the basics of medical marijuana and how it can help improve your health. Stay tuned! We’ll be covering everything from how to get a medical marijuana card to the different strains of cannabis that are available.

1. What Is Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana refers to any part of the cannabis plant that you use to treat an illness or symptom that doesn’t produce a psychoactive effect. This means that you can smoke, eat, or vape it without entering an altered state.

Medical marijuana isn’t just about smoking weed to get high anymore. Nowadays, there are many types of products on the market which are made with medicinal cannabis – capsules, tinctures, drinks, lotions and so on. You can even buy edibles at some dispensaries. The list below features some common uses for medical marijuana:

  • Chronic pain relief
  • Muscle spasms
  • Migraines
  • Nausea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Trouble sleeping

2. How Does Medical Marijuana Work?

Marijuana works because it contains hundreds of chemical compounds called cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids which all provide different medicinal benefits. The two most popular cannabinoids are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). These act on the cannabinoid receptors in your brain to help relieve pain or anxiety.

When you consume medical marijuana, these chemicals travel through your bloodstream to your brain and body to produce their effects within 5-30 minutes. This is very important because you can adjust the dosage depending on how quickly or slowly you want its effects to set in. For example, if you ate too much of an edible that contained THC, then it can take up to 2 hours before you feel any effects. This is why it’s always best to start with a small dose, wait for about an hour or so, and then gradually increase the amount until you find your ideal dosage.

3. How Does Medical Marijuana Work On Specific Conditions?

Marijuana has been shown to be effective in treating many health issues including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and more. Each illness requires slightly different dosages of cannabinoids which are used to activate neurotransmitters that control pain signals or relax muscles. Most people can’t tell what kind of medical condition someone might have just by looking at them but there are some general signs that indicate they’re suffering from chronic pain:

  • They always have a serious look on their face
  • They often frown
  • They tend to avoid eye contact
  • They may hold their body in a stiff or awkward manner. If they’re seated, they stay very still

As one might expect, people who suffer from chronic pain will walk around looking all miserable and anxious. This is because it can be quite painful just to move around normally. In addition, when you have chronic pain the nerve signals that tell your brain whether something hurts or not become distorted which can cause even more discomfort. Fortunately, medical marijuana has been shown to decrease these symptoms by activating dopamine receptors in the brain which reduce feelings of pain and depression.

The majority of prescription drugs used today are opioids which function by binding with opioid receptors in the brain to release dopamine and reduce pain. Unfortunately, opioids can be highly addictive and it’s easy for patients to become dependent on them if their dosage is increased overtime. This is why many doctors are now recommending medical marijuana as an alternative that doesn’t cause any of these side effects.

Although medical marijuana has been known to help those who suffer from chronic pain, there are other conditions such as insomnia which can benefit from marijuana as well. For example, one study found that THC (main psychoactive component in cannabis) improved sleep stability during treatment by increasing the total amount of time spent sleeping.

It should also be mentioned that some people use vaporized marijuana like a bronchodilator (a drug used to expand and relax the bronchial passages) to help them breathe more easily. In fact, some asthma patients have been known to use it as a form of treatment instead of using the steroidal medications that their doctors prescribed for them. Although marijuana can open up your airways and make it easier to breathe, this doesn’t mean you should smoke weed every time you have a cold or the flu.

4. What is THC?

THC stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol which is a chemical compound found in marijuana that stimulates cells in the brain when they’re inhaled or ingested. This causes psychoactive effects on your mind such as feeling high or happy because it activates neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids that are responsible for memory, thinking and coordination.

5. What is CBD?

CBD stands for Cannabidiol, which is one of the 60+ cannabinoids found in marijuana that have therapeutic effects on your body without any psychoactive effect. They’re also called phytocannabinoids which means they originate from plants rather than being chemical compounds created by laboratories.

6. How are THC and CBD different?

The biggest difference between these two chemical compounds is how each affects you psychologically based on its dosage/concentration. For example, THC can cause anxiety or paranoia if it’s consumed in large quantities whereas CBD taken in small doses calms the mind and relaxes muscles much like a prescription sedative would do for you under medical supervision. It may seem weird to think about marijuana this way since you’d expect a plant to make people happy instead of anxious but it seems like nature has a way of balancing itself out.

7. What Are Some Foods/Beverages I Can Consume To Get The Benefits From THC And CBD?

In addition to vaporizing cannabis, if your state allows it then you may be able to get medical marijuana in food form such as cookies or brownies. Unfortunately, smoking weed isn’t always an option if you’re suffering from asthma or another respiratory condition that makes inhaling smoke problematic for you. If it’s allowed where you live, medicinal edibles are almost always better for your health than smoking because they don’t require anything combustible to break down the cannabinoids so they can be used in your body instead.

You can also drink cannabis-infused beverages if you’re looking for a fast-acting effect that will wear off much quicker than eating weed in your food. Again, smoking is still an option but it only gives the effects of marijuana a short amount of time to work before they wear off whereas drinks last longer and require smaller doses to be ingested at one time. For example, buckeye/brownie edibles will make you high all day long if you eat just a single bar while drinking a 5-10mg THC beverage probably won’t affect you nearly as much since it will be filtered out by your liver after 1-2 hours.

8. What Are Some Benefits I Can Get From Medical Marijuana?

The list of ailments that medical marijuana can help you with is growing by the month so it would be impractical to cover all of them in an article like this. So instead, let’s focus on some symptoms that people normally use medicinal pot for since they’re easier to describe. For example, marijuana is effective at relieving pain because cannabinoids fit into receptor cells CB1 and CB2 which are found throughout your body in the nervous system and brain. This allows it to regulate how your body feels pain based on where you inhale/ingest it by controlling inflammation at the source of where you’re hurting. One other benefit medical weed can provide is helping with your appetite even if smoking or eating too much has the opposite effect on normal people. People who are sick with cancer, AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy can experience severe nausea which makes it difficult for them to eat. Smoking cannabis helps suppress this feeling of throwing up long enough to get something into your stomach before it comes back up.

9. What Are Some Of The Negative Effects Of Medical Marijuana?

Just like anything else that’s psychoactive, you’re going to be at risk for becoming psychologically addicted if you use weed every day whether medicinally or recreationally. The only real difference between smoking pot for fun and medicating yourself through vaporizing or eating is how often you have to dose yourself throughout the day in order to function normally without experiencing withdrawal symptoms when THC begins to leave your body for good. Another downside is experiencing short-term memory loss if you ingest too much THC at once which is the chemical responsible for making marijuana a recreational drug. People who are already prone to schizophrenia can actually trigger symptoms by smoking weed because it activates the same receptors in your brain that cause hallucinations.

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