Medical cannabis remains a controversial topic among the health community, although its rise in popularity is undeniable. In this article, we’ll talk about the main reasons patients are using medical marijuana and what diseases it supposedly helps treat. Check it out!
How Medical Marijuana Works
Throughout your body, the endocannabinoid system produces chemical compounds called cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors. These are found in the immune system, and they interact with two types of cannabinoids:
When these molecules interact with receptors, they affect the neurotransmitters. When your endocannabinoids system is properly stimulated, your metabolism, appetite, sleep, mood, and pain receptors are properly regulated.
Medical marijuana has phytocannabinoids (such as THC and CBD) that closely resemble natural endocannabinoid molecules, which help patients relieve pain, enhance their sleep patterns, and improve their appetite.
If you suffer from the above-mentioned conditions, you can take advantage of the benefits of using concierge medical cannabis in Pennsylvania. Medical marijuana can also help with the following conditions:
Medical marijuana is widely used as a sleep aid. About half of long-term cannabis users (people who’ve been using medical marijuana for over 10 years) use it to improve their sleep patterns.
Moreover, research suggests that it also affects your sleep architecture, or how long you spend in different sleep stages. Short-term usage increase the time you spend in deep sleep, which helps you wake up feeling refreshed. On the flipside side, it shortens the amount of time you spend on rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, where you dream, process emotions, and cement memories.
A study by Health Affairs shows that people use medical marijuana to relieve chronic pain. Medical cannabis patients have also reported improved pain management and sleep. Evidence also suggests that marijuana helps treat nerve pain and cancer-related pain.
On the other hand, the evidence only proves that medical marijuana is “moderately” effective for pain relief. Most studies also haven’t compared medical marijuana with other pain relief methods. This lack of research is caused by its Schedule I Drug classification — it’s a drug with high potential for abuse — even though it’s legal in some form across 20 states and Washington, DC. It’s also still illegal on the federal level.
Mental Health Issues
Many patients with psychiatric disorders also report medical cannabis benefits as they use it to treat their symptoms. These mental health issues range from PTSD, anxiety disorder, and depression to ADHD, bipolar disorder, and even schizophrenia.
Patients who have used medical marijuana for such purposes have reported improved cognitive performance and reduced clinical symptoms. They’ve also reported a decrease in their dependence on conventional medications, such as opioids and other mood stabilizers and antidepressants.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that attacks your brain, nerves, and spinal cord. Cannabis has been shown to ease stiffness and muscle spasms, which are common among MS patients. These results come from patients with self-reported symptoms.
On the other hand, further investigation by doctors and experts is needed to prove the long-lasting effects of medical cannabis on muscle tightness or spasticity and long-term pain.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that has no cure. However, studies suggest that medical cannabis helps relieve its symptoms. Since marijuana directly affects the central and peripheral nervous systems, scientists have investigated its effect on patients with the said disease.
So far, marijuana has been proven to reduce tremors and involuntary movements. Others have also reported reduced rigidity and improved mood and memory. However, as with many cases, further studies are necessary to fully understand medical marijuana’s effects on the patient.