Medical marijuana is a controversial issue. There are some countries that ban it, and there are those that permit the use of it out of compassion. Today, we will take a closer look at the research results about marijuana. Does it really help alleviate pain? Can it cause addiction, and are there bad side effects? Are buying online weed legal?
What Is Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana (MMJ) is either the plant itself or its derivative. This should not be confused with hemp, its cousin, which is now legal in many states. Medical marijuana is the same thing as recreational marijuana. However, they are used for different purposes.
Medical marijuana is primarily used by patients who are suffering, like those who have cancer. Recreational marijuana is used by people who want to get high.
Medical cannabis is legal in many states, and it is used for treatment. The US FDA approved its use only for two severe forms of epilepsy. These are called Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Currently, research is ongoing as to whether medical marijuana has substantial positive effects on many other illnesses. Here are some of those illnesses:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Loss of appetite
- Immune system diseases like AIDS
- Eating disorders like loss of appetite and anorexia
- Mental health conditions
- Multiple sclerosis
- General pain and nausea
- Seizures and epilepsy that dot belong to the two severe forms.
We still have to wait for many years before the results are out. As of now, different states have different laws about it. As far as federal law is concerned, you can only use it for the two severe forms of epilepsy.
Can It Be Used as an Anesthetic?
MMJ cannot be used as an anesthesia. However, the use of marijuana can affect the dose you need for anesthesia before surgery. Whether you smoke or eat it in the form of edibles, it can affect your body as far as the anesthetic dose is concerned.
The frequency and volume also have an impact on your required dose of anesthesia. This happens because marijuana does something to the central nervous system. Those who use it regularly might need a bigger amount of anesthesia for it to take effect. The thing is that if you have too much anesthesia, you can die.
If you undergo surgery, you have to tell the anesthesiologist that you are using marijuana. The last thing you want is to go through surgery and not really feel the effects of sedation. You will be in excruciating pain.
Is It Safe to Use Marijuana?
Just because it is legal does not mean it is safe. You have to look at recreational marijuana in the same light as cigarettes and alcohol. Here are the things that can happen to your body when you smoke marijuana:
- Your body gets a dose of THC, a chemical that enters your brain that makes you feel high.
- You will have trouble thinking and remembering.
- Your eyes will turn red.
- Your mouth will dry.
- You will get hungry, and your appetite will seem insatiable.
- Your heart rate will increase, and you will have poor coordination.
The smoke of marijuana contains roughly 60 kinds of chemicals. These chemicals are called cannabinoids. Not all cannabinoids are bad. Some of them are now being used in CBD products, especially in oil form. However, these good cannabinoids are being harvested from hemp, not marijuana.
If you smoke marijuana, the brain experiences a change in blood pressure to the brain. This is why your memory and attention are negatively impacted. Many researchers also found out that those who smoked marijuana suffered from learning problems later on.
Regular users were later diagnosed with schizophrenia, a mental disorder where the person has distorted thoughts and feelings. The person can also suffer from hallucinations, the feeling of being afraid all the time, and paranoia.
Is It Addictive?
Yes, it is addictive. Those who smoke marijuana showed signs of tolerance and dependency, like alcoholics and those who have gambling problems.
In gambling, a person develops an addiction because of the habit. If he/she plays, let’s say, online poker games all the time, then this becomes a part of his/her day. The good thing about gambling addiction is that it is not chemically-induced. On the other hand, marijuana addiction is not just a psychological dependency but also a physiological dependency.
As such, it is easier to help a person who has a gambling problem than one who has a chemical dependence on drugs. At best, you should not even start smoking marijuana, as it does more damage to your health and body more than the good that it offers.
Marijuana is a plant that has several compounds. Some of these compounds are addictive, and they cause the brain to develop not just tolerance but also physiological dependencies. It has more than 100 chemicals, and not all of them are good for the body.
In summation, you should only use MMJ upon the recommendation of a physician. You also have to ensure that you follow the recommended doses, or you will develop a high tolerance for it. Like all other things, we cannot judge whether medical cannabis is salvation for people in pain or if it is evil. At the end of the day, a thing can only be good if used for noble purposes. However, it can also be evil if it gets in the hands of the wrong people.