Medical marijuana has become increasingly popular in recent years, with more than two-thirds of the United States and the District of Columbia legalizing it for medical treatments. The FDA has only approved it for the treatment of two rare and serious forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. However, many people use cannabis to treat a variety of medical conditions. In this article, we'll explore the uses of medical marijuana, possible side effects, and what research has been done on its effectiveness.
Medical marijuana uses the marijuana plant or the chemicals it contains to treat diseases or conditions. It's basically the same product as recreational marijuana, but it's taken for medical purposes. Cannabinoids, the active chemicals in medical marijuana, are similar to chemicals produced by the body that are involved in appetite, memory, movement and pain. Medical marijuana received a lot of attention a few years ago when parents said that a special form of the drug helped control seizures in their children. The FDA recently approved Epidiolex, which is made with CBD, as a treatment for people with very serious or difficult to treat seizures.
In studies, some people experienced a dramatic decrease in seizures after taking this medication. Another problem is that the FDA doesn't oversee medical marijuana the way it does prescription drugs. While states oversee and regulate sales, they often don't have the resources to do so. This means that the concentration and ingredients of medical marijuana can vary quite a bit depending on where you buy it. Last year we did a study where we bought labeled grocery products, such as brownies and lollipops, in California and Washington.
“Then we sent them to the lab,” Bonn-Miller says. Few of the products contained anywhere near what they said they contained. Medical marijuana is used to relieve symptoms, not to treat or cure diseases. It can relieve certain symptoms, make you feel better, and improve your quality of life. The renewed interest in the therapeutic effects of cannabis comes from the movement that began 20 years ago to make cannabis available as a medicine for patients with various conditions.
For chronic pain, most studies examined oral cannabis extract, although some examined smoked or vaporized cannabis. There are certain states that offer more flexibility than others and that allow the use of medical cannabis for the treatment of any illness for which the drug alleviates the individual. Combined with survey data suggesting that pain is one of the main reasons for the use of medical cannabis, these recent reports suggest that several pain patients are replacing opioid use with cannabis, despite the fact that cannabis has not been approved by the U. S. FDA. In the first trials conducted at New York University's Langone Medical Center, medical marijuana extract showed a 50% reduction in the frequency of certain seizures in children and adults in a recent study with 213 patients.
The committee did not identify any good quality primary literature reporting on medical cannabis as an effective treatment for improving sleep outcomes or reducing depressive symptoms associated with Huntington's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or glaucoma. A small study suggests that CBD may not have much effect on driving or cognitive abilities. Therefore, while the use of cannabis for the treatment of pain is supported by well-controlled clinical trials, very little is known about its efficacy, dosage, routes of administration or side effects. Medical marijuana can be an effective treatment for many medical conditions but it is important to understand its potential side effects and risks before using it.
It is also important to consult with your doctor before using medical marijuana to ensure it is safe and appropriate for you.