5 Most Common Medical Marijuana Uses
An understanding of the difference between THC and CBD will be helpful for getting a nuanced understanding of everything marijuana can do in a medical context. For beginners, though, understanding the five most common medical marijuana uses can shed some light on the subject.
1: Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for three months or more, whether it is persistent or intermittent or changes in intensity over time. Aside from medical marijuana, highly addictive drugs such as prescription opioids are the most common treatment available.
Common Chronic Pain Causes in Medical Cannabis Patients
Why Cannabis Helps with Chronic Pain
There are two major factors in cannabis’ efficacy in treating pain. One is the fact that the chemical components in cannabis have been shown to reduce inflammation, which is often the source of pain. Another relates to the fact that the human body’s nervous system pain circuits have components called cannabinoid receptors, which work to stop the signals that create pain sensations. As the name indicates, these cellular receptors respond to the presence of the chemicals in cannabinoids we ingest when we consume medical cannabis, reducing the feeling of pain from within the nervous system.
Nausea has been one of the major conditions that turns doctors around on their opinions of medical marijuana. This is, in part, because its use has been shown to be extremely effective in child cancer patients who experience nausea as a result of chemotherapy.
Common Nausea Causes in Medical Cannabis Patients
Why Cannabis Helps with Nausea
The cannabinoid receptor system in the human nervous system also relates to feelings of nausea and sensations of needing to vomit. The introduction of cannabis into the body can stop nausea once it’s started or help to prevent it before it’s expected, such as in the case of chemotherapy.
3: Spasms & Seizures
Severe, frequent muscle spasms and seizures of any kind can be debilitating and severely life-limiting. Regardless of the underlying cause, medical marijuana could be the right treatment for spasms and seizures. Patients experiencing uncontrolled muscle movements and seizures should be sure to see a qualified medical professional for diagnosis prior to obtaining a medical marijuana prescription to ensure they receive the right type of medication.
Common Spasm & Seizure Causes in Medical Cannabis Patients
Why Cannabis Helps With Spasms and Seizures
CBD is most commonly associated with spasm and seizure relief for medical marijuana patients, and it’s shown to be highly effective for these conditions. Both adults and children respond well to this treatment and, in both cases, the alternative to a more powerfully sedative medication such as barbiturates can be a positive change that allows the patients to live a more normal life.
4: Poor Appetite & Uncontrolled Weight Loss
While some people strive to lose weight, for many others, weight loss is a troubling symptom or outcome of a serious underlying disease or disorder. Medical cannabis offers hope to these patients, who may have no recourse other than IV feeding and other inconvenient treatment methods. In most cases, patients who take medical marijuana for poor appetite and uncontrolled weight loss have been unresponsive to other treatments and want to try something before turning to force-feeding and other unpleasant options.
Common Poor Appetite & Uncontrolled Weight Loss Causes in Medical Cannabis Patients
Why Cannabis Helps With Poor Appetite & Uncontrolled Weight Loss
Those who use cannabis in a recreational context often speak of “the munchies” or a desire to snack associated with cannabis use. This works a bit differently in a medical context, though, because medical marijuana typically does not have the same chemical makeup as recreational marijuana.
5: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Many people assume that they can get a medical marijuana prescription for mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety or for sleep-related issues such as insomnia but, in most states, this is not the case. There is only one psychiatric disorder for which marijuana is commonly prescribed: post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
Common PTSD Causes in Medical Cannabis Patients
Unlike the diseases and conditions listed above, PTSD is a much more individual and unpredictable diagnosis, so there isn’t necessarily a list of common underlying causes to work from.
Why Cannabis Helps With PTSD Symptoms
Marijuana’s ability to calm the central nervous system makes it an effective medicine for the suffering caused by the event flashbacks, nightmares, paranoia, mood swings, social isolation and general emotional tension associated with PTSD. Veterans’ groups are among those leading the charge for medical cannabis treatment approval for those suffering from PTSD. Though PTSD is most commonly associated with military service in the public consciousness, anyone who suffers from PTSD might be a suitable candidate for medical marijuana treatment.
Understanding Your Options
If you’re dealing with any of the above symptoms, diseases, or underlying medical issues, medical marijuana could be a good treatment option for you. However, not all states have the same laws governing who can and can’t get this medical treatment. It could be that the condition you have isn’t considered a valid justification for medical cannabis use. Additionally, the side effects of medical marijuana use may not be suitable for some patients, particularly on a long-term basis. Talking to a qualified, compassionate doctor can be helpful in determining whether this treatment method is both available to and a good option for you.