Medical Marijuana Benefits

People have used marijuana, also called cannabis, for a variety of health conditions for at least 3,000 years. More recently, individual components of marijuana or similar synthetic substances have also been used for health purposes. These substances are called cannabinoids. (NCCIH)

In the State of Michigan, The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act considers the following “debilitating medical conditions” that allow for the use of medical marihuana to treat their condition: “Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, nail patella, or the treatment of these conditions.”

As of July 2018, eleven new medical conditions have also been added to this list: Arthritis, Autism, Chronic Pain, Colitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Parkinson’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Spinal Cord Injury, Tourette’s Syndrome, and Ulcerative Colitis.

Medical Marijuana Phrases from Allied Wellness Center - Cannabis Provisioning Center in Warren, Michigan

Marijuana Without the High

Least controversial is the extract from the hemp plant known as CBD (which stands for cannabidiol) because this component of marijuana has little, if any, intoxicating properties. Marijuana itself has more than 100 active components. THC (which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol) is the chemical that causes the “high” that goes along with marijuana consumption. CBD-dominant strains have little or no THC, so patients report very little if any alteration in consciousness. Patients do, however, report many benefits of CBD, from relieving insomnia, anxiety, spasticity, and pain to treating potentially life-threatening conditions such as epilepsy. (Harvard Medical School)

CBD Formula on Marijuana Plant from Allied Wellness Center - Cannabis Provisioning Center in Warren, Michigan

Useful in Medicine

Unlike THC, CBD is a cannabinoid that doesn’t make people “high.” These drugs aren’t popular for recreational use because they aren’t intoxicating. It may be useful in reducing pain and inflammation, controlling epileptic seizures, and possibly even treating mental illness and addictions. The FDA approved a CBD-based liquid medication called Epidiolex® for the treatment of two forms of severe childhood epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Many researchers, including those funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), are continuing to explore the possible uses of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids for medical treatment. (National Institute of Drug Abuse)

The Endocannabinoid System

Discovered in the 1990’s, the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) helps keep mammals in homeostasis by regulating and affecting all major body systems to work together to promote a healthy and well-balanced body. This includes affecting sleep, appetite, pain sensation, inflammation, mood, memory, reproduction, movement, and even the euphoric feeling from exercise. Certain receptors in the brain respond pharmacologically to cannabis, and thus, can help promote and control a healthy human body with medical cannabis.

THC: One component of cannabis is THC. THC typically binds with CB1 receptors. CB1 receptors are found predominantly in the brain and nervous system, as well as in peripheral organs and tissues (Wikipedia).

CBD: Another component of cannabis, often used for its medical properties, is CBD. CBD binds best with CB2 receptors, which help control appetite, inflammation, and pain sensations. The CB2 receptors are primarily found in the immune system, including the spleen and gastrointestinal system.

Things to Remember

  • Edible products contain concentrated cannabis oil and can be much stronger than edibles you have tried in the past, and could be cause stronger reactions than smoking.
  • Concentrates are strong and have a quick effect, so begin with a small amount.
  • Concentrates can come in oils, hashes, waxes, kief, and amber glass varieties.
  • Go slowly and be careful when using vaporizer pens, as they often use concentrated cannabis oils.
  • It is illegal to drive any motor-vehicle under the influence of marijuana, whether medical or not.
  • Use marijuana responsibly. Treat it as you would alcohol, meaning do not operate vehicles or large machinery while under the influence of marijuana, and do not let the use of marijuana impact your health and safety, or the health and safety of others.
  • Medical marijuana is not FDA approved to treat any health conditions.
  • Marijuana usage can cause dependence or addiction.
  • Possible physical side effects can include dizziness, a fast or irregular heartbeat, slow reaction times, lung irritation, or drowsiness.
  • Possible mental and emotional side effects may include confusion, decreased or increased anxiety, memory loss (typically short-term), poor concentration, or grand and inflated feelings of happiness or well-being.
Medical Cannabis Edibles - Marijuana Edibles - Allied Wellness Center Warren, Michigan