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Everything You Need To Know About Medical Marijuana

Updated on March 4, 2016
THC Molecule
THC Molecule

What is Medical Marijuana

Marijuana, or cannabis, is a natural plant whose main component is THC, among many others such as CBH, CBD and so on. THC stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol which is a psycho active ingredient that is said to manage behavioral effects of THC. Neurons in the brain are activated when a compound binds to its receptor, which is a protein typically located on the cell surface. Thus, THC will exert its effects only after binding to its receptor.

Types Of Strains
Types Of Strains

Types Of Medicinal Marijuana

There are two types of Medical cannabis that come in either a smokeable form an oil form, pill form,cream form or even in form of baked goods. They are Indica and Sativa strains. These are the two types but hybrids also exist where the two are combined. Indica provides strong body effects and relieves physical pain. Sativa provides strong mind effects and is used for relaxation and diseases like Alzheimer. The reason for Hybrids is to try and caption best of both worlds for patients that may be suffering from depression and physical pains.

How Medical Marijuana Works

THC, CBD, CBN, CBC, CBG and about 80 other chemicals are all in a class of compounds known as cannabinoids, found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are responsible for the effects of cannabis consumption and have important therapeutic benefits. When a cannabinoid enters the body, it aims for brain receptors. Cannabinoids are produced in epidermal glands on the leaves, stems, and the bracts that support the flowers of the marijuana plant. Although the flower itself has no epidermal glands, it has the highest cannabinoid content anywhere on the plant. All recent studies have indicated that the behavioral effects of THC are receptor mediated. Neurons in the brain are activated when a compound binds to its receptor, which is a protein located on the cell surface.

More states across the US along with many countries in the world are allowing the option of Medical Marijuana as an alternate treatment. Doctors in states that allow this practice are prescribing the method to people who have failed to find means of relief whether for physical or mental issues. These doctors prescribe Medical Marijuana to people suffering from headaches, cancer, muscle spasms, MS, Chron's Disease, seizure disorders, cancer chemo, weight loss and many more.

For example, if you are suffering from muscle spasm, your doctor would prescribe the Indica strain and the one type that may help you would be the Black Domina. If you are suffering from depression your doctor would prescribe the Sativa strain in which case Apollo 11 would work just fine. If you are going through chemo because of Cancer, your doctor would prescribe Indica or Sativa or a hybrid in which case you would try Cinderella 99.

Each form, type and strain is diferent and each more effective then the last.

Would you ever consider Medical Marijuana as an alternate form of relief?

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What Science Says

Previous studies suggested that cannabinoids have anti-cancer properties. Researchers at Complutense University in Spain discovered that when THC was administered to mice with human tumors, the tumors growth was either stalled or shrunk. How can mice have human tumors? It's called Xenografting, a Heterotransplantation of human cells into immunodeficient mice. Upon doing more research and testing on humans they discovered that two human patients with highly aggressive brain tumors who received intracranial administration of THC also showed similar signs upon analysis.

In another study, Peter Flachenecker, MD, Head of the Quellenhof Neurological Rehabilitation Center concluded that "Background: Nabiximols (Sativex), in a cannabinoid-based oromucosal spray, is an add-on therapy option for patients with moderate to severe multiple sclerosis spasticity (MSS) resistant to other medications. The study objective was to provide long-term data on clinical outcomes, tolerability, quality of life and treatment satisfaction for MSS patients receiving nabiximols in routine care.

Results: In total, 52 patients were included in the effectiveness analysis after 12 months. The mean spasticity numerical rating scale (NRS, 0-10) score decreased significantly... The majority of patients (84%) did not report adverse events.

Conclusion: Real-life data confirm the long-term effectiveness and tolerability of nabiximols for the treatment of resistant MSS in everyday clinical practice."

Then, in 2011 Sean D. McAllister, PhD, Scientist at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute published "Pathways Mediating the Effects of Cannabidiol on the Reduction of Breast Cancer Cell Proliferation, Invasion, and Metastasis," and found the following. "There is a general consensus in the field of cancer research that targeting multiple pathways that control tumor progression is the best strategy for the eradication of aggressive cancers. Since CBD has a low toxicity, it would be an ideal candidate for use in combination treatments with additional drugs already used in the clinic. Importantly, CBD appears to be interacting through a cellular system that regulates the expression of key transcriptional factors (e.g., Id-1) that control breast cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. The experiments described in this manuscript not only define the pathways that CBD is working through to control breast cancer cell aggressiveness, but also demonstrate the efficacy of CBD in pre-clinical models. A greater understanding of this system may lead to future therapies for breast cancer patients, including the additional refinement of CBD analog synthesis."

Despite testimonials and scientific research that support the therapy, large majority of the population refuses to give this research a chance and sees this opportunity as a way for those who like to get high to be able to do it legally.

National Pain Foundation Survey Results
National Pain Foundation Survey Results

What Users Say

A survey in California finds that medical marijuana patients agree that the benefits and relief trumps the risks. 92 percent said that medical marijuana alleviated symptoms of their serious medical conditions, including chronic pain, arthritis, migraine, and cancer. The data comes from the California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a health survey of 7,525 California adults produced by the Public Health Institute in partnership with the CDC.

Your Brain and Cannabis

Medical Marijuana and the Risks

Dependency is a major concern of Medical Marijuana users, as it is with all drugs and alcohol and even tobacco. Each persons body functions in its own way so you may or may not see dependency, thus withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms are just like those of cigarettes and alcohol but are labeled much more harshly considering the product in question is WEED. Patients experiencing withdrawal symptoms may feel insomnia, irritability, nausea and anxiety.

Recent polls and surveys show that 8.9% of former users had experienced some withdrawal symptoms, while the other 91.1% experienced only one and for a short time or none at all. However, most of the people surveyed said that it was worth it. According to a 2015 review in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics: “Chronic cannabis users typically experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when use is discontinued. These symptoms are much less severe than those associated with withdrawal from chronic opioid or depressant use, but aversive enough to encourage continued cannabis use and interfere with cessation attempts in some individuals.”

May 2015
May 2015 | Source

Medical Marijuana Helps

Considering everything you've just read, all the topic we covered and hours of independent research I, at least, am more convinced than ever that the benefits of medical marijuana use outweigh the potential risks. If none of things I wrote today convince you to rethink everything you know about this method, please watch the short video bellow. If you are already on board with this medical revolution, you can write letters to your states senators, do research and conduct polls to convince the public of the benefits. Obviously, I write this from the heart because I feel like the story bellow is amazing and every child and adult deserves to have the opportunity to try this method. Please voice your concern with your state senator, governor, congress, your doctor. The Medial Marijuana journey is just beginning and soon, this medicine will be available for everyone.

How Medical Marijuana Helped a Child

Please Note: It is important to know that self medicating/ recreational use of marijuana will not have the therapeutic treatment and benefits because medical marijuana is low in THC and high in CBD unlike types sold on the streets. It is best to consult with your doctor if you live in states where medical marijuana is legal.

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    • ElvisaM profile image
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      Elvisa M 21 months ago from Saint Louis

      Thank you very much. I am going to read your article now.

    • RJ Schwartz profile image

      Ralph Schwartz 21 months ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

      Nice piece of research - informative and concise. Big pharma doesn't want us regular folk treating ourselves. Check out my hub on the topic if you have time. Keep up the good work.