What is Medical Marijuana?

January 11, 2023
What is Medical Weed
What is Medical Weed

In this article, we answer the common question – “What is medical marijuana?” (MMJ), or medical cannabis (MC). This refers to weed and cannabinoids, which are prescribed by a medical specialist to alleviate symptoms of certain diseases. Currently, though, there are ongoing and promising studies on the use of cannabis for a variety of conditions. These include anxiety, acute and chronic pain, anorexia, insomnia, and PTSD, but as far as the FDA is concerned, currently, we lack evidence-based data and clinical trials to define the safety and efficacy of applying it as medicine in these conditions.

In this article, we will answer “What is medical marijuana?” and cover its peculiarities, what it is used for, and its legality status. Let’s go!

This post is intended as information and for general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is recommended that you talk to a healthcare professional about this before introducing cannabinoids into your daily routine (especially if you have been diagnosed with any medical conditions or are under any medication). It is not recommended to drive or operate any machinery when using cannabis- or hemp-derived products. Use responsibly!

What is Medical Marijuana?

MMJ is prescribed to ease the issues caused by many medical conditions. Legalization makes it possible not only to consume weed but also to study it and its medicinal properties in order to get the most out of it. 

MC contains various chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, the most well-known of which is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the compound that is responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana and is believed to be responsible for many of its therapeutic effects.

Medical marijuana is typically administered through methods such as smoking, vaporizing, or consuming edibles. It is important to follow the guidance of a healthcare provider when using medical marijuana and to use it responsibly.

What is Medical Marijuana Used for?

Medical conditions which are believed to be affected are:

  • Nausea and vomiting during chemo. Several studies, including recent ones, have concluded that cannabinoids, especially CBD and its precursor CBDA, have shown quite good results in eliminating nausea and vomiting for those undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Chronic pain. This study indicates cannabinoids may have a modest analgesic effect for chronic neuropathic pain conditions with just a few light adverse events. It also concludes that cannabinoids may have a potential role in chronic pain management.
  • Sleeping and depression issues. Certain research state that in terms of perceptions, individuals with depression, anxiety, and both conditions who use cannabis for insomnia report significant improvements in symptom severity after cannabis use.
  • Cannabinoids are reported to ease chronic pelvic pain (CPP), which affects at least 15% of American women. Almost one-quarter of patients with CPP report regular use of cannabis as an adjunct to their prescribed therapy. Although side effects are common, most users report improvement in symptoms. Our study highlights the potential of cannabis as a therapeutic option for patients with CPP.
  • Muscle spasms. There is some research suggesting that medical cannabis may be effective in managing muscle spasms and related symptoms. For example, this one states that medical cannabis was associated with a significant reduction in muscle spasms in patients with multiple sclerosis. Another study published in Sage Journals concluded that MMJ could improve neurogenic symptoms unresponsive to standard treatments.
  • Loss of appetite. There is some evidence to suggest that THC may be effective in stimulating appetite and reducing nausea in individuals who are experiencing a loss of appetite due to conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other medical conditions. For example, a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that THC was effective in increasing appetite and reducing nausea in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.
  • Appetite suppression. Yes, it sounds controversial, but certain cannabinoids, namely THCV, can have the opposite effect on the appetite. It is also famous as “diet weed” as it suppresses appetite, which makes this substance useful when dealing with obesity.

All in all, no matter what is medical marijuana used for, there is a great need to research the capabilities of various cannabinoids, their long-term usage consequences, and their potential. 

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in the U.S.?

Medical marijuana is legal in some states in the United States, but it is not legal in all states. In states where medical marijuana is legal, individuals must obtain a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider and obtain the medication from a licensed dispensary.

Marijuana as a plant is not legal on a federal level. Since the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp has been federally legal. Hemp refers to the cannabis plant with a THC level not higher than 0.3%. Nevertheless, certain states still have specific regulations and restrictions concerning cannabis possession, consumption, cultivation, and trade.

To know what states is medical marijuana legal in, it is important for individuals to check their local laws and regulations before using medical marijuana and to consult with a healthcare professional before using any form of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

What is the Difference between Medical Marijuana and Recreational Marijuana?

Medical marijuana and recreational marijuana both refer to cannabis, but they are used for different purposes and are subject to different laws and regulations.

Medical marijuana is a plant-based therapy that is used to treat a range of medical conditions. It is typically used to help manage symptoms associated with conditions such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and Crohn’s disease. Recreational marijuana, on the other hand, is used for non-medical purposes, such as recreational use or enjoyment. It is typically consumed for its psychoactive effects, which can produce a feeling of relaxation or euphoria.

So, what is medical cannabis vs recreational marijuana? The main difference between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana is the purpose for which it is used. Medical marijuana is used for medicinal purposes and is typically prescribed by a healthcare provider for the treatment of specific medical conditions. Recreational marijuana is used for non-medical purposes and is not typically prescribed by a healthcare provider.