Medical Marijuana 101: How Does it Work?
As mounting clinical research continues to demonstrate the numerous and diverse health benefits of consuming the cannabis plant, legalization continues to spread across cities in efforts to make medical marijuana available for patients suffering from a wide spectrum of health conditions.
Thanks to modern growing techniques and indoor facilities – powered by the best technologies offering optimal environments and light sources, as explained on The Weed Prof – cultivating cannabis indoors is becoming easier, allowing for a greater supply of fresh and healthy crops throughout the year, irrespective of the seasons. In this article, we go over how medical marijuana works, and how people are benefiting from this supply of legal cannabis.
- Relieving Pain
Medical marijuana is commonly used as an alternative to pharmaceutical painkillers, for studies have shown that THC can regulate pain at the levels of both the spinal cord and the brain. This is done directly by activating CB1 receptors, as well as indirectly through enhancing opioid receptor activation. In addition, CBD influences pain processing by increasing levels of anandamide – the endogenous cannabinoid – which acts like THC in activating CB1 receptors.
- Promoting Mental Health
Cannabis products previously acquired their bad rap as people used them to get “high”. And while most people have heard that marijuana can affect dopamine in the brain, it is also linked to serotonin – a brain chemical known to regulate mood, emotion, appetite, and sleep. Marijuana works on this aspect through activating cannabinoid receptors which increases the levels of serotonin. It was also found to enhance serotonin activity and functions in the brain.
- Aiding The Gastro-Intestinal Tract
“The munchies” are a common, popular effect linked to consuming cannabis. Setting the cliché aside, studies suggest that marijuana affects the endocannabinoid system in a way that actually helps regulate appetite. These findings have been found particularly interesting in the field of treating the various eating disorders, especially anorexia nervosa. These effects of cannabis on the gastro-intestinal system are also utilized to reduce the nausea, and in the management of other conditions like Crohn’s disease, obesity and diabetes.
- Countering the Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Although nobody can deny how useful chemotherapy is in the treatment of cancer, its side effects can be both extreme and discouraging. Many patients contemplate the termination of their chemotherapy programs altogether due to challenging and overwhelming side effects. Cannabis, however, has been found extremely helpful in tackling some of these challenges, rendering treatment less harmful and more efficient. Thanks to its characteristics affecting the endocannabinoid system, medical marijuana has been found superior to conventional antiemetic drugs aimed at reducing the nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
An Ancient Medicine for the Future
The cannabis plant has a long, rich history across many ancient cultures, where people used it for both health and enlightenment purposes. Today, the social and scientific stigma surrounding medical marijuana is quickly lifting, revealing a myriad of uses in the medical field for both physical and mental conditions. Investment in clinical research and scientific studies revolving around the plethora of benefits of medical marijuana is now at its peak, paving the way for further discoveries that aim at a healthier world with the help of natural medicines, and with fewer side effects.