A Few Interesting Facts About Medical Marijuana
1. 18 states and Washington D.C. have legalized the use of marijuana for certain conditions. However, federal law states that it is illegal to purchase and use this drug.
2. Humans have a natural pain-regulating system - the endocannabinoid system - what has receptors throughout the body. Humans produce endocannabinoids naturally, but in certain conditions like arthritis, the endocannabinoids break down too quickly to decrease joint pain. Phytocannabinoids which are found in marijuana are similar to endocannabinoids.
The two best know phytocannabinoids are THC ( the psychoactive portion of marijuana - creating the "high" sensation) and CBD ( the portion in marijuana which acts as a sedative and reduces inflammation). The use of marijuana can help to decrease arthritic pain because the phytocannabinoids take over for the lacking endocannabinoids.
3. The are two main marijuana species sativa and indica. Sativa has higher levels of THC - thereby increasing the psychoactive nature of the drug- increasing the "high"sensation. Indica has a higher CBD level - thereby increasing the therapeutics effects of marijuana without increasing the "high" sensation.
4. To obtain medical marijuana, you need a doctor's prescription. To fill the prescription, you need to go to a dispensary. It is important to know if you are getting sativa and indica. It is also important to know the percentage of THC in the strain you are looking to purchase. Marijuana is being grown to have higher percentages of THC - which will increase the psychoactive aspects and this may not be the effect that you are looking for. Lastly, if you take capsules of marijuana oil you will also decrease the psychoactive nature of the drug but get the benefits of decreasing pain and anti-inflammation.
Information for this article taken from Camille Noe Pagan's article in Arthritis Today May/June 2013