Medical marijuana consists of dried parts of the cannabis sativa plant and has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries. The cannabis sativa plant contains over 100 different chemicals, called cannabinoids, with each one creating a unique effect on the body. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most well-known and main chemicals used in medicine.
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Medical cannabis is used in the treatment of numerous medical conditions, such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscle spasms
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Wasting syndrome (cachexia)
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The active cannabinoids in medical cannabis are similar to chemicals produced by the body that affect appetite, memory, movement, and pain. Research suggests that cannabinoids may prove helpful in reducing anxiety and inflammation, relieving pain and controlling nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy. Studies have indicated the potential of cannabis to relax tight muscles in people with MS, kill cancer cells, slow tumor growth, and stimulate appetite and improve weight gain in those with cancer and AIDS. To access medical cannabis, you need a written recommendation from a licensed doctor.
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The cannabinoids in cannabis connect with specific parts of cells called receptors found in the brain and immune system. The various forms of consumption work differently in the body, varying the quickness and longevity of effects. You can smoke it, place a few drops of liquid under the tongue, eat it, apply it as a lotion, or inhale through a vaporizer. How you take it is up to you. If you smoke or vaporize, you’ll feel the effects rapidly. Edibles take significantly longer to experience the effects.