Is It Safe and Effective to Use Marijuana as Medicine?
Using marijuana medicinally has been a subject of heated debate for decades. While marijuana has many proven medical benefits, a lot of people do not think it is safe to use medically. Ongoing research suggests otherwise.
Marijuana contains many different compounds that can help relieve a number of symptoms and conditions. Robust scientific studies continue to explore marijuana’s efficacy for a variety of maladies. Additionally, decades of anecdotal evidence from medical marijuana consumers has demonstrated ongoing benefits when cannabis is used medicinally.
While federal law throughout the country still prohibits the use of marijuana, many states have their own programs for medical marijuana use. For example, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin have all legalized the medical use of CBD with THC amounts of 0.3% or less. And Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia have legalized all forms of medical marijuana. View a full map of where marijuana is both medically and recreationally legal here.
While there are some differences from state to state, the general consensus is that medical marijuana can be used to help relieve symptoms from the following medical conditions:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Arthritis (added 2021)
- Chronic Migraines (added 2021)
- Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (added 2021)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Epilepsy or Another Seizure Disorder
- Hepatitis C
- Huntington’s Disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Pain That Is Either Chronic and Severe or Intractable
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Positive Status for HIV
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Spinal Cord Disease or Injury
- Terminal Illness
- Tourette Syndrome
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Ulcerative Colitis
In addition to these conditions, the FDA has approved a number of marijuana-based medications, such as dronabinol (Marinol®) and nabilone (Cesamet®), which are both prescribed in pill form to help treat nausea for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and AIDS patients who experience wasting syndrome. Several other THC-based medications, like nabiximols (Sativex®) are also undergoing clinical trials and have already been approved for use in the UK, Canada, and several other European countries. Certain CBD-based medications, like Epidiolex®, have also been approved by the FDA to help treat different types of severe childhood epilepsy. CBD-based medications are non-psychoactive, unlike THC-based medications.
In conclusion, using marijuana as medicine is generally considered to be safe, as long as you have consulted a medical professional to discuss your specific medical condition and using THC to help treat it. When using marijuana medicinally, it is always wise to make sure your dosage is correct and avoid mixing it with other medications or substances, like alcohol, anticoagulants, antiplatelet drugs, herbs, supplements, CBD depressants, protease inhibitors, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Mixing medical marijuana with any of these substances could present negative side effects.
As always, before you start any medication, it’s best to get advice from a medical professional. Once you have done so, we’d love to help you find the right products to help. At Terrasana we have very knowledgeable Patient Consultants that are always willing to help you learn more about cannabis and medically using marijuana. Visit us online or at one of our Ohio dispensary locations. We’re happy to help you!