So What Does Medicinal Marijuana Actually Do?
Both long-term and short-term effects of medicinal marijuana use in patients and non-patients alike. This article is intended for the moms and dads of the world wondering what the heck these kids are talking about, and want the basics.
Everyone is always talking about the great side effects of medicinal marijuana use, but let’s face it: we just think of getting high when we hear that. So what does medicinal marijuana actually do? And I mean more than just sleepy and hungry…
THC vs. CBD
To understand the different therapeutic effects of marijuana, you have to understand a little bit of its chemical make-up; don’t worry, I’m not here to confuse you, but to break things down in basic terms without the fancy jargon yet with the science to back it up. On a micro level, THC has the same chemical make-up as CBD except they are designed differently, and therefore have different effects.
- THC: a.k.a. The stuff that gets you high.
- It’s found within the resin or sticky part of the plant, and it’s the compound in marijuana that has psychedelic effects; the higher the THC concentration, the stronger the effects.
- This is the compound that drug tests look for, and it’s extremely difficult to pass if you’re a regular user; this is also the one you need a card for in medicinal marijuana states.
- This is the compound that aids in relieving PTSD, anxiety, depression, the more psychological symptoms, but it does also aid in pain relief.
- CBD: the stuff that calms you down and soothes.
- Per Harvard Health, some of the symptoms CBD has been shown to treat include anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain from inflammation, addiction, and epilepsy to name a few.
- Contrary to belief, CBD and THC are not grown on the same plant, but rather, the CBD plant is a cousin to the THC marijuana plant.
- This is the one you see over-the-counter in stores that you don’t need a card for (I’m talking non-rec. states), and no, it doesn’t get you high.
What does medical marijuana actually do then?
Marijuana has proven to be a serious pain relief aid for many people with chronic pain issues, like inflammation due to arthritis as we age. It’s not something that can take the place of heavy pain medications, but it can certainly help relieve the pain of an upset stomach from bad food or say, cramps from… different things…
Aside from relieving various forms of physical pain, it’s also a much safer option than taking NSAIDS multiple times a day, or heaven forbid, opiates are your drug of choice. Switch to sweet Mary Jane for a week or so and see how you feel! You won’t have damage done to your liver and/or kidneys, and there is literally no chance of an overdose.
It has been used to lessen the tremors in diseases such as Parkinson’s, and it has proven successful in treating the daily pains of fibromyalgia. From PTSD to HIV, marijuana has shown individual positive side effects for them all, so what does medicinal marijuana do? That depends on the symptom it’s treating but in short, it can treat the widest variety of symptoms that you can possibly imagine. From easing headaches and cramps to soothing an upset stomach or sore muscle, marijuana can heal.
It’s not just for physical symptoms, as it has shown to be effective in treating anxiety, depression, insomnia, agitation, and a variety of psychological disorders.
Frequently asked questions:
- Can overuse cause adverse side effects? Yes, especially in young adults. Using marijuana, especially excessively, as a young adult shows possible connections to attention disorders and learning disabilities, although further research is still needed.
- Can you overdose on marijuana? Absolutely not, so if your friend is freaking out right now thinking that he or she is dying, you can promise them that their dumb a** is not dying, just really, really stoned.
So to recap, both CBD and THC varieties of marijuana are known to have healing properties for physical and psychological ailments. THC is the one that gets you high, CBD is the one that brings you down from a high, but neither are dangerous!