The roots of medical marijuana legalization can be traced back to the 1980s and early 1990s – the era that marked the worst days of the AIDS epidemic in the US. The disease was, ultimately, a death sentence. To find relief and solace, stricken young men turned to marijuana.
The fight to legalize cannabis has been arduous and long. At present, the use of medical marijuana – med for short – is legal in 30 states.
Med is said to provide relief for a wide range of illnesses like AIDS and cancer. Patients also turn to cannabis to relieve glaucoma, seizures, muscle spasms, severe nausea, severe pain, and muscle dystrophy-induced weight loss.
Each of the 30 states that voted for med’s legalization has its own list of conditions that qualify for med access. In Arizona, for example, PTSD is considered qualifying condition, but in Louisiana, it is not. Doctors’ recommendations are relatively harder to obtain in Delaware, but in California, all it may take is a three-minute video chat.
CBD: The Lowdown
What, exactly, is in med that purportedly provides relief from otherwise wasting illnesses?
Cannabis, in general, contains various chemicals, with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the substance that gets people “high”, being the most familiar. Another notable substance is cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound that is often associated with medical benefits. As it is not psychoactive, CBD does not cause any of the mind-altering effects that recreational users experience.
Med is derived from plants organically grown for their CBD content. While these still tend to contain some THC, studies claim that a combination of THC and CBD is sometimes more effective than CBD alone. Patients who worry about psychoactivity find a solution in high CBD and low THC marijuana formulations.
From a medical perspective, CBD is a promising compound. Despite it being non-psychoactive, many users believe CBD helps them relax.
Med comes in the form of oils, gels, and skin patches in addition to being smoked. It is administered through vaporization, inhalation, smoking, oral ingestion, topical application, or sublingual (under the tongue) methods.
What Happens to Your Body Under CBD
According to Dr. Margaret Gedde, a Stanford-trained MD PhD pathologist and an award-winning researcher specializing in the therapeutic use of cannabis, the only reason many worry about using medical marijuana is the psychoactivity associated with THC. In some cases, THC also tend to be beneficial, especially for patients experiencing severe pain. Apart from this, CBD is generally safe to use given the right dosage.
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