Medical Marijuana. While all states have laws dictating the use of medical marijuana, more than two-thirds of states in the US and the District of Columbia have legalised it for medical treatment and others are considering laws to do the same. However, although many people use marijuana, the FDA has approve it only to treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
One reason is that the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considers marijuana a Class I drug, as do heroin, LSD and ecstasy, which can be abused and have no medicinal value. Because of that, researchers need a special license to study it, says Marcel Bonn-Miller, PhD, a substance abuse specialist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.
That may not change anytime soon. The DEA considered reclassifying marijuana as a Class II drug, like Ritalin or oxycodone, but decided to keep it as a Schedule I drug. However, the agency agreed to support more research on marijuana and make the process easier for researchers. “Research is critical because we need to be able to advise patients and physicians on the safe and effective use of cannabis,” Bonn-Miller said. He shared information about medical marijuana use and possible side effects. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version).
What is medical marijuana?
Medical marijuana uses the marijuana plant or the chemicals it contains to treat diseases or conditions. It is basically the same product as recreational marijuana, but it is consume for medicinal purposes.
The marijuana plant contains over 100 different chemicals call cannabinoids. Each of them has a different effect on the body. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the main chemicals used in medicine. THC also produces the “feeling” that people feel when they smoke marijuana or eat foods containing marijuana.
What is medical marijuana use for?
Researchers are studying whether medical marijuana can help treat a number of conditions including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Appetite loss
- Crohn’s disease
- Diseases effecting the immune system like HIV/AIDS or Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Eating disorders such as anorexia
How does it help you?
Cannabinoids, the active chemicals in marijuana, are similar to chemicals the body produces that are involved in appetite, memory, movement and pain.
Limited research suggests that cannabinoids could:
Reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Control nausea and vomiting cause by cancer chemotherapy.
Killing cancer cells and slowing tumour growth
Relaxing tense muscles in people with MS
Stimulates appetite and improves weight gain in people with cancer and AIDS.
Can medical marijuana help with seizure disorders?
Medical marijuana receive a lot of attention a few years ago when parents said a special form of the drug helped control seizures in their children. The FDA recently approved Epidiolex, which is made from CBD, as a therapy for people with very severe or difficult-to-treat seizures. In studies, some people have experienced a dramatic reduction in seizures after taking this drug.
Has the FDA approved medical marijuana?
Cannabidiol Epidiolex, approve in 2018 for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. In addition, the FDA approved two artificial cannabinoid drugs, dronabinol (Marinol, Syndros) and nabilone (Cesamet), to treat nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. Cannabidiol Epidiolex was approved in 2018 for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Which states allow medical marijuana?
marijuana is legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia:
States allowing legal recreational use include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington
States that allow restricted use only include: Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
How do you get marijuana?
To get marijuana, you need a written recommendation from a licensed doctor in states where that is legal. (Not every doctor is willing to recommend medical marijuana for their patients.) You must have a condition that qualifies for medical marijuana use. Each state has its own list of qualifying conditions. Your state may also require you to get a medical marijuana ID card. Once you have that card, you can buy marijuana at a store called a dispensary.