Cannabis is now legal for medical purposes in 33 states of the US and in Canada.
Many people take medical marijuana for pain and anxiety – and there are signs that it could be used to treat a huge variety of other symptoms and conditions besides:
Headaches and migraines, depression, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, ADHD and ADD, as an appetite stimulant or an anti-emetic…
The list of people who have conditions which may benefit from medical marijuana continues to grow. The FDA even recently approved a cannabis-derived medication for the treatment of two specific forms of epilepsy.
But there is a large and important difference between “smoking weed” and really exploiting the medical properties of the cannabis plant safely.
Here is everything you need to do about doing the latter:
1) There Are Different Types of Cannabis
There are several hundred different types of cannabis out there.
Most of the types you can buy from your local dispensary with your doctor’s approval will be drawn from the two main strains:
Which you are getting is going to become an important point in just a moment because…
2) Cannabis Contains Cannabinoids
Cannabis contains (at time of writing) 113 different cannabinoids.
Cannabinoid are a class of chemical which acts on chemical receptors in your body. By doing so, they alter the release of neurotransmitters in your brain. When they do this, they can produce a whole range of effects.
Two of the most well-known and important cannabinoids from a medical point of view are:
– THC (TetraHydroCannabinol):
this chemical is the psychoactive part of the plant. It is the part which makes you “high” when you take it. It may have some therapeutic properties.
– CBD (CannaBiDiol):
this chemical has been isolated, tested and in some cases officially approved for medical purposes. It has no psychoactive properties.
The important thing to bear in mind here is that the untreated plant you get over the counter in your local dispensary will – depending on what strain it is – contain varying and unregulated quantities of these cannabinoids.
3) Not All Cannabinoids Have the Same Effects
A great deal of the current research into the effectiveness of medical marijuana for back pain, arthritis, migraines, depression – and all of the other conditions mentioned at the start of this article – involves isolating different cannabinoids so that their effects can be tested individually.
For you personally, questions like “would medical cannabis be suitable for treating my anxiety?” or “can I get medical marijuana for back pain?” are rarely going to give you the right answer.
Instead, you will want to find out about which specific cannabinoid has shown results when used by people with the same condition. For instance, the cannabis-derived medication which the FDA approved in 2018 was a CBD oil specifically for Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, two types of epilepsy.
This makes it very important that when you decide to get medical marijuana for severe back pain, anxiety or any other condition, you know precisely what you are getting.
Unfortunately, this can be harder than you might think. That is why cannabis concentrates have become so important…
4) Cannabis Concentrates Are Specific Cannabinoids – Distilled
Cannabis concentrates are chemicals or compounds which have been isolated and distilled from the raw cannabis plant.
There are a huge variety of different types of cannabis concentrates available. But the very best, medical-grade ones are something in the region of 99-100% pure.
This means they will contain none of the impurities of the raw plant – and thus, unwanted side-effects of taking them will be reduced or eliminated altogether.
5) Which Is Best for You Depends on Your Condition
Recent research seems to show that:
Low doses of the psychoactive THC may be suitable for treating anxiety, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), ADD and others.
CBD may offer a better alternative than raw plant medical marijuana for chronic back pain, sciatica, cancer-related or post-trauma pain.
You will always want to consult with your doctor if you are considering starting to take a cannabis-derived medication.
Depending on where you live, you may need their written permission or further identification. Depending on what is legal in your state or part of the world, you may not be able to get medical cannabis for your specific condition.
If you are wondering specifically where you can get medical marijuana for back pain, the simplest solution is usually to consult your doctor or an MMJ (a medical marijuana evaluator or Medical Marijuana Doctor).
Choosing Marijuana for Pain and Anxiety
For many people, the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes has offered new hope for existing conditions, for times when standard medication does not work – as well as for pain relief.
But it has also come with significant problems attached. Higher doses of cannabis strains containing THC, for example, may be addictive as well as euphoric. Choosing to smoke the plant or vaporize it can lead to all sorts of other health problems.
Medical-grade cannabis concentrates are the next step in the process of extracting beneficial compounds from the cannabis plant.
Selecting the right cannabinoid chemical instead of smoking medical marijuana for pain and anxiety allows you to avoid many of the side-effects of doing so.