Are you exploring the idea of medical marijuana? There are different types of cannabis, and each has its own unique effects on the body.
In essence, medical marijuana has a direct effect on the endocannabinoid system which is responsible for many of our bodily functions.
In this article, we cover everything you will need to know about this, as well as the types of cannabis for natural relief from ailments. This way, you can determine if you would like to try it for yourself.
If you’re ready to learn more about the power of natural plants, keep reading.
How Does Marijuana Work?
In past decades, researchers uncovered a hidden system of communication that is involved with practically every function of the body. In the 1990s, it was named the endocannabinoid system after the elements from the plant that led to the discovery (cannabinoids).
In essence, the system consists of cannabinoids receptors: CB1 and CB2. However, it also plays host to endocannabinoids which are natural to the human body modulate and activate these receptors. It also includes enzymes that metabolize the endocannabinoids to be depleted from the body.
The endocannabinoid system regulate many of our body’s functions, such as hunger, anxiety, sleep, pain, energy, nausea, and much more. In addition, the system is important in the maintenance of homeostasis, which is a necessary state of body balance.
It’s believed that many health conditions can be linked to deficiencies in the system. The conditions relevant to the system include fibromyalgia, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, and more.
Under the effects of injury, stress, or illness, the need for endocannabinoid communication often exceeds the available supply. When the body requires more than it can provide, the communication between line processes breaks down.
Phytocannabinoids like the ones in cannabis influence many of the ECS functions, helping them regulate bodily functions in the short and long-term.
Different Types of Cannabis
To better understand use of medical marijuana as a treatment for many conditions, we must first examine the different types of cannabis that are available for our use.
Without understanding the differences in cannabis composition, we miss out on a better understanding of its efficiency in regards to various functionalities.
The Indica-dominant hybrid is one of the most popular types of cannabis. From a medical perspective, these strains provide the best results due to the variety of cannabinoids present.
Not to mention, these strains mature and grow faster, making them great for mass production. To get this kind of hybrid, a regular Indica is bred with a Ruderalis strain, which results in greater quantities of CBD.
Thanks to this high quantity of CBD, the strain is great for people with injuries, sleeping problems, or inflammation.
Even though Ruderalis is not as popular as regular Sativa or Indica, it has a very unique cannabinoid profile. Unlike the other strings, these plants have a very minimal quantity of THC, which means it’s not for recreation.
Among all other types of marijuana, Ruderalis offers the best ratio of CBD. However, unlike some strains, Ruderalis does not flower on a light cycle and does so at a certain age.
Indica is one of the more common cannabis types for medical and recreational purposes. The dense and short plants have dark green leaves. Due to the short nature, it’s great for mass indoor growing.
In eight weeks, the plant flowers mature, delivering a variety of flavors. If you’re looking for a sedating and relaxing effect, then Indica might be for you. It’s used to manage severe pain and insomnia.
Sativa hybrids are better for medical purposes than pure Sativa strains. When cross-pollinated, the various strains of Sativa result in unique tastes, stimulatory effects, and smells.
Fortunately, they come without the notions of paranoia that are often associated with the Sativa high. The hybrids are used to regulate anxiety, lack of appetite, and depression. They also deliver an uplifting and energetic feel, so it’s not great for nighttime.
Pure Sativa is quite a rate. These plants are not easy to grow and they are large. Not to mention, finding pure Sativa seeds is not easy either.
These plants can get up to 20 feet high, and they take double the time to mature. From a medical perspective, Sativa strains can induce heartbeat irregularities and paranoia.
Unless cross-pollinated, pure Sativa is not common in medicine. However, it can help mitigate fatigue, nausea, and depression via the psychoactive effects.
Tetrahydrocannabinol vs Cannabidiol
Over 140 known cannabinoids in cannabis, and over 500 different chemical compounds unique to marijuana alone. One of the most prominently researched compounds is cannabidiol (CBD), known for its medicinal benefits without intoxication. The other is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is known for its medicinal and psychotropic effects.
THC is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic. It is also great for preventing vomiting, nausea and improving appetite. The psychoactive high by THC can result in calmness and euphoria, easing anxiety and uplifting depression.
On the other hand, CBD does not result in a psychoactive high. It does not impair the normal functionality of the user. The recommended uses for CBD are as an antioxidant, antipsychotic, anticonvulsant, and anti-inflammatory.
Medical Marijuana Uses
The most common use for medicinal cannabis in the U.S. is pain management. While it’s not strong enough for severe pains like broken bones or surgical pain, it’s effective for chronic conditions, especially as the patient ages.
Part of the marijuana allure is that it’s safer than opiates and it’s difficult to overdose on it. It can also take place of NSAIDs like Aleve or Advil if users cannot take them due to ulcer or kidney problems.
In specific scenarios, marijuana can ease nerve pain and multiple sclerosis. This is an area of medicine that does not have many options, and the ones that do exist are extremely sedating. Patients that use marijuana claim that it allows them to resume daily life without feeling out of it.
Furthermore, marijuana is a great muscle relaxant, and people with Parkinson’s disease swear by its ability to reduce tremors. It’s also great for individuals with endometriosis, fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, and many other conditions with chronic pain.
Marijuana is also great for weight loss and nausea management. It’s used to treat glaucoma in ocular medicine. Medicinal cannabis is highly promising in PTSD for veterans.
In fact, many veterans and therapists report great improvement. Medical marijuana helps patients suffering from wasting syndrome caused by HIV, as well as Crohn’s disease.
Keep in mind it is not an inclusive list, but a quick overview of the types of conditions that medical marijuana can help relieve. As with any remedy, effectiveness claims should be treated with caution and carefully evaluated.
How Can Marijuana Be Used?
Now that you have a bearing on the uses of medical marijuana, why don’t we take a look at how it can be used? To be more specific, we’re taking a look at the method by which the substance can be consumed.
Vaping is the process of converting the chemical compounds of an herb into vapor. Unlike regular smoking, you do not need to hold the vapor in your mouth before sucking it in.
If you travel often, a vape pen can be very affordable for regular use. For users with experience in vaping, a high-quality vaporizer for in-house use is also available. Whichever type you choose, you usually insert your cartridge, click on the button and take your hit.
When you put your cartridge in, you will see the quantity of marijuana it carries in milligrams. If it’s your first time, a couple of puffs should do the job. Take them and wait 10 to 20 minutes for the effects to roll in.
If you feel overly high, stop. Users with moderate tolerance need about 15 mg of marijuana. That’s about seven puffs depending on the quantity of marijuana in your vape.
Tinctures are type of liquid made from marijuana. In most cases, the liquid comes in the form of a bottle that comes with a dropper. Usually, you take several drops under your tongue and wait some time to feel the effects.
Tinctures don’t taste too good in most cases. As a first-time user, take a couple of drops, wait ten minutes for the effects to kick in. If you’re using an oral spray, the process is the same.
Tinctures are discreet for portable use. They can be brought anywhere and the effects are practically instant.
The oldest and true-and-tried method of marijuana consumption is smoking. Smoking gives effects in about five minutes. You don’t have to hold the smoke in either, especially if you’re using one-hit devices.
For one-hit devices or smoking, take a couple of puffs. With moderate tolerance, take about 10 puffs.
With edible marijuana, you can easily manage the dose you’re consuming. Beginners can start with around 6mg. For those with tolerance, 20mg is enough. With edible consumption, you have a great variety of choices, starting with sugar-free edibles and going as far as gourmet dishes.
Edibles are an exciting way to try cannabis because they can be infused into your favorite beverages and foods. Cannabis edibles are widely available online and in local stores.
Edibles also provide a sustainable and long-term effect profile because of the digestive tract absorption profile. The effects can last for hours after consumption.
Topical marijuana is rubbed onto parts of the skin. If you have inflammation or pain in a certain area, you can use topical marijuana on that spot. If the cannabis topical that you choose has THC, it will still be psychoactive.
Topical application takes about an hour to kick-in.
Even though cannabis is a very safe form of medicine, anything that goes into our body can have side effects, both negative and positive. For instance, THC in marijuana can slow reflexes, cause short-term memory loss and deplete the ability to focus.
It’s also known for causing red eyes, appetite, and dry mouth. While some users consider the munchies a desirable effect (especially if coping with the loss of appetite), for others the case is the opposite. Regardless, the side effects wear off after the high is gone.
Besides that, smoking marijuana can result in respiratory side-effects that are caused by any other smoke. People with respiratory conditions should try other methods of consumption.
Long-term use of cannabis is habit-forming and should be used in moderation. People with a family or personal history of psychosis should avoid marijuana due to the risk of exacerbation of psychotic tendencies.
CBD is considered to be safe on a broad view, but it can still have some side effects, case by case. These include but are not limited to changes in appetite and weight, fatigue, diarrhea, and nausea.
The fact is that with any substance you choose to introduce to your life, you should be very diligent with understanding, experimenting, and knowing when to stop using it for your own sake.
Educational Content for You
Now that you know what medical marijuana can do, as well as the different types of cannabis to try for natural relief, you are that much closer to finding the perfect product for your own needs.
As long as you do substantial research and consider the claims from a realistic perspective, there’s no reason that you won’t be able to find something that’s effective for you.