WHAT IS MEDICAL CANNABIS?
Medical Marijuana is a critical issue in the United States right now. Currently, 23 states and the District of Columbia have some form of medical marijuana laws, and more are contemplating some form of legalized access. The federal government considers marijuana a Schedule I drug, which is defined as a drug with no current accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are identified as the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.
There are 20,000+ research studies that demonstrate medical efficacy on a number of conditions including cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, chronic and severe pain, PTSD, anxiety, Crohn’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, migraines, asthma, fibromyalgia, depression, multiple sclerosis & many more. Marijuana has been used as a healing plant for over 20,000 years. These scientific findings back up what many cultures have known, and challenge the scheduling of this plant.
WHAT MAKES MARIJUANA MEDICAL?
Cannabis affects the human body through a relationship with what is called the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a group of neurotransmitting fats and their receptors in the brain that are involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. Marijuana is made of an assortment of components called cannabinoids that have different effects on the endocannabinoid system in the human body and mind.
A cannabinoid is a class of diverse chemical compounds that act on the cannabinoid receptors on cells that repress neurotrasmitter release in the brain. The most well known of these are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC) and cannabinol(CBN). These are the most well known cannabinoids, although up to 85 different cannabinoids have been extracted from the marijuana plant and cannabinoids are constantly being researched.