Can(nabis) I Be Blunt? Weed and HealTHCare

I just read this very interesting article discussing medical marijuana and its connection with reduced opioid use. There is some great information in the full article so if you have the time please check it out! Otherwise, if you’re like me and have 30 seconds of free time to breath and blink then hopefully my post can help you understand this topic a little better.

Medical Marijuana: What is it and why should I care?

Thomas Hawk CC BY-NC 2.0

Medical Marijuana is a relatively new industry which explains why most of the dispensaries are in sketchy looking buildings. Nevertheless, there are some great benefits to using medical marijuana. In short, medical marijuana is just marijuana that is used to treat different illnesses or their symptoms. The important components in marijuana are the cannabinoids. The two main cannabinoids we find in marijuana are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). Our endocannabinoid system affects things like pain modulation, appetite, and memory. It also affects various immune system responses and elicits anti-inflammatory effects.



Anyway, of the two cannabinoids in marijuana, THC is the only one that elicits the psychedelic effects or gets you “high.” It also can decrease pain and inflammation and help with muscle control problems. CBD can be used for all the same things that THC can but it can also help with epileptic seizures and could even help treat mental illness and addiction.

Connection to Opioids?

Torben Hansen CC BY 2.0

Another interesting thing in this article was the correlation between legalizing marijuana and decreasing prescription opioid problems. The research shows that in states where there are medical marijuana laws and adult-use marijuana laws also had lower rates of prescribing opioids, opioid misuse, and treatment admissions for opioid addiction. We also know there are pain relieving effects from marijuana so that could potentially be influencing opioid prescriptions.


What now?

Considering this, if we know that medical marijuana can help with things like epilepsy and tremors associated with Parkinson’s why should we start accepting It? There is a stigma that surrounds marijuana. My older sister was given the suggestion to start using medical marijuana to help with her pain and seizures. However, she refused to even consider it because of the reputation that marijuana gives people. Whatever the case is, I think that the discussion for legalizing marijuana is such a relevant one. Looking at it from a health related standpoint, I think therapeutic use of marijuana is something to explore and could prove to have major benefits.

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