The medical field is finally recognizing the marvels of medical marijuana. No longer is its healing potential hampered by being linked to drug dealers, potheads, and criminals.
There is now international research and a solid foundation of patient testimonials that prove when used responsibly, marijuana can:
- Restore balance to the human nervous system
- Promote natural healing
- Help maintain homeostasis
Let’s Define Medical Marijuana
“Medical marijuana uses the marijuana plant or chemicals in it to treat diseases or conditions. It’s basically the same product as recreational marijuana, but it’s taken for medical purposes.” WebMD
The two main chemicals in the cannabis (marijuana) plant we use medicinally are:
- CBD has no intoxicating effects in both the marijuana plant and the hemp plant
- THC has psychoactive properties that can get you high
Legally, authorities deem hemp plants hemp and not marijuana because they contain .3% or less THC, which means they can’t get you high.
Medical Marijuana Uses
You are probably here because a friend or colleague has found medical marijuana useful in treating their health challenges and thought it might help treat yours.
In terms of research, the outlook is good. Studies are underway on how medical marijuana can benefit people with
- Appetite loss
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscle spasms
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
Patients who use medical marijuana have also reported incredible relief from:
- Chronic pain
- Nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy
Also, providers use medical marijuana to:
- Stimulate appetite
- Improve weight gain
- Slow tumor growth
What Is the Best Delivery Method?
With all these benefits, it’s hard not to want to try it, but you may be wondering, “do you have to smoke it to use it?”. The answer is “no.”
Although smoking or vaping marijuana is one of the fastest ways to relieve pain, there are plenty of other delivery methods that are just as beneficial, if not better, for some people.
We’ll go into more depth below but, here’s the quick rundown:
- Inhalation = Quick relief
- Sublingual drops = Precise, long-lasting doses
- Capsules = Profound, all-day relief
- Topicals = Targeted treatment of local pain
The delivery system you may be most familiar with is inhalation.
Inhalation comes in two forms:
The difference between smoking and vaping is you don’t inhale smoke when you vape a cannabis product. You inhale a concentrated oil that’s heated by a battery coil. Although vaping may be cleaner than smoking, smoking delivers a broader array of cannabinoids to the body.
Benefits of inhalation include:
- This is the most rapid delivery system available. The vapor or smoke is delivered from your lungs into your bloodstream immediately.
- The psychoactive “high” produced by inhaled cannabis can be quickly neutralized by CBD. This is crucial for patients seeking relief from anxiety or PTSD.
Sublingual drops are highly recommended for new and experienced patients alike. The product is delivered in a concentrated liquid form that can be measured out with a dropper and then squirted under your tongue.
And, although inhalation offers quick relief, sublingual drops are more restorative to the endocannabinoid system and can help balance your body long term.
Benefits of sublingual drops include:
- It’s easy to measure out and ingest a precise dose.
- They have a longer relief period than inhalation.
- CBD can neutralize the effects.
- Drops are versatile and can be mixed in with food and beverages.
- You can use them topically on local pain points.
For patients who need sleep solutions, Indica strain sublingual drops are especially valuable as they last up to 6 hours and can help patients get a full night of rest without feeling groggy in the morning.
Like many other supplements and medicines, medical marijuana can be taken in capsule form. Capsules are most often used by patients suffering severe chronic pain.
Benefits of capsules include:
- They are very long-lasting, providing 10-15+ hours of relief.
- Capsules are more potent than any other delivery method.
If you choose capsules, you need to be aware that when you take a capsule, the THC travels from the digestive system to the liver.
The liver metabolizes into a different form of THC (11-Hydroxy-THC). This form of THC is 3-5x more psychoactive, which is great news if you are in pain.
But once you take a dose, you must ride out any effects because CBD cannot neutralize it. Work with your doctor to find the right dosage with sublingual drops first, so you don’t end up with any unwanted side effects.
The topical delivery system is all about creams, lotions, and massage oils. Basically, any way you can apply THC through the skin.
Benefits of topical include:
- Providers believe topical THC is effective as a local treatment for:
- Sore muscles
- Migraine headaches
- Topicals are fast-acting, and relief may last between 30 minutes and 3 hours.
Your provider may suggest combining topicals with vape, oral, or capsule delivery methods for optimal efficacy, depending on your needs. You can also apply CBD topically with great effect.
Not Sure Which Delivery System to Choose?
Choosing the right delivery system and dose of medical marijuana is best done in concert with your provider. More and more providers are realizing and embracing the benefits of medical marijuana to treat patients for various medical conditions.
Talk with your provider about the best delivery methods for your individual needs. If your provider has not yet fully embraced medical marijuana as a possible component of your treatment plan, we can help.
Dr. Zalkin and the staff at Emerald Medical Group are fully versed in the benefits of medical marijuana and how to use it to bring effective relief and healing to various conditions.
Contact Us Today
Don’t let another day go by, feeling less than your best. See Dr. Zalkin and the team here at Emerald Medical Group – let us:
- Restore your energy
- Relieve your pain
- Help you live your best life today
Contact us for an appointment!