Medical marijuana has been getting a lot of attention over the last few years – some good and some bad. We are proud to be a cannabis doctor in Sarasota, and want to clear up a few things for our patients and prospective patients about this rather amazing little plant.
Because street use is illegal, there are many misconceptions about the use of cannabis as a medicinal. Let’s clear up misconceptions and get to the facts.
What Is It?
Healthcare providers use marijuana (Cannabis sativa or Cannabis Indica) medically to treat or relieve diseases and conditions symptoms. When healthcare providers use it in this fashion, they call it medical marijuana.
This plant-based medicine has three major active compounds:
What Do Providers Use For?
Healthcare providers commonly use it to treat health issues related to:
- Muscle spasm
- Nausea associated with chemotherapy
Healthcare providers also prescribe it to people with:
What Are the Side Effects?
Research has shown the side effects of medical marijuana use are minimal when it is taken in low doses. These effects include:
When used in higher doses, side effects may include:
- Psychoactive effects
- Mood changes
Parents have raised concerns around the use of cannabis in adolescents because their brains and neurological systems are still developing. Thereby increasing the:
- Risk of side effects
- Onset of schizophrenia
- Loss of IQ
Is It Legal?
It depends on the state. Because the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) classifies it as a Schedule I substance, it is illegal at the Federal level. Still, a majority of states have fully legalized or medically legalized it.
Laws are consistently changing around the legalization of medical marijuana. Each state has its own restrictions. In most states where medicinal marijuana is legal, the state issues a card or license to those who have:
- An authorization
- Medical recommendation
Where Do You Get It?
So, if you live in a state where it is legal, you can find stores, often called dispensaries, that sell marijuana products in various forms.
And these forms include:
- Edibles (candies or cookies)
- The plant (which can be smoked or inhaled)
Is Medical Marijuana Regulated?
No. Furthermore, the FDA does not regulate medical marijuana. States monitor and govern marijuana sales. However, they often don’t have the resources to do a thorough job. Therefore, the strength of ingredients in medical marijuana may differ.
Is It Addictive?
Research is split on this issue. Some research suggests when taken in low therapeutic doses, the risk of becoming addicted is very low.
However, concerns have been raised about psychological dependence in heavy users and whether this constitutes marijuana abuse.
Lastly, this is a hot topic that stirs up controversy. And, all politics aside, many patients find it to be an effective treatment for their health issues. If you think it could help you with yours, contact us today!