If you’re considering medical marijuana, you may have questions about its potential risks and benefits. This article will explore the topic of medical marijuana use and addiction by looking at:
- what medical marijuana is
- the differences between medical and recreational marijuana
- whether medical marijuana is addictive, and the risks associated with its use
- the benefits, how to use it responsibly, and guidelines for getting a medical marijuana card in Florida
What is Medical Marijuana?
People use medical marijuana to treat various medical conditions using cannabis or its cannabinoids – and a physician usually prescribes it to treat specific conditions.
This kind of use of medical marijuana is different from recreational marijuana, whose primary purpose is to give a “high” effect.
We wrote some detailed medical marijuana facts here, but briefly… Marijuana contains two main compounds: THC (a psychoactive compound that has the potential to be addictive) and CBD (non-psychoactive, does not cause a high).
In medical marijuana, the ratio of these two compounds is carefully balanced to provide medicinal benefits without causing unwanted side effects and to reduce the likelihood of addiction. Proper dosing can prevent harmful side effects. And incorporating CBD with THC can decrease negative adverse side effects.
Let’s move on to differences, benefits and risks.
The Healing Power of Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana is gaining popularity as an alternative treatment for various medical conditions. That’s because studies have shown that medical marijuana can have medicinal benefits such as:
- reducing muscle spasms
- helping alleviate the nausea and vomiting connected with chemotherapy
- offering pain relief
- stimulating appetite
- reducing anxiety and paranoia
- treating sleep problems
- treating symptoms of chronic conditions (such as HIV, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and arthritis)
Benefits and Risks of THC Use
THC is the cannabinoid in marijuana that creates psychotropic effects. However, when used appropriately, many of the “side effects” of THC-based marijuana can be beneficial for conditions such as:
- Increased libido
- Increased appetite
- Relief from anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and nausea
However, despite the benefits, THC comes with some not-so-great side effects, such as:
- trouble concentrating
- dry mouth
- impaired perception and motor skills
Benefits of CBD Use
Compared to THC, CBD does not have psychotropic effects because it interacts with the cannabinoid receptors differently than THC. This makes it neither addictive nor producing of the “high” effect that THC does at the molecular level.
In fact, CBD has therapeutic properties that could be useful in treating addiction disorders and could potentially treat cannabis addiction and other addictive disorders!
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there’s no indication that CBD has the potential for abuse or dependence, and there is no documented evidence of any public health concerns associated with pure CBD.
However, it’s fair to say that researchers are still studying the long-term effects of CBD. But studies so far have shown it can be effective in treating:
- rare, severe forms of childhood epilepsy
- anxiety and chronic pain
- symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease
Is Medical Marijuana Use Addictive?
Medical marijuana has become increasingly popular in the United States, raising concerns about its potential risks and benefits.
Cannabis is still listed as a Schedule 1 drug, which has led to concerns about using medical marijuana and the risk of addiction.
So what is cannabis use disorder?
Cannabis use disorder is a condition that can affect both medical and recreational marijuana users, characterized by
- problematic use,
- difficulty controlling use,
- continued use despite negative consequences, and
- withdrawal symptoms when not using.
Having cannabis use disorder can affect many areas of a person’s life, such as work, relationships, and physical and mental health. People with the disorder may experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, insomnia, decreased appetite, and anxiety when they stop using cannabis.
It’s vital to be aware of the potential risks of medical marijuana use if you don’t have a prescription, medical supervision, or a consultation with a healthcare professional.
While medical marijuana is not addictive, it must be used responsibly and under the supervision of a healthcare professional to prevent the development of tolerance and dependence. Tolerance and dependence mean you start taking more – over time – to produce the same effects, and then become dependent on it.
Medical Marijuana: A Safe and Effective Alternative Treatment
Due to its benefits, however, medical marijuana use in Florida is legal for several specific conditions, including:
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- multiple sclerosis
To use it responsibly, here’s a few guidelines to help you get started:
1 Consult with a physician to obtain a medical marijuana card.
This is a mandatory step for getting a medical marijuana card in Florida that ensures you obtain medical marijuana legally and for the right reasons.
2 Work closely with your physician
Your doctor will determine the appropriate dosing and administration routes for you and your medical condition.
3 Purchase products only from reputable dispensaries.
This ensures that you buy a high-quality product tested for safety and efficacy. Low-quality products can contain harmful additives or contaminants that can be dangerous to your health.
That means you need to be cautious about where you get your products, as some may have a high THC content that can cause euphoric and potentially harmful effects.
Unlock the Benefits of Medical Marijuana Use
The bottom line is: Medical marijuana is a safe and effective alternative treatment when used responsibly under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
At Emerald Medical, we offer patient-focused and personalized care. Don’t let another day go by without enjoying the full and energetic life you deserve!
If you’re interested in learning more about obtaining a Florida medical marijuana card and using it for your medical condition, let’s create a plan together for your health. Give us a call!