Ayurvedic Cannabis

Medical Marijuana—Things to Know Before Using

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As medical marijuana gains fame among consumers and healthcare providers alike, ITSHEMP believes it’s imperative to educate the community about the rudiments. A growing number of people are advocating the use of medical cannabis for treating multiple health conditions ranging from lack of appetite to anxiety and epilepsy.

But before you embark on the journey of making medical marijuana an essential part of your life, here are some things that you must know and absolutely keep in mind. Let’s start with the basics.

The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes dates back to 5000 years far into history. Marijuana is a drug made from the buds and leaves of the cannabis plant. People smoke or consume in other ways these parts in the dried form.

Most often than not, people consume marijuana to alter their state of consciousness and/or achieve a state of relaxation. We commonly refer to this experience as high. There are different ways to induce this experience in the body including vaporizing, smoking, or using it as an ingredient in food items.

But this article is not about the recreational use of marijuana. This piece of information is about the other less often (but not scarce) times when marijuana is used for its medicinal properties.

What is Medical Marijuana?

Medical Marijuana is literally any component of the marijuana plant that can be used to treat a medical condition. Medical marijuana can include any or all parts of the plant including the two main components, THC and CBD.

The marijuana plant, in all its varieties, consists of more than one hundred cannabinoids each with different properties and effects. Medical Marijuana is the engineering of these cannabinoids into medicine-like products that can help in treating multiple medical conditions.

The term medical marijuana refers to using the whole marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat symptoms of illnesses and other conditions.

The scientific study of the cannabinoids present in marijuana has led to the discovery of cannabinoid-based medications for multiple health conditions.

The Basics

Rudiment to the understanding of medical marijuana is the ratio of the two main cannabinoids, THC and CBD. Cannabinoids, in the simplest of terms, are chemicals related to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The marijuana plant contains more than a hundred cannabinoids. Some of these cannabinoids are extremely powerful and interact with a similar system in the human body. The cannabinoids produced by the human body play a significant role in regulating pleasure, thinking, memory, concentration, body movement, appetite, pain, and the five senses.

How might cannabinoids be useful as medicines?

The cannabinoids in marijuana function similarly to the cannabinoid system in the human body. Through this interaction, the cannabinoid THC can aid in increasing appetite and decreasing nausea along with reducing pain and inflammation. THC is famous as the psychoactive compound in marijuana.

CBD, on the other hand, is a cannabinoid that is not as psychoactive as THC. It is majorly the CBD cannabinoid that is thought to be responsible for the majority of medical benefits.

What are the uses of Medical Marijuana?

Medical uses of marijuana are inclusive of both studied and approved uses and off-label uses. Medical Marijuana is commonly divided into three categories:

Sativas

These are commonly used during the daytime. The medical benefits include energising, reducing depression, pain, headaches, nausea, and migraine, increased appetite, sense of well-being, creativity, and elevated mood.

Indicas

These are primarily used in the nighttime. The medical benefits include providing relaxation and reducing stress, improved sleep, alleviating pain, inflammation, anxiety, and nausea.

Hybrids

These are crosses between Sativas and Indicas. There are more than 200 hybrids each with a unique name. Some examples of hybrids are Blue Dream, 9 lb Hammer, and Chemdawg. Some hybrids possess more effects of Sativa while some have more of the Indica’s effects.

How does Medical Marijuana Affect the Body?

The effect medical marijuana will have on the human body depends on the cannabinoid that is at work. THC engages with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and influences the brain in a way that alters memory, coordination, decision-making, appetite, and mood.

CBD, according to scientific studies, affects the brain by interacting with the neurological pathways regulating serotonin. CBD thus helps in regulating anxiety, pain, nausea, and appetite.

What are the Health Benefits of Medical Marijuana?

The majority of research and studies on the medicinal effects of marijuana reveal that medical marijuana binds to the ECS in the body and produces effects that can:

  • Promote neuroplasticity
  • Modulate the Immune System
  • Modulate the Cognitive and Emotional System thus targeting vascular function, motivation, and digestive function.

There is moderate evidence suggesting that it helps in chronic pain and muscle spasms. Cannabinoids have also been recommended for Anorexia, Arthritis, Migraine, and Glaucoma when usual treatments have fallen short. Other preclinical and clinical trials suggest that medical marijuana can treat

  • Diseases that affect the immune system such as HIV/AIDS and MS.
  • Pain and Inflammation
  • Seizures
  • Substance Abuse Disorders
  • Mental Disorders

What are the side effects of Medical Marijuana?

When used at low doses, medical marijuana produces minimal side effects, the two most common being dry mouth and fatigue. At higher doses, the side effects can induce paranoia, dizziness, and mood changes.

9 Things to Know Before Using Medical Marijuana in India

There is no one-fit-all

The thing with medicine is that what works for one patient might not work for another. And that is completely normal. Things are the same with medical marijuana as well. While there is a possibility of the drug being different, there is always to be considered the fact that different human bodies react to drugs differently. This response varies in correspondence to age, genetics, and medical history among other factors.

Same Strains can have Varying Cannabinoids

Medical Marijuana is consumed for its THC and CBD content. THC and CBD are the substances present in marijuana that exhibits medicinal properties. While the basic genetic make-up of the cannabis plant remains the same, the amount of CBD present in each strain can vary. This depends, among many other things, on the genetics and authenticity of the source strain. For instance, the same strain can have 5% and 25% THC respectively when purchased from two different buyers.

Patients Should Confirm Freedom from Contaminants

In order for dispensaries to sell medical marijuana, it is compulsory to test the product for contaminants such as heavy metals, moulds, pesticides, and mildew. Patients with a weak or compromised immune system usually confirm these tests.

Can be ingested in Many Ways

Consumers have the option to smoke, vaporize, drink, or eat their medical marijuana. The dispensaries that sell medical marijuana are required to produce all the marijuana-infused products. It is crucial for consumers to buy medical marijuana from certified and trusted manufacturers. It is highly likely that medical marijuana sold outside of dispensaries may not be tested and might be considered illegal.

Storage Affects Potency

As is with some medicines, medical marijuana requires storage care. Some patients recommend refrigeration of the product in the belief that heat degrades the potency while some patients state otherwise. Moreover, the science used to set expiration dates may vary from one manufacturer to the next. Therefore, it is advised that you inquire about the storage care at the dispensary in addition to what is written on the product.

Double-check your dosage

While the products infused with medical marijuana come with dosages specified on the box, it is always a good choice to check the dosage appropriate for you with your physician. The pre-set dose is, more often than not, based on scientific research but the research is limited and does not take into account the individual biology of human bodies.

All Pot is Not Alike

Every strain of medical marijuana contains a different concentration of cannabinoids. THC and CBD remain the two main cannabinoids but the plant contains at least 110 other cannabinoids which vary in strength and concentration thus producing a difference in the effects.

THC can produce Side Effects

THC can produce side effects. Some patients report that after heavily using marijuana as medicine, they experience withdrawal from cutting back. It is advised that you keep your body’s reaction in check and consult with your physician thoroughly.

Trial and Error may be needed

It is highly likely that you may have to visit at least a dozen medical marijuana dispensaries before you find the one that suits you. In addition to varying strains and concentrations, the dosage of medical marijuana varies greatly according to the laws governing the region. It can be very helpful to have the dispensary staff run you through an oral user guide and answer all your questions about possible reactions and side effects.

Here is a list of questions you can ask the dispensary staff members:
Are pesticides used to grow a particular strain of medical marijuana?
Are your products tested for bacteria and fungus? What are the results? Where may these be verified?
What is your training and experience in recommending medical marijuana?
Do you store and/or handle your products carefully to avoid spillage and contamination?

Medical Marijuana in India

The last two years have seen a tremendous increase in the popularity and usage of medical cannabis in India. From arthritis, migraine, and cancer pain to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Epilepsy, etc., patients are willing to adopt an all-natural approach to their health. But is medical cannabis legal in India?

Is Medical Cannabis Legal in India?

Yes, medical cannabis is legal in India. Cannabis is a Schedule-E1 drug regulated by the AYUSH Ministry and the Excise Department. Medical cannabis formulations prepared in accordance with the ancient texts of Ayurveda are legal to use in India. However, they do require a prescription from a certified Ayurvedic doctor.

Where to get a Medical Cannabis Prescription in India?

Any certified Ayurvedic doctor in India can write a prescription for medical cannabis. Platforms like ITSHEMP and CannabisDoctors offer online consultation with Ayurvedic doctors across the country who are duly qualified and thoroughly understand the medicinal value of cannabis.

Featured Reads
“Medical Use of Cannabis is Allowed in India”: Govt. to Delhi High Court
How to Get a Medical Cannabis Prescription in India?
CBD Oil for Migraine in India

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