One of the burning questions US-based physicians are being asked across the states is regarding medical marijuana in Kansas City. People are curious to know whether marijuana is safe and effective as medicine.
Despite the fact that marijuana has been known to humankind for a number of centuries, there is still a significant lack of clarity about its safety & effectiveness as a medicine. So let’s get an overview of its uses, medicinal properties, and associated risks in this blog.
Marijuana comprises over 60 cannabinoids, some of which exhibit psychoactive effects. These cannabinoids can be inhaled, consumed via food, or utilized as oral cannabinoid extract.
Importantly, the ratio of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to non-psychoactive cannabidiol components determines the clinical effectiveness & detrimental effects of marijuana.
Uses of Marijuana
Presently, there are 2 FDA-approved cannabinoids available in the US for refractory chemotherapy-induced nausea & vomiting. They are namely dronabinol (Marinol®) & nabilone (Cesamet®) and are prescribed in pill form. Nabilone is moreover indicated for AIDS-associated wasting & spasticity caused by a spinal cord injury.
Furthermore, various other marijuana-based medications have been approved or are in the process of clinical trials in the US.
One such medication, Nabiximols (Sativex®) is presently available in the UK, Canada, and many European countries for treating the spasticity & neuropathic pain that may come with multiple sclerosis. It is consumed in the form of a mouth spray and is essentially a combination of THC & CBD, which is another chemical found in marijuana.
Also, the FDA has approved a CBD-based liquid medication named Epidiolex® for the treatment of 2 kinds of chronic childhood epilepsy, Dravet syndrome & Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. It’s delivered to patients in a reliable dosage form & via a reproducible route of delivery to make sure the patients receive the expected benefits.
Despite all this, there is still a lot of research required to figure out optimal dosing & delivery routes.
Medicinal Properties of Marijuana
The potential medicinal attributes of marijuana and its constituents have been extensively researched & debated for a large number of years. However, regardless of that, no consensus has been reached about marijuana as a medicine.
One thing that has come to light is that THC on its own has proven medical benefits in specific formulations, while CBD does not have any of the beneficial attributes of THC.
Risks of Using Marijuana as a Medicine
Coming to the risks associated with marijuana as a medicine, the major detrimental health effects revolve around smoking & THC-induced cognitive impairment.
Another chief concern is the apparent lack of knowledge regarding the long-term impact of its usage by people with health and/or age-related susceptibilities. This includes senior citizens or people suffering from cancer, AIDS, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, or other neurodegenerative diseases.
Additional research is required to ascertain whether people with chronic health conditions and a weak immune system are at a higher risk of experiencing negative health effects from marijuana use.
Until then, it’s best to follow your doctor’s advice and the rules & guidelines prescribed by your state and the FDA.