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Medical cannabis has been growing in popularity in the recent years following the landmark legislation that allowed the use and purchase of the plant and its products in a number of states. This is welcome news for a lot of people who are suffering from various diseases and medical conditions, especially those who are looking for alternative methods of treatment. While there is still a lack of solid medical or academic studies regarding the therapeutic benefits of marijuana or cannabis, the wealth of anecdotal evidence that point to the plant’s health benefits cannot be denied.
When people are asked how they think medical marijuana is consumed, most of them would likely respond with the activity that is commonly associated with cannabis: smoking. Most recreational marijuana consumers prefer smoking weed, and the mass media helps spread this image as a representative of the typical cannabis user. However, some people may not be aware that there are actually many different methods by which marijuana can be ingested or taken into the body.
Apart from smoking it, marijuana can also be eaten or ingested. The easiest and most convenient way to do this is by using cannabis oil. Cannabis oil, which also goes by many other names and terms, is made from distilling cannabis flowers and buds using a solvent (usually alcohol) until the sticky resin is produced. This extract is then collected to create the oil. Cannabis in liquid form is easier to use because it can be calibrated more accurately.
The oil can then be mixed or incorporated into usual food and meals, most commonly as part of dressings for salads or other fresh foods. It can also be ingested sublingually, or applied under the tongue. Other forms of medical cannabis include tablets, pills, patches, and even anal suppositories.
There are also readily available food items made of marijuana or cannabis, called “edibles.” Many people may be familiar with such foodstuff as brownies, cookies, chocolate bars, or candies that have marijuana in their list of ingredients. This is one way of ingesting marijuana through food, but usually these items are not filling dishes. They are also obviously limited in the sense that they can only be used as snacks or treats.
A great way of incorporating cannabis into one’s diet is through a proper meal infused with cannabis oil. Imagine a perfectly crafted salad with the proper ingredients such as fresh greens, protein sources such as chicken or tuna, and the appropriate salad dressing with just the right amount of cannabis oil in it. Such types of cannabis-infused meals are becoming a hot trend these days, especially among those who are relying on medical cannabis for long-term treatment or management of their diseases.
Making medical marijuana a proper part of one’s daily meals is the best way to enjoy its benefits. Studies have shown that ingesting marijuana is one of the most potent ways of consuming it. This is because edibles are metabolized directly by the liver through the digestive system. Also, as opposed to smoking, the benefits of ingested marijuana take a longer time to wear off.
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It is important to be aware of how exactly cannabis works and how the human body reacts to it in order to appreciate the plant’s therapeutic and medical benefits. What makes cannabis special? Among many things, it’s the cannabinoids that occur naturally in the plant. These active compounds interact with the natural endocannabinoid system (ECS), the system responsible for regulating body functions and processes such as mood and pain.
This is the reason why ingesting or using marijuana has such a profound and tangible effect on the human body. Cannabinoids from the marijuana plant (called phytocannabinoids) supplement or enhance the natural endocannabinoid system, especially of those who are physically ill. The interaction between the cannabinoids from marijuana and the receptors found in the ECS results in the mitigation of various symptoms and conditions like pain, depression, anxiety, loss of appetite, and insomnia.
There are actually more than a hundred types of cannabinoids from the marijuana plant, but researchers are mostly interested in two particular compounds: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is the one responsible for the famous “high” that recreational marijuana users experience. While the compound is valued for its psychoactive effects, it also has medicinal benefits, particularly for people suffering from mental and emotional disorders. The right type of psychoactive effect from THC is actually beneficial in restoring the overall well-being of the patients.
CBD on the other hand is seen as the more therapeutic substance that resolves or addresses diseases, from cancer symptoms and heart disease to even HIV infections or AIDS. Products high in THC or CBD or both comprise majority of the medical cannabis products on the market today. Examples of these include cannabis oil and variants such as CBD and THC oils. In general, a formulation that contains equal parts THC and CBD is effective in addressing a wide range of diseases and physical ailments.
How you use cannabis can make a significant difference if you are suffering from a debilitating or serious medical condition. First of all, eating cannabis is a more proper way of introducing the substance slowly into your system. By incorporating medical marijuana products such as cannabis oil into your daily meals, your system gets acquainted to its effects better. Since liquid products such as cannabis oil can be calibrated more carefully and accurately, you are able to control your intake and gradually increase it over time as needed.
Second, as mentioned, ingesting cannabis increases the potency and extends the effects of the plant. This is ideal if you have conditions such as chronic pain, depression, or anxiety. These chronic conditions, as opposed to acute ones, require long-term and constant relief. Eating marijuana through the use of cannabis edibles enables treatment to be administered and sustained over a long period of time.
Third and finally, including cannabis in your daily diet makes the experience more pleasurable. Using marijuana regularly is not as easy as it seems. If you haven’t had any previous experience trying marijuana, you might not be able to get the hang of it immediately. By choosing to go with edible products such as cannabis oil, you can add marijuana into an almost endless variety of dishes, meals, and even drinks or snacks. You will never feel that medical cannabis treatment is being “forced” upon you. It will even be something that you will actually enjoy and look forward to each and every time.
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There are a number of other considerations if you are thinking of using medical marijuana for your condition. Remember that as of now, medical cannabis treatments are not covered by traditional healthcare insurance programs, especially those from the government such as Medicaid or Medicare. Thus, financial sustainability should be considered. Many patients also do not completely stop pharmaceutical treatment altogether, and instead take medical cannabis in conjunction with them.
Be sure to consult a healthcare professional before and when you start taking medical marijuana. This substance is carefully dispensed and its effects on your body should be properly monitored.
Finally, check existing laws and regulations in the state that you live in. There are differences in the amount of marijuana that you are allowed to purchase or carry. In some states, it is not legal to consume marijuana in public places or to share your personal stash of medical marijuana with another individual. It is important to know the bounds of medical marijuana use in order to help regulate the product and the medical marijuana industry better, for the benefit of even more citizens who rightfully need it.
As with any other consumer product, selecting and purchasing medical cannabis products should be done through a reputable manufacturer, dealer, or seller. Always read and understand the analysis of the medical marijuana products that you buy, and check with local authorities if you are unsure about anything. This way, you can make certain that you are getting your money’s worth and that the items you bought have genuine cannabis content.
Poor product quality is detrimental to your health and may even make your condition worse instead of improving it. When purchasing cannabis oil, for instance, make sure that no illegal or harmful chemicals were used as solvent in distilling the liquid. Also, it is ideal to go with organic cannabis products because this means that no harmful chemicals where used in growing the marijuana plant. These chemicals can go into the plant and in turn, end up in your own body. Such chemicals can obviously create undesirable reactions in your system.
Currently, medical cannabis is being used by thousands of patients suffering from a variety of diseases. People who are suffering from chronic pain due to health conditions or accidents, in addition to people who want to wean themselves away from addictive pharmaceutical pain killers, are finding better relief from medical cannabis products. Patients with mood disorders such as anxiety and depression are also reporting positive benefits from medical cannabis, especially edible products such as teas or drinks. Apart from the chemical content of cannabis, taking the plant in tea form helps these patients calm down and take control of their well-being.
Medical cannabis does not cure serious conditions like cancer and AIDS per se, but it helps address the various symptoms that come with these illnesses. Medical cannabis can help restore the patient’s appetite, improve their sleep, strengthen their immune system, lift their mood and outlook on life, and provide them with general physical relief especially given the toll that such diseases have on their bodies.
The plant has also been shown to provide immense benefit for people with neurological diseases such as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and similar conditions. Usually, patients exhibit astounding visible improvement in their movement and bodily functions after using marijuana. This is one of the reasons why medical cannabis is a very controversial yet sought-after alternative treatment all around the world.
The use of cannabis is not limited to adult patients; researchers are also exploring how the substance can benefit children (and even animals and pets). Since medical cannabis treatment is plant-based, it holds a lot of promise as a treatment with less or no side effects at all, making it ideal for younger patients. While there is still a long way to go in terms of establishing medical marijuana’s rightful place in the medical field through formal and consistent academic research and studies, cannabis proponents are slowly getting there especially with the growing number of stories from actual users.
With better understanding and appreciation of this plant and its positive benefits, cannabis can hopefully be harnessed for the greater good of even more people. Proper regulation is key, and vigilant monitoring of its effects should help firmly establish medical marijuana as a full-fledged treatment option.
CrEATe is a direct-to-consumer culinary cannabis subscription that includes world-class educational materials, high-end oils, and exclusive chef-curated recipes. Embark on a transformative culinary journey.
In this eBook, we will be going through everything you need to know about culinary cannabis and how to enjoy this versatile herb responsibly.