Despite the fact that humans have used marijuana for thousands of years to treat various physical ailments, stigma persists in the United States and other countries around the world.
Part of the reason is the way marijuana is classified at the federal level. In the U.S. cannabis is still considered a Schedule I drug—similar to heroin or LSD—which means researchers are required to have a special license to study marijuana.
But the research we do have so far is overwhelmingly positive, and it shows a lot of promise for treating everything from occasional anxiety to late-stage cancer.
Reframing our views around marijuana
Pot, weed, ganja, cannabis. These are just a few of the literal thousands of names used to refer to cannabis. And while it’s still widely known as a “party drug,” for many users that couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, current research supports what we’ve known at The Happy Camper for years. Marijuana and cannabis-infused products can offer relief from:
- Anxiety and other mental health conditions including schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Inflammation and pain resulting from a range of everyday activities to more serious health conditions.
- Immune system diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
- Nausea and vomiting, which is especially common in patients undergoing chemotherapy.
- Cancer cell and tumor growth
- Muscle spasms and seizures associated with conditions like chronic arthritis, epilepsy and Multiple Sclerosis.
- Eating disorders, Crohn’s disease, low appetite and other digestive issues that can manifest in those diagnosed with cancer, AIDS and other diseases.
As science continues to unravel the mysteries and potential of hemp, many health care providers and policy makers are also taking notice. Currently, marijuana is legal for medical use in more than two-thirds of U.S. states, and it has been largely decriminalized even in states where it remains illegal.
“Research is critically needed, because we have to be able to advise patients and doctors on the safe and effective use of cannabis,” said Marcel Bonn-Miller, PhD, a substance abuse specialist at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine speaking in a recent interview for WebMD.com.
How CBD, THC and other cannabinoids interact with the human body
Marijuana is derived from the powerful hemp plant, known to contain more than 80 cannabinoids. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most well-known of these cannabinoids, and also the main compounds used in medicinal marijuana.
The science behind how marijuana interacts with the human body is complex, but it primarily involves the Endocannabinoid Receptor System, or ECS. All humans and animals are born with this complex network of receptors in the brain that help regulate our sleep, digestion and mood. Existing research points to marijuana’s serious potential for balancing the ECS and thereby enabling optimum health.
Other marijuana facts to consider
If you’re considering taking marijuana to address any of the aforementioned physical ailments, here are some important things to consider:
- Marijuana comes in a wide variety of products and formats. It can be smoked or inhaled (vaped), eaten, applied to skin in the form of a lotion or cream, or taken sublingually (under the tongue) in the form of a tincture or oil. These various modes of delivery can impact the onset and duration of side effects.
- You may experience unwanted side effects. Some users have experienced side effects that include bloodshot eyes, depression, dizziness, accelerated heartbeat and low blood pressure. This often depends on the type, dosage and strain of marijuana. When in doubt, it’s best to talk to a licensed cannabis professional about any concerns you have, especially if your experience with marijuana is limited. You can also check out our simple guide to marijuana dosages here.
- Quality matters. As you explore the vast cannabis marketplace, purchase only from reputable providers who are transparent in how they source, produce and distribute their products for sale.
- Marijuana is still illegal in many states and municipalities throughout the United States. If you’re considering exploring Colorado’s cannabis offerings, read our tips for staying safe and enjoying marijuana legally.
Got questions about using marijuana for everyday health and chronic symptom relief? Drop us a line, or give us a call and let our friendly budtenders answer all your questions.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.