Cannabis has gone from stigma to stardom in the last decade, with healthcare headlines stretching across the states. The nation’s capital, Washington D.C., has even legalized cannabis for medicinal usage, but opinions continue to vary about just how accessible the plant should be.
When it comes to recreational usage, marijuana has been legalized for use for individuals who are eighteen and older in some states, such as Washington and Colorado. As there was the prohibition on alcohol at the start of the last century, many hope the prohibition on marijuana will soon be a part of history.
Recreational and medicinal users point out the value of cannabis as a non-dangerous, natural herb that relieves everything from anxiety to Parkinson’s disease.
Photo by Adobe Stock/carlos Restrepo.
For thousands of years, cannabis has been used by people of various cultures, and healers have used this “mother” plant to treat many illnesses.
From around 1500 B.C., ancient scrolls in Egypt mention the medicinal properties of cannabis, such as relieving hemorrhoid pain by adding cannabis to their suppositories. The Greeks treated nosebleeds and GI tract issues with it. Medieval doctors further east, in Islamic cultures, used cannabis to treat pain, edema, epilepsy and inflammation.
For Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), cannabis is one of 50 essential and sacred healing plants, used to treat a variety of conditions: gout, foggy memory, constipation and rheumatism.
In modern society, the list of conditions cannabis may treat is long — acute and chronic pain, headaches, nausea from cancer treatments, neurological pain, back pain, PMS, digestive disorders and lack of appetite due to chronic illness, to name a few. Promise for treatment is exhibited with Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression, anxiety, chronic stress, anorexia and asthma, among others.
Cannabis is a promising herb that nurtures and heals various types of conditions. However, its current classification limits more in-depth research, with non-approved usage branding providers and users as criminals.
Currently, there are two strains that create psychoactive cannabinoids, which are Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. These are illegal in many states. The key to cannabis’ stardom is in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the most reactive of the nearly eighty strains that interact with brain receptors.
You don’t have to smoke marijuana to take in the healing benefits because cannabis comes in many forms. Take it as a liquid extract or tincture, oil, oral spray, food or vapor. It’s present in many innovative and unique products, from lotion to cannabis-infused coffee. These products are absorbed orally or through the skin, and the degree of a “high” or cannabinoid effectiveness depends on how it is taken and for what.
No matter how you take cannabis, you need a prescription from your doctor, preferably one who has experience prescribing cannabis as a treatment. A “marijuana doctor” objectively recognizes the benefits of cannabis for medical prescription and won’t judge patients for requesting it in their treatment plan. It’s important to seek out a doctor who has experience prescribing cannabis because he or she will know the ins and outs of its medicinal usage and any legal implications.
This doctor will have a focus in primary care or a specialty, like any other doctor, except with the understanding and ability to prescribe cannabis as a treatment. They will keep up to date with research, be trained in addiction medicine and thoroughly counsel the patient and review history of any marijuana or cannabis usage to accurately prescribe the proper dosage for the patient’s case.
Due to cannabis and marijuana’s cultural stigma and its illegal status in particular states, many people are hesitant to demand more knowledge. Even in states where cannabis for medicinal use is legal, patients are afraid to approach their doctors and inquire about a treatment plan that could better their conditions.
It’s important to choose health over stigma. Life-long suffering is not worth the misinformed opinions of judgmental individuals.
Read success and failure stories of other patients with similar conditions and conduct your own research. The next step is talking to a trusted friend or loved one to help build your confidence, one who will help you make an appointment and go through considerations with your doctor. When you have enough information, you may focus on educating more skeptical loved ones with relevant data.
Your primary care physician or a qualified doctor in a cannabis-legal state would write you a prescription if your condition will benefit from cannabis treatment. You may also need to obtain a specific cannabis treatment card to receive your prescription. Your doctor will walk you through the process.
Medicinal cannabis continues to be headliner as nature’s remedy to treat various conditions as an alternative to other drugs that come loaded with side effects. From anxiety to Parkinson’s, many conditions are relieved by the use of medicinal cannabis, and the patient may take it in many forms. Check with your doctor to learn about qualifying conditions.
The wisdom of ancient and herbal healing has its place to work as a complementary medicine to conventional medical care. Don’t discount a powerful herb with many beneficial constituents simply because you fear another’s judgment. Take power over your health, do some research and discover if medical cannabis is right for you.
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