Joshua Willard ocbmagonline freelance writer

Understanding how different forms of medical marijuana can be used as an effective treatment.

Medical marijuana (cannabis) is on the forefront of modern-day medicine. Scientifically noted to treat numerous ailments and disorders, cannabis is quickly becoming a popular treatment method within the medical community. As it currently stands, Medical marijuana is a legal treatment option for Americans living in 30 different US states, as well as in the nation’s capital, Washington DC. Each state’s approach to medical marijuana is unique and can differ quite significantly state-to-state – making it paramount to understand your own state’s medical marijuana laws.

What is medical marijuana?

Medical marijuana is a type of treatment that utilizes the therapeutic effects of cannabis, most commonly known as marijuana. Cannabis consists of 66 different compounds (called cannabinoids) – two of which are exclusive to the cannabis plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most prominent cannabinoid and is most famous for its intoxicating effect – while cannabidiol (CBD) has been hailed as a “medical compound” in the scientific community due to its therapeutic effect. Medical cannabis is so successful because of how it reacts with our endocannabinoid system, which is widely believed to be the most important system responsible for establishing and maintaining health in humans and even in some animals. Medical cannabis and CBD have proven to be an effective treatment for numerous diseases.

 

Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Laws 2018

Once Ohio’s program launches, Eligible patients with a state issued medical marijuana card can legally be prescribed cannabis as a form of treatment. Ohio’s medical marijuana program currently recognizes 21 different conditions that qualify a patient for a physician’s recommendation for this form of therapy. Medical cannabis will only be dispensed in a limited number of forms, including: tincture, oil, ointments and lotions, as well as capsules and other cannabis-infused foods – however patients will not be able to directly smoke marijuana for treatment. The following are five different forms of medical cannabis application that can be used to treat five different disorders, each recognized by Ohio’s medical marijuana program. It is important to note that each application method can be effective for multiple disorders, but some may be more effective than others. We do not presume to be doctors and this article should never be taken as a diagnosis. Speak with a healthcare professional to learn which method could work best for you.

THC & CBD Mix for Cancer

Multiple studies have been conducted that demonstrate how medical marijuana could be an effective treatment for cancer as well as other cancer-related symptoms. Some studies suggest that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may be helpful for patients undergoing chemotherapy by helping manage symptoms of nausea and vomiting. It has also been shown to be beneficial for treating neuropathic pain (pain caused by damaged nerves). Most recently, research has shown that THC and CBD both are able to slow cancer growth and even potentially cause death of certain types of dangerous cancer cells. This suggests that cancer patients could possibly benefit most from a THC and CBD mix or a ratio of both to utilize maximum health benefits from both cannabinoids simultaneously. Many medicinal marijuana products contain an even mix of both THC and CBD for this express purpose. This THC to CBD ratio can be adjusted as needed.

CBD Oil for Epilepsy 

Cannabidiol can be extracted in its oil state from hemp and cannabis both, providing what is believed to be an effective treatment for epilepsy. A few drops placed under the tongue, or mixed into food or drink, has the potential to alleviate epileptic symptoms. Researchers have found more success using CBD as opposed to medical cannabis for the treatment of epilepsy. In June of 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine (consisting of CBD) for the treatment of epilepsy. The most recent study analyzed the use of cannabidiol on patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and concluded that the addition of CBD to traditional seizure medications significantly decreases the frequency of drop seizures in adults and children with LGS. This suggests that CBD-infused oil may be an excellent treatment method for epileptic patients. One drop underneath or on the tongue (or mixed with food) combined with your traditional seizure medications could potentially drastically reduce epileptic-related incidents. 

Edibles for Glaucoma

Medical marijuana can be infused into everyday food, drink, and even capsules. This form of oral application makes it incredibly easy to consume a daily dose of medical marijuana even when out in public or on the go. There is even reason to believe that ingesting medical cannabis could potentially provide relief for glaucoma patients. Unfortunately, there is no cure for glaucoma, however, there is evidence to suggest that medical marijuana could potentially help ease the associated symptoms. Research on medical cannabis for glaucoma began in the 1970’s and has since become a popular treatment method. Studies demonstrate that “both marijuana and THC reduce intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye) a key contributor to glaucoma.” 

Tinctures for Parkinson’s Disease 

Cannabis has been used as a tremor treatment for hundreds of years. In 1888, Sir William Gowers noted in his “Manual of Diseases of the Nervous System,” that tremor could be temporarily quieted after oral administration of an Indian hemp extract. More recent studies support his claim by concluding that, “cannabis might have a place in the therapeutic armamentarium of [Parkinson’s disease] PD.” This suggests that the fast-acting nature of cannabis-infused tinctures could possibly be an appropriate treatment method for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Similar to Gowers’ Indian hemp extract, medical-marijuana tinctures are present in an oil state. This application method makes it incredibly easy to monitor the strength of the dose being administered. Simply apply a single drop under the tongue and effects take place almost immediately. 

Capsules for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder  

For those whom prefer a more conventional treatment method, medical marijuana is also available in easy-to-swallow capsules. Research suggests this could potentially be used to help ease symptoms traditionally associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One study concludes that medical cannabis use could be beneficial for helping aid in sleep for those with this diagnosis. The use of medicinal cannabis has actually been on the rise in the PTSD community for this very reason, suggesting that a daily capsule of medical cannabis could potentially keep symptoms of PTSD at bay. 

These are but a few disorders that medical marijuana has been known to treat successfully. Cannabis is an approved treatment method for 21 recognized conditions in Ohio, and each will respond differently to each unique form of cannabis application.  Speak with a healthcare professional to learn whether treatment with medical marijuana could work for you, and which method you will find most success.  

Different Marijuana Delivery Methods

  • Tinctures – Alcohol-infused cannabis resin. A tincture is typically applied on, or under the tongue. This is the best method to ensure accurate dose strengths.
  • Salves – Cannabis-infused lotions and ointments that are applied to the skin for absorption.
  • Suppositories – These medical marijuana products are designed to be inserted into one’s rectum for absorption. 
  • Vapor – This is the same things as vaporizing or vaporization and refers to the inhalation of weed vapors. With the use of a vaporizer (vape pen), marijuana’s active compounds are heated at low levels (non-combusting), which creates a vapor that is then inhaled.
  • Edibles – Medical marijuana can be infused into everyday foods and drinks. You can make these infused-foods yourself (by adding cannabis oil), or you can purchase them already made and ready to eat.
  • Smokable/Combustible: Will not be allowed in Ohio.

 

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