As more research is being completed, a new picture of the role cannabis can play in human health is emerging. Research evidence is gaining more ground, so more doctors and patients have become interested in medical marijuana.
If you’re thinking about medical cannabis, you may have done some research. You may even be preparing to talk to your doctor about it. You will probably have many questions, but this one will be at the top of the list.
Is marijuana for medical purposes right for you?
Medical marijuana is a good choice for a number of people treating a wide variety of conditions. It isn’t right for everyone, of course, so it’s good to ask this question.
Who Can Be Helped by Marijuana for Medical Purposes?
The field of medical marijuana research is still shifting almost daily, which means new knowledge is constantly emerging. While there are many promising developments, there is only enough research on a few conditions to say cannabis is effective.
These include chronic pain and nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy, palliative care, MS spasticity, and epilepsy in severe forms with CBD.
Many other areas are currently under investigation. Some people are interested in knowing if medical cannabis can assist with inflammatory diseases, while others are testing its effectiveness in treating headaches.
Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and HIV are other conditions under study as potential targets for treatment with cannabinoids or medical cannabis.
Is There Anyone Who Shouldn’t Use Medical Cannabis?
There are several groups of people who may not be ideal candidates for marijuana for medical purposes.
These may include patients under 25, people who have respiratory problems, people with a history of mental illness, and people who have a history of substance use and dependence.
The literature on the treatment of mental health conditions with cannabis is currently mixed. Some studies have suggested cannabis could actually exaggerate symptoms in some patients, although it appears to help others.
Some research has indicated patients under the age of 25 may be more prone to experiencing long-lasting psychoactive effects from marijuana for medical purposes, though studies show these effects may be exaggerated.
People who have or have had breathing problems in the past should avoid smoking cannabis. People who have previously struggled with dependence and substance use may be more prone to developing dependence, although cannabis is far less addictive than many other medications.
Will It Help You?
The next question you likely have is whether or not marijuana for medical purposes will actually help provide relief from your symptoms. Even if cannabis has been demonstrated to be effective for people managing a similar condition, medical cannabis may not be the right choice for you.
Most people react well to medical marijuana. Side effects are generally mild, although some patients do experience more severe effects, such as paranoia. THC is often responsible for undesirable effects, so these patients may do well with a low dose of THC and higher CBD formulations.
The next questions you’ll need to ask will focus on strain and dose. If you haven’t found the right strain, or your dosage isn’t optimal, medical marijuana may not help you. It can take a bit of exploration to find the right strain and dose.
Finally, you should note that medical marijuana is generally considered a safer alternative to medications like opioids and sleeping pills. If you’ve been considering these medications for the management of your condition, you should also ask about medical cannabis.
Talk to Your Doctor
The only way to find out if marijuana for medical purposes is right for you is to talk to your doctor or the medical staff at a cannabis clinic. They can answer questions you may have and guide you through the next steps towards getting effective treatment.
Marijuana for medical purposes might not be for everyone, so be sure to ask questions if you want to know if it’s right for you.