Medical marijuana is one of the hottest debates today in the health field, both among patients and practitioners. The main stigma against the plant is that it is classified as an illegal drug, though in some states its use is legal when prescribed for medicinal purposes. Even so, the federal government has been cracking down on growing fields and dispensaries, even those considered legal by states. People don’t know what to think about the plant due to these mixed messages.
Marijuana consists of cannabinoids, chemicals that react to cannabinoid receptors in our bodies. THC is the most well-known cannabinoid component of marijuana due to the fact that it produces a high. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most important component when considering marijuana from a medical standpoint, though. Often in lower concentrations than THC, CBD is responsible for the reduction of nausea, muscle spasms, inflammation and anxiety associated with marijuana use. Aside from its pain relieving capacities, it has also shown to have anti-cancer and anti-psychotic properties. Strains of marijuana have been produced with high CBD and low THC content to maximize the health benefits and minimize the psychoactive effects of the plant. See www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov for a large body of research on the medicinal properties of cannabidiol.
There are obvious arguments against using marijuana besides legal status; many people would like to experience the pain-relieving effects, but not the feeling of being high. Others worry that smoking – one of the most effective ways to experience the medicinal effects of marijuana – will hurt their lungs. Fortunately, new products are being developed that will allow people to benefit from CBD without smoking or getting high.
Cannabidiol can be extracted from marijuana and made into tinctures, pills or salves. These products are considered food-based by the FDA, and therefore can be purchased without a medical marijuana card over-the-counter, although availability is currently low. The Dixie X brand of CBD products was just released and is available for purchase online through the United Patients Group website. Check local health food and medicinal stores as well for incoming hemp products.
CBD pain relief products offer an alternative back pain management option to those who want to avoid or reduce reliance upon dangerous medications. Conventional pain management drugs often come with both short- and long-term risks such as dependency, organ damage and a feeling of fogginess that can interfere with daily activities. CBD products don’t carry these risks. The main barrier to their use and acceptance lies in the fact that their active ingredient is derived from a plant that has been labeled illicit for many years.