Medical marijuana is a term used to describe the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant whose basic extracts are used to treat symptoms of illness and various other conditions.

Is medical marijuana FDA-approved?

The FDA has yet to sign off on the plant as medicine due to insufficient clinical trials. In order for the FDA to approve the medical safety of the plant, it needs hundreds of thousands of human case-study subjects. Right now, the use of marijuana as medicine is too new; the clinical trials are too few.

Although the FDA has not approved the plant as medicine, the administration has approved two medications that contain cannabinoid chemicals.

Why is marijuana legal as medicine in many states if it is not FDA-approved?

Chemicals in the marijuana plant, known as cannabinoids, have suggested healing properties that are so powerful, many states in the USA have moved to make the plant legal for medical use.

What are cannabinoids?

Arizona medical marijuana recognizes the health benefits and healing properties of cannabinoids, the plant’s chemicals. Cannabinoids regulate pleasure, memory, concentration, thinking, awareness of time, body movement, pain, appetite and sense perception.

Two primary cannabinoids are THC and CBD. THC increases appetite, reduces nausea, decreases pain, alleviates inflammation and helps control muscles. CBD reduces pain and inflammation and shows evidence for controlling epileptic seizures, mental illness and addiction. Unlike THC, CBD does not induce a ‘high’ in users.

Dronabinol and Nabilone, the two FDA-approved medications with cannabinoid chemicals, both contain THC. The drugs are used to ease nausea in chemotherapy patients and to bolster appetite in AIDS patients suffering from extreme weight loss. The U.K., Canada, and a few European countries have also approved a mouth spray that contains THC and CBD. It is used by MS patients to control muscular problems. Lastly, a childhood epilepsy drug is being tested with hopes of approval. It is a CBD-based liquid.

While the FDA and world researchers work to complete more studies on the use of marijuana’s medicinal properties in safely controlled environments, half of the United States allows patients to relieve symptoms through the therapeutic effects of cannabis.

How do I get medical marijuana?

In order to make purchases at medical marijuana dispensaries, patients need a written recommendation from a licensed doctor. As not all doctors agree on the healing effects of medical marijuana, it can take several visits to find a doctor who understands your symptoms and sees how marijuana can help alleviate them. Each state has an independent list of conditions that qualify a candidate for the use of the plant as medicine. For medical marijuana Arizona, an official ID card is issued and required to make any purchases.

What types of products are available at medical marijuana dispensaries near me?

How patients ingest marijuana is contingent on patient preference and product type. Typically, products are smoked, inhaled through a special device as a vapor, eaten as a candy or treat, absorbed topically through a lotion or spray or absorbed beneath the tongue as liquid drops.

The body reacts differently to the varying modes of ingestion. Smoking or vapor will induce the effects of cannabis right away. Eating, on the other hand, can take a couple of hours to feel.

Are there negative effects of using medical marijuana?

As with most drugs, studies show evidence of negative effects of marijuana in some patients. The most commonly reported symptoms include red eyes, depression, tachycardia, hallucination, low blood pressure, and dizziness.

For more information on the uses and benefits of medical marijuana, stay in touch with our team at LevelUp. We are here for any questions or concerns you might have.