Medical marijuana - properties, treatment effects

Medical marijuana can be effective in treating some symptoms of disease, but the general excitement over its potential properties and legalization movements are overwhelmingly enthusiastic and disproportionate to its documented healing effects.

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Medicinal properties of medical marijuana

Marijuana in its composition contains two active substances that, according to the current state of knowledge, have a healing effect. They are - THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). Of these, only THC has a psychoactive effect, however, both compounds are used in medicine. For example, THC can relieve nausea and stimulate the appetite, and is also helpful in relieving the symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. CBD, in turn, has the potential to alleviate inflammation, the process of neurodegeneration and psychotic conditions. We can understand the mechanism of action of cannabinoids taken from the outside only by deciphering the functions that endocannabinoids produced in our body perform. Both in our brains and in other tissues there are receptors (CB1 and CB2) dedicated to these compounds and through which they exert their effect. Our internal cannabinoids are responsible for a number of functions: protection of neurons against mechanical damage (e.g. through blood pressure), analgesic effect, mood-regulating (note: cannabinoids in high doses have the opposite effect, i.e. they increase the risk of depressed mood through the so-called down-regulation mechanism. , i.e. lowering the number of CB1 receptors). The question is - so, which conditions can we use marijuana to treat?

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Neuropathic pain

Pain caused by damage / disease to the nervous system. It accompanies many diseases, including diabetes and HIV infection. In this area, research is promising, but most people taking part in them were observed for no more than a few weeks, so it is difficult to assess the long-term effects of cannabinoid consumption. Cognitive impairment is certainly one of them.

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease where neurons are damaged. It leads to a significant reduction in the quality of life. Affected people may be accompanied by various symptoms: pain, spasticity, memory impairment, tremors in the extremities, chronic fatigue. Research on the effectiveness of cannabis in alleviating ailments is contradictory. Some have been shown to reduce perceived pain or spasticity, but cannabinoid use has been associated with memory impairment and other subjective side effects in almost all cases.