Cannabis’ cultural and legal perception is undergoing a profound reassessment, marking a significant shift from its longstanding status as an illicit substance. This paradigm shift has prompted an engaging exploration into the multifaceted facets of cannabis as society seeks to comprehend cannabis’ evolving place within our collective consciousness and legal framework.
Most of the American public advocates for medical cannabis legalization – around 9 in 10 Americans, according to PEW, this plant’s therapeutic potential warrants legal recognition. If we look state-wise, bills have been passed throughout the years to legalize the use of cannabis in different states. For instance, in 2016, Arkansas residents strongly supported the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment. This amendment was a big step forward for healthcare in the state. With this decision, the ban on medical marijuana was lifted, allowing its use legally.
Use Of Cannabis Within the Confines of The Legal Framework
Cannabis use under the legal paradigm involves adhering to the established regulations and guidelines put forth by governing bodies. It entails understanding and abiding by the laws governing cannabis cultivation, possession, distribution, and consumption within a jurisdiction.
Within this legal framework, individuals must familiarize themselves with the permissible age limits for cannabis use, the designated places where it can be consumed, and any restrictions on the quantities or forms of cannabis allowed. It is essential to remain well-informed about the licensing requirements and procedures for those involved in the cannabis industry, such as cultivators, distributors, retailers, and even users.
For instance, recreational marijuana use remains unlawful in Arkansas, however, individuals possessing an Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card can procure up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis within two weeks.
Conversely, individuals lacking a valid medical card face grave ramifications if found with marijuana. Such consequences may encompass substantial monetary penalties, imprisonment, and the suspension of their driver’s license for six months, depending on the amount of marijuana being carried.
Several studies support the use of cannabis for different health purposes. Below, we’ll mention some potential health benefits and medical uses.
Chronic Pain Relief
Research indicates that the combination of THC and CBD, compounds found in cannabis, shows promise as a treatment for chronic pain. A 2022 review of a clinical study published in Inflammopharmacology reveals that this combination effectively manages neuropathic, nociceptive, and nociplastic pain. Moreover, these medications are better tolerated, safer, and less addictive than opioid-based analgesics commonly prescribed for chronic pain.
THC and CBD-based medications hold potential as a safer alternative for chronic pain relief. With encouraging results in clinical studies, this combination showcases efficacy in addressing different types of chronic pain while reducing the risks associated with opioids. Further research is needed to fully explore their therapeutic capabilities and optimize their usage in chronic pain management.
CBD, a component found in marijuana, is believed to possess anti-inflammatory properties. This characteristic has prompted speculation about its potential benefits for various inflammatory conditions, including Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis. CBD may improve overall health and well-being by mitigating inflammation within the body.
Enhancing Sleep Quality
Scientific studies have revealed potential improvements in sleep quality through the use of dronabinol, a synthetic form of THC. In a study, individuals with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who consumed dronabinol before bedtime experienced a reduction in the frequency of breathing interruptions during sleep. Notably, the 10-milligram dosage outperformed the 2.5-milligram dosage and placebo, while participants reported heightened sensations of sleepiness.
Similarly, a separate investigation published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine identified a positive correlation between dronabinol usage and enhanced sleep measurements among patients with OSA. These promising findings highlight the potential of dronabinol to promote improved sleep outcomes in individuals affected by this sleep disorder.
Addressing Gastrointestinal (GI) Disorders
Recent research has revealed the potential of CBD and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids in preventing and treating gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. Conditions like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and ulcerative colitis can benefit from CBD’s therapeutic properties. By harnessing its anti-inflammatory attributes, CBD is crucial in mitigating and preventing symptoms associated with these disorders.
CBD has demonstrated its potential in alleviating the side effects of chemotherapy, impeding the growth of cancer cells, and triggering their demise, as evidenced by studies conducted on cervical cancer cell lines. Furthermore, CBD exhibits various anti-cancer effects that promise to prevent diverse types of cancers, treat tumors, and bolster the immune system.
In addition to these recognized benefits, ongoing research and testing continue to unveil further therapeutic possibilities.
Treating Neurological and Mental Disorders
In some instances, doctors may prescribe marijuana to address specific neurological and mental health disorders owing to its impact on the limbic system. Marijuana is sometimes recommended for the following conditions:
- Anxiety: Marijuana has been considered a potential treatment option for individuals experiencing anxiety.
- Epilepsy: Marijuana may be prescribed to manage seizures and epileptic episodes.
- Multiple Sclerosis: Some individuals with multiple sclerosis may find relief from certain symptoms by using marijuana as part of their treatment plan.
- Parkinson’s Disease: Marijuana has shown promise in addressing certain symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, such as tremors and movement difficulties.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Marijuana is occasionally prescribed to individuals with PTSD to alleviate symptoms such as anxiety and distress.
- Tourette Syndrome: Marijuana has been explored as a possible therapy for managing Tourette syndrome symptoms, including involuntary movements and vocal tics.
While marijuana may be utilized as part of a comprehensive treatment approach, it is essential to consult with healthcare professionals to ensure safe and appropriate usage for each condition.
The cultural and legal perception of cannabis is shifting, prompting an exploration of its potential in healthcare. With strong support for medical cannabis legalization, various states have passed bills to legalize its use. Cannabis shows promise in addressing chronic pain, reducing inflammation, improving sleep quality, treating gastrointestinal disorders, combating cancer, and addressing neurological and mental disorders. Ongoing research offers opportunities for growth and innovation in the industry. Further exploration is needed to understand cannabis’ benefits and applications fully.