Marijuana 101

Medical Marijuana 101: What You Need To Know

A Simple Guide On How Medical Marijuana Works & How It Can Improve Your Life

By Naomi C. Abrams

 

Whether you are new to medical marijuana or returning from a long hiatus, it’s necessary to understand the basics to have the best experience possible. With medical marijuana being legal in 36 states and counting (as of November 2020), millions turn to plant medicine for relief from a variety of physical and psychological ailments. Pennsylvania has been lucky enough to join the list as of May 2016, with the first dispensaries opening in the spring of 2018.

Medical marijuana is being used to help provide relief from arthritis to depression to Chrohn’s disease and more, with new uses and benefits being discovered regularly.

Let’s explore the plant and its basic components and see how medical marijuana can help your daily life. We will check out the differences between THC, CBD, and which medicinal options are available today.

 

What Is Marijuana And How Is It Used Medicinally?

Marijuana refers to a group of three plants: Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa, and Cannabis ruderalis (hemp). FLUENT harvests and dries it’s high-quality plants in a rigorous and expert-operated process to yield one of the world’s most popular medicines, medical marijuana. The plant is consumed for its various beneficial effects. It can help promote relaxation, stress relief, muscle spasm relief, better sleep quality, and more. It is prescribed for a wide variety of conditions, ranging from PTSD to Parkinson’s disease to epilepsy.

For a complete list of conditions for which MMJ can be prescribed, please visit the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s website.

 

What Are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant. While there are more than 500 different medicinal compounds in the plant, only about 66 are termed ‘cannabinoids’. The most well known among these compounds is the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC). This is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is another important component, accounting for about 40% of the plant resin extract.

 


What Is The Difference Between CBD and THC?

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the differences between CBD and THC. As we said, they are both naturally occurring compounds found in the marijuana plant. Both compounds interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system but have very different effects. Mainly, THC’s psychoactive effects provide a high that CBD does not produce. The molecular structure of both compounds is the same, but there’s a slight difference in how the atoms are arranged that accounts for the difference in effects in your body. Both CBD and THC are chemically similar to the endocannabinoids found in your body. This allows them to interact and harmonize with your cannabinoid receptors.

This interaction leads to the release of neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals responsible for relaying messages between cells. They play roles in regulating pain, immune function, stress levels, sleep, and more.

 

Do CBD and THC Have The Same Medical Benefits?

CBD and THC share many of the same medical benefits. They can provide relief from several of the same conditions. However, CBD doesn’t cause the euphoric effects (or high) that occurs with ingesting THC. 

Some people prefer CBD because it allows them to medicate without any psychoactive effects. CBD is also able to be taken in high doses without experiencing any of the possible side effects that may accompany THC (such as dry mouth, red eyes, increased heart rate, sleepiness, etc.).

Both THC and CBD can come in the form of whole flower, tinctures, vape cartridges, and capsules. You may choose to ask your doctor to access some or all of these medicinal routes, depending upon your condition and personal preferences. 


Stay tuned for more info about the exciting benefits of medical marijuana, and be sure to
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