Ever since the laws when it comes to the sale and use of cannabis have been eased up in many different states and countries, more and more people have already delved into its use to treat their underlying medical conditions, including chronic illnesses. Several people have already vouched for its effectiveness in helping them manage the symptoms of their chronic conditions, allowing them to function better overall. This article tackles the ways how cannabis can help you battle chronic illnesses.
How Cannabis Works
For you to understand how cannabis can help you battle chronic illnesses, you should first know how it works or what it does to your body. Your body essentially makes its own cannabinoids, which regulates many of your body functions. The active chemicals in cannabis are similar to the cannabinoids that your body produces. These cannabinoids from the plant can help enhance how your body reduces feelings of anxiety, as well as inflammation, thereby relieving pain. For this reason, cannabis is known to offer pain relief even for chronic illnesses.
Chronic Illnesses Treated by Cannabis
As soon as you understand how the cannabinoids in cannabis can influence your own body’s natural production of cannabinoids, it will be more apparent how it can help you with your chronic diseases. Below are some of the most common chronic ailments treated by cannabis.
The symptoms of multiple sclerosis depend on its type and severity, but more often than not, people with this ailment experience pain and spasms, as well as balance issues and vision problems. Perhaps this can be attributed to the fact that this chronic disease affects both the brain and the spinal cord of an individual. In this case, cannabis can significantly reduce the pains and spasms associated with this ailment, without having any adverse effects on the person taking it.
People who have lupus have an immune system that attacks their own normal healthy tissues and organs. Thus, the symptoms of this disease usually vary from one person to another. Some experience extreme fatigue and headaches, while others encounter painful and swollen joints. Some even suffer anemia and memory loss, as well as chest pains, particularly with deep breathing. Because of the significant positive effects of cannabis when it comes to the immune system and inflammatory response, it is used to treat these symptoms that are often associated with lupus.
Spinal Cord Injuries and Diseases
If you are suffering from spinal cord injuries and diseases, then you may also benefit from the use of cannabis products. Spinal cord injuries are known to affect motor skills, and several studies show that the pain and muscle spasms associated with this can be treated by the use of cannabis. In case you are unresponsive to standard treatments for spinal cord injuries, then the use of cannabis may prove to be beneficial for you. If you suffer from spinal cord related issues that are not caused by trauma, then you may find value in the use of cannabis too.
One of the most common symptoms of this chronic ailment is pain characterized by a feeling of cutting shards of glass in the body. Some people even experience nausea and extreme exhaustion. Apart from easing the physical pain brought about by this disease, people using cannabis to help treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia also garner emotional benefits from it. This can be attributed to the fact that with the use of cannabis, their stress and anxiety caused by the disease are also greatly reduced as their brain produces more of the hormones that help them relax and calm down.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in several states and nations. While cannabis cannot cure cancer in its entirety, it can help reduce the severity of the symptoms of this disease drastically. As a result, cancer patients leveraging cannabis to help treat their cancer symptoms experience an improved quality of life. This can be attributed to the fact that the compounds in cannabis help in improving their appetite. In turn, they gain back the weight they lost because of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. Cannabis is also effective in combating nausea which is another effect of chemotherapy.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)
Some people refer to ME as chronic fatigue syndrome because this causes extreme exhaustion. The cause of this disease is still unknown and even rest and sleep cannot seem to combat its overwhelming fatigue. The sad part is that it even worsens with physical and mental activity. Nevertheless, some people suffering from ME are known to have benefited from its use, allowing them to experience a good quality of life by being able to experience calmer moods, as well as an increase in energy. However, further studies need to be made when it comes to cannabis treatment for ME.
Arthritis, or joint inflammation, have various types, with the most common ones including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis to name a few. Some of the most common symptoms of this chronic ailment include swelling and redness around the joint, as well as stiffness and a reduced range of motion. People who are experiencing extreme joint inflammation are known to have benefited from the use of cannabis to help them manage the pain associated with arthritis.
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that can be treated with the use of cannabis products. This chronic disease is characterized by seizures which can range from mild to severe. A moment of impaired concentration can be considered as a mild seizure while a total loss of consciousness and awareness is considered as an extreme seizure. The cannabis products used to treat the symptoms of epilepsy, particularly the seizures, are those dominant in CBD. These products are proven to reduce the severity, as well as the frequency of the seizures experienced.
The side effects of the treatments for HIV/AIDS can prove to be quite challenging to deal with. Fortunately, cannabis can already help people manage this particularly when it comes to excessive weight loss and severe nausea. Studies show that HIV/AIDS patients taking cannabis have an improved appetite.
How You Can Get Cannabis
Several states now allow the use of cannabis as a treatment for various medical illnesses. Some states, such as Alaska, California, Colorado, as well as Illinois and Maine to name a few, even allow the use of cannabis for recreational purposes. However, to get cannabis for medical purposes, you need to have a written recommendation from a licensed medical professional in the states where its use is legal. In this case, the best thing for you to do is to enter the keywords “medical marijuana doctor near me” during your search for a medical professional within your vicinity who will be able to grant you the recommendation. In some states, you may even need to get a medical marijuana ID card which will allow you to buy the cannabis products that you need from a dispensary.
Factors Affecting Your Cannabis Experience
Several factors can affect how your body responds to the use of cannabis. These factors determine whether you will reap the benefits that it can give you when it comes to treating the symptoms of your chronic ailment or otherwise. Some of these factors include the way you consume cannabis, the amount you consume, as well as the presence of THC, CBD, and terpenes.
Method of Consumption
One of the primary factors that affect your overall cannabis experience is the method that you decide to consume cannabis. For instance, if you want to garner immediate effects, you should go for inhalation methods such as smoking, vaping, or dabbing. In this case, you will feel the effects within five to fifteen minutes after you use it.
However, there are also some negative health effects associated with smoking cannabis, much similar to those associated with smoking tobacco. For this reason, more and more people go for vaping or heating the plant matter without burning it. On the other hand, dabbing is not greatly recommended for beginners because it can lead to the overconsumption of the product.
Some people who are not fond of smoking or vaping, or inexperienced when it comes to dabbing, go for sublingual or oral-mucosal concentrates such as tinctures. In this case, all you need is to put a few drops of the tincture underneath your tongue and you will be able to feel the effects anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of hours. The chemicals in the tincture will be absorbed by the lining of your mouth, making their way to your brain. Expect that as soon as the effects kick in, it will last for about two to six hours.
There are several types of cannabis edibles such as pills and capsules, as well as brownies, gummies, candies, and other sweets. With these variants, it will take a while longer before you get to experience the effect of the product in your body. More often than not, you may need to wait for about half an hour up to a couple of hours before the compounds are absorbed by your stomach to be processed by your brain. Nonetheless, as soon as the effects kick in, you will get to enjoy being pain-free for up to 24 hours.
Cannabis products now also come in various topical solutions that you will be able to directly apply to your skin. This proves to be beneficial for those experiencing chronic joint pains and arthritis, as well as those suffering from skin diseases. You get to experience localized pain relief immediately and the best part is that with topical solutions, there is also a reduced risk of intoxication.
Another factor that can affect your overall cannabis experience is the dosage that you take in. For instance, even if you go for a product with lower potency, but if you tend to over-consume, then you are more likely to experience harmful effects rather than benefit from it. Thus, the best way to use cannabis to treat your chronic illness is to start with a low dosage and observe how your body responds to it. Increase the amount that you take in gradually as necessary. Otherwise, stick to the dosage that you started with if it already proves to be sufficient for your needs.
Finally, the specific compounds present in the cannabis product you go for can also affect your overall experience in using cannabis to treat your chronic ailment. For instance, if the cannabis product that you intend to use has the presence of THC, then expect that its effects will be stronger as this compound is the one responsible for the intoxicating effects of cannabis. Rest assured that legal cannabis products will always show the amount of THC content present in the label.
CBD is another compound that is essential for pain relief or control of inflammation. In contrast to THC though, CBD doesn’t have the intoxicating or psychoactive effects that the former possess. Thus, some people go for cannabis products with only CBD rather than those that possess THC.
For those who find it hard to ingest cannabis because of its taste, they usually go for cannabis products with strains having the most favorable terpenes. These compounds affect the overall taste and smell of the cannabis products, with some strains having more dominant terpenes than the others. Nonetheless, there are no associated significant health benefits or therapeutic effects specifically related to the terpenes present in the cannabis strain other than the taste and smell of the product.
Cannabis has been used as a medicinal herb ever since it was discovered. However, it is only recently that its use has been more widely accepted because of the legislation legalizing its sale and use. While several people have already vouched for its effectiveness in helping them manage their chronic conditions, there are still numerous ongoing studies attempting to further discover the capabilities of cannabis when it comes to healing and promoting overall healing.