Few topics or subjects inspire stronger emotions in the medical, scientific, and political communities than that of the benefits of medical marijuana. The questions surrounding it are numerous, ranging from safety and effectiveness to legalization and decriminalization.
However, on a personal level, you likely already know a number of people that use marijuana and seem to be better off with it. While some have used weed to benefit their relationship, that might leave you personally wondering if it could have health benefits for you, but you might be afraid of the psychoactive effects and the high. Is it possible to enjoy health benefits of medical marijuana without the high?
Marijuana is commonly smoked or taken with the intent to receive the psychoactive high that comes with the plant. For those who are seeking to reap only the medical benefits of the plant, however, these highs can often be overwhelming and can prevent them from functioning normally as they would if they were taking other medications. This can be an issue for many who prove to be very responsive to cannabis treatment options but who just can’t stand the psychoactive side-effects that come with absorbing the THC within the plant. Fortunately enough, there are ways to navigate around this inconvenience so that you can receive the THC benefits you want without dealing with the extensive high. If this is your goal, here are some tips on how to use medical marijuana without getting high.
If you have yet to hear about CBD, CBD belongs to a family of chemicals known as cannabinoids, which is the same family of chemicals that THC belongs to. Unlike THC, however, CBD has a different chemical makeup that is said to carry many of the medical benefits that THC offers without any of the psychoactive effects of the plant. This means that you could potentially take CBD for the same issues that you use THC for without running the risk of becoming high. Although more research needs to be conducted on this substance before definitive statements can be made about its effectiveness with specific medical issues, this substance proves to be quite promising.
Tinctures are extremely popular as they make it easier for you to take your favorite substances while also making it so that the substance hits your bloodstream faster. While many would assume that this would be a bad trait for a THC-based substance, this is actually good news since you can take as much of the substance as you want at a time until you receive the desired effects. If you want full control over your experience, reach for a tincture.
Another popular product, topicals are products that can be applied to the skin to help alleviate the symptoms of conditions that are located in the skin or in specific parts of the body. Unlike other products, topicals that use THC do not get you high and those that do are extremely rare and intended to get into your bloodstream. If you wish to use THC for a skin-based issue or for localized pain, topicals are one way to get the relief you want without the high.
Many assume that smoking more is better but this is not the case when it comes to marijuana. In fact, less weed can achieve the same goal without overly intoxicating you. This is accomplished in a process known as microdosing, which simply means taking the lowest possible amount of weed at a time throughout the day in order to achieve the desired effects and avoiding the high. If you don’t want to feel out of it each time you use your cannabis, try microdosing instead.
If you would like both THC and CBD in your product, the great news is that there are plenty of products on the market that give you a mix of both. CBD is well-known for blocking and reducing the psychoactive effects of cannabis and can come in handy when you are only looking for the medical benefits of this substance. Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, you can easily find substances that carry THC and CBD to decrease the high while not getting rid of the weed entirely.
The least controversial use of marijuana is easily cannabidiol extract, also known as CBD. This particular component of marijuana has little to no intoxicating properties. Cannabis by itself includes more than a hundred active components. The one that causes the ‘high’ or psychoactive effects is tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC.
Strains dominant in CBD don’t have much THC if any at all. Patients using these typically report no alteration to their consciousness.
On the other hand, patients certainly report numerous health benefits of CBD. They range from relief from pain, spasticity, anxiety, and insomnia to even helpful treatment in possibly lethal afflictions like epilepsy.
Pain control is certainly the most common reason for medical marijuana use in the United States. Marijuana doesn’t typically prove robust enough for severe pain, which would be what you might experience after a broken bone or surgery. However, it’s apparently quite effective for chronic pain that millions suffer, especially as they get older.
Something that makes it quite alluring is that it is obviously safer than most opiates, which run the risk of overdose and are far more addictive. Medical marijuana can even replace NSAIDs like Aleve or Advil, given that some patients can’t take those if they have GERD, or kidney or ulcer problems.
Medical marijuana seems to ease nerve pain in general but also specifically the pain of multiple sclerosis. That’s generally a boon for MS sufferers since they don’t have many other options. The ones that do, like opiates, Lyrica, or Neurontin, are often highly sedating. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence from patients who claim that marijuana is something that lets them go back to the prior activities without feeling disengaged or totally out of it mentally.
Research showing that medical marijuana could be used to treat or even prevent glaucoma go back to the 1970s. This eye disease is one where the pressure is increased on the inside of the eyeball, eventually damaging optic nerves and triggering a loss of vision. The National Eye Institute reports that marijuana can decrease the intraocular pressure in users. That slows disease progression and prevents them from going blind.
Combinations of anecdotal and research evidence also suggest that marijuana is an incredible muscle relaxant, even lessening the tremors that happen with Parkinson’s disease. Use of it has been reportedly successful in the treatment and/or management of interstitial cystitis, endometriosis, and fibromyalgia.
Marijuana also seems to be beneficial in both managing weight loss and nausea. One very promising arena of research is in the treatment of PTSD for veterans coming home from combat theaters. A lot of veterans, as well as their therapists, have reported substantial improvement. They all ask for even more studies with hopes of loosening the governmental restrictions surrounding this. Medical marijuana also seems to provide pain relief and symptom assistance to those afflicted with HIV, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. There’s even some evidence to suggest that medical marijuana has anti-cancer properties, although this needs a lot more study.
Not everybody is a smoker in the modern zeitgeist. With over a decade of anti-smoking PSA alongside many whom have grown disgusted by the sight by parents and family members, it is quite hard to convince these people to benefit from the medicinal use of marijuana.
Luckily for these individuals, they can still reap the benefits of marijuana through different non-psychoactive products. Whether it is CBD cream for pain or edibles for depression & insomnia, the medicinal supplementation of marijuana can still be used by those whom prefer to not puff without any huff.
While the research for the medicinal use of marijuana continues to grow positively in studies, the image of puffing can be off-putting to some who are accustomed to more traditional forms of medicine. While culture and research can help change this over time, many individuals will continue to stick to older methods they understand and find comfort in. They are not going to change mindsets overnight.
Many medical marijuana proponents would agree that the image of a 5-year-old smoking from a bong for his epileptic fits or pushing the lung cancer survivor elder into a form of medicine that reminds them of the years of smoking cigarettes is off-putting. It is unappealing to both age groups. This won’t help in recognizing and legitimizing marijuana for medicinal use on the national scale.
In such cases, products such as CBD edibles, creams, gel caps, and the like can help many other sorts of individuals with their personal medical needs. This can be done without compromising the image of either age group in the cultural, national, & individual consciousness.
While marijuana and industrial hemp is absolutely fine to smoke by itself, some individuals may need higher potency of CBD to help with their personal medical maladies. Others may need a more slow, methodical release through the application of CBD gel caps, transdermal patches or edibles that can be ingested on a scheduled rotation.
These sorts of products can pack anywhere from 10mg-100mg+ of CBD ranging from low to upper levels depending on the needs of the individual. With a slower release but packing potent levels, these sorts of products can be safely ingested by both the young and the elderly. This gives it a perfect use for a wide variety of symptoms from insomnia and appetite-loss to more serious conditions such as epilepsy and arthritis (to name just a few conditions).
Another option to reap the benefits of industrial hemp can come from hemp oil that can be applied to any recipe or food product. Perfect for individuals and families alike, the application of CBD can be dropped onto virtually anything (including drinks) to be consumed orally.
This form of medicinal use is akin to the slow release gels, where it takes roughly around 30-50 minutes for effects to be noted of the hemp oil itself.
It may even fancy yourself to treat to something a bit sweeter, CBD candies and desserts. As mentioned earlier in the article, these are jam-packed not only with various levels of Cannabidiol but can also be used as an effective supplement whom may have an issue of taking medicinal supplements the traditional manner.
Another aspect that some individuals may prefer to have extracted CBD products to choose from could be the overall moods and results that they prefer to have upon ingesting.
Some individuals may prefer the benefits of CBD, without the “high” of THC while others would prefer the mood change that THC offers. There are individuals whom would also want the best of both worlds. They often take in both at once but still not wish to smoke at all.
Regardless of the intended results and opinions of individuals, the ability to extract both THC and CBD into non-smokable forms benefits the whole spectrum of Americans who need these essential supplements to better their own livelihoods. We should encourage everybody to check into how these natural supplements (smoked or not) can enhance not only our livelihoods but the entire nation’s health as well.
The health benefits of medical marijuana included in this article are not designed to be a fully inclusive list. There are many more supposed benefits claimed by supporters, scientists and advocates.
However, this is a quick rundown on just some of the remedies that cannabis might provide if you’re looking for relief. As with any other remedy, the claims of effectiveness need to be evaluated critically and always treated with caution.
Keep in mind that many of these studies or sources of anecdotal evidence involved marijuana strains or use that did involve THC. The cause of the ‘high’ you are likely trying to avoid if you’re reading this.
At the time of writing, medical marijuana is legal in more than half the states plus the District of Columbia. Having said that, it’s still illegal at a federal level. An estimated 64 percent of Americans support full legalization of medical cannabis. It’s assumed that millions use it already.
Talk to your doctor openly and honestly if you think medical marijuana might be something you want to explore. If they don’t personally have the education needed on the subject, at least get them to guide you in the right direction.
Some patients are actually embarrassed to broach the topic with their medical professionals. That’s partly due to the fact that the medical community, as a whole, has historically been rather dismissive of this issue.
However, physicians are now trying to catch up on things and even trying to be a step ahead of what their patients know. Research that was conducted show promise and the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming at times. Much more work still needs to be done.
Doctors and patients should talk to each other, especially when patients are already using medical marijuana but don’t tell their doctor out of fear or concern of being criticized. There is also an issue of being able to make credit card payments for cannabis. There currently are strides being made for medical cannabis payment solutions.
If you do choose to seek out the medical marijuana for positive health benefits but don’t want to get too high or high at all, remember to look out for CBD dominant strains and check the levels of THC. Always go with what your doctor tells you and remember there are no hard rules, but in general, THC levels of 4 percent or lower seems to minimize the psychoactive effects. Obviously, the lower the better. It is also possible to enjoy many benefits completely free of THC by using CBD oils.