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Medical Marijuana Uses

Each of the parts of the marijuana plant-flowers, leaves, stems and seeds-contain at least 60 chemicals called cannabinoids. Some of these have mind altering effects, but many have also been shown to have medicinal uses for a variety of physical conditions. The three most common cannabinoids accessed from the marijuana plant for medical use include delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinol or cannabidiol, and dronabinol also sold under the brand name Marinol. THC is the premier mind-altering component in marijuana but it may also mitigate the nausea and vomiting associated with a number of conditions as do the cannabinol and cannabidiol compounds. Dronabinol, however, is a synthetic version of THC making the healing effects of marijuana available in pill form, which allows the user to avoid the health hazards caused by smoking the drug.

At Orchid Recovery Center, we know that marijuana in any form is addictive. If you have been using the drug for medicinal purposes and would like to break your addiction without the debilitating withdrawal symptoms that accompany any detox, the Master’s-level staff and clinical team at Orchid Recovery Center are here to help

The Science Behind Medical Marijuana Uses

It is the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol ,or THC, that is the active ingredient in marijuana and so useful medically. It is, however, also the element that produces the high associated with marijuana use, triggering the pleasure pathway in the brain, which in turn triggers physical and mental addiction. It also binds to the cell receptors in the brain and body, which controls different compulsions.

How it works is this: THC and the other cannabinoids in marijuana bind to the CB1 receptors in your brain that control memory, movement and the impulse to vomit and the CB2 receptors in tissues in the immune system. The former effect is useful in treating nausea, stimulating appetite and controlling pain. The effect of the latter is not very well understood, but it could be why marijuana use suppresses the immune system.

The CB1 and CB2 receptors are affected by THC and other cannabinoids no matter how you ingest the marijuana. When you smoke it, the peak effects are reached within a few moments and last for as long as two hours. When you eat the drug, activating the cannabinoids by heating it in a fat-based substance like butter or oil, the effects may take as long as a few hours to reach their peak and the effect will last for hours after that. Take dronabinol, the synthetic version of the drug, and the peak effects will be reached in a half hour and last for about a day.

Disorders Treated by Medical Marijuana

Nausea and vomiting in the later stages of chemotherapy and cancer treatment are commonly treated with marijuana and now the effects of the drug on appetite stimulation, pain management and muscle spasticity in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis are being studied. The top three uses of marijuana medicinally as reported by the California Branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) are to ease chronic pain, symptoms of AIDS-related illnesses and the effects of mood disorders. Another 23 percent of those participating in the survey cited other disorders including epilepsy, glaucoma, migraine headaches, severe arthritis and spinal cord injury and diseases.

Medical Marijuana Uses: The Risks

Despite its beneficial uses, marijuana is still a drug and, like all drugs, it has potential for harm. Even if you use marijuana medicinally, regular use can still mean addiction and withdrawal symptoms should you try to abruptly quit. And though some states have allowed for the use of medical marijuana, United States federal law classifies it as a Schedule I drug, and defines such drugs as “the most dangerous drugs that have no recognized medical use.” Legal problems, imprisonment, and fines are also risks of marijuana use, on top of addiction.

At Orchid Recovery Center, we can help you avoid these legal and financial problems and treat your marijuana addiction.

Treating Addiction to Medical Marijuana at Orchid Recovery Center

With a holistic and comprehensive marijuana detox and treatment program, the Orchid Recovery Center provides a woman-centered rehabilitation facility for women run by an all-female clinical staff. By creating a unique combination of our multifaceted therapeutic options and traditional 12 steps, one-on-one therapy and support groups, women who come to stay with us will find a marijuana addiction treatment program that is wholly original and experiences it in a tightly knit community that provides for growth and healing through abstinence. For more information, call Orchid Recovery Center today.

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