Issue: The 10 Transformational Leaders in Healthcare

10 Benefits of Using Medical Marijuana — Can Cannabis Help?

Marijuana is a mind-altering (psychoactive) drug. Similar to hemp, it comes from the cannabis plant. The plant’s primary drug effects originate from the chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or “THC.” Marijuana is smoked, “vaped” (inhaling the vapor), or ingested in foods or teas. Over the last few decades, the concentration of THC in the cannabis plant has been increasing. Also, the plant extracts are more potent. In the United States, nearly 23 states, plus Washington D.C., have legalized medical marijuana. In cities like Denver and Seattle, recreational marijuana plays an important role for local businesses. However, more and more states are making an effort to learn more about the drug’s incredible benefits. Science proves that marijuana can do wonders for improving a patient’s quality of life. For patients who endure rounds upon rounds of chemotherapy, marijuana is the only “is the only anti-nausea medicine that increases appetite.” Cannabis as Medicine Pharmaceutical cannabis sprays are designed for “mucosal or sublingual administration,” meaning that the patient sprays it under their tongue, and the cannabinoids are then absorbed into the bloodstream via the mucous membrane. This is quite an efficient and convenient method of administration, which allows the cannabinoids to reach the brain within 10 to 20 minutes. However, a significant amount ends up being swallowed and absorbed through the gut, resulting in a sizable portion of the medication having a delayed onset. This is far from ideal for medical users who wish to regulate their dosage accurately. Many patients report that the pharmaceutical industry’s expensive cannabis-based medications are vastly inferior to the natural product. Vaporizing organically grown cannabis buds is one of the most effective ways of self-medicating, particularly for pain relief. For some patients the high associated with herbal cannabis use is undesirable. This applies in particular for those who need to medicate regularly throughout the day. One of the most useful cannabinoids is cannabidiol, or CBD, which unlike THC, binds poorly to the brain’s receptors and can, therefore, work without getting patients stoned. Commercially available strains that are high in CBD are now becoming more readily accessible specially bred for medical use. “I remember that day in 2017 like yesterday: the team was super excited about the new project to build “the platform” we always lamented about, and I didn’t want to spoil the thinking momentum. Privately, I knew this would be one of our trickiest endeavors to date. While I had much confidence in the team’s ability – I knew it would be tricky, tricky tricky.”
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