Medical marijuana often faces resistance from consumers who confuse it with the recreational drug, weed.
With research showing more and more information about the therapeutic properties of marijuana, it’s becoming clearer how vastly it differs from its illegal counterpart. From the target market to the functions they fulfill, both are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
Even though headway has been made regarding the medicinal properties of marijuana, most people aren’t aware of this. To create familiarity about the medical drug, here are a few basic differences between it and recreationally-smoked weed.
Medical marijuana is the furthest thing from the drug you’ve grown to associate illicit activities with. It must be noted that the raw plant is not attested by the FDA as an appropriate herb for medical use. The plant itself consists of more than a 100 cannabinoids which individually produce unique effects on the body.
Medical use of the plant is restricted to the use of only 2 of the 100 compounds found in it:
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): this compound contains psychoactive properties that induce the high feeling people associate with marijuana.
- Cannabidiol (CBD): this compound is free of any psychoactive outcomes and hence does not cause the high feeling.
Medical cannabis largely uses CBD, which ensures that the recreational side effects are limited to a bare minimum. The purpose of this drug is solely to treat illnesses and not to induce a high.
Known more commonly as pot, this drug is consumed without any medical support for its use. As mentioned earlier, smoking pot is pleasurable mainly because it has high levels of THC. It’s because of this cannabinoid that consumers get hooked to it.
History of Medical Marijuana
Grown from the hemp plant which was used for making ropes and sails during the 1600s, marijuana today is found in stores in the form of hemp oil and seeds. These modern products are beneficial because they supply dietary fiber, minerals, and necessary proteins to the body.
- The earliest use of marijuana was found in China during 2737 BC. The then Emperor, Shennong, prescribed it as a possible treatment for absent-mindedness, gout, and constipation.
- The ancient Greeks used marijuana to treat wounded war horses and dressed their injuries with it. It was also common practice to use it for ear pain, inflammation, and other medical problems.
- The popular drug first reached the West during the 19th century, with the help of an Irish doctor named William Brooke O’Shaughnessy. From there, it spread to the UK, where it was consumed as a treatment for epilepsy, muscle spasms, and other conditions.
This historical evidence proves how the medicinal properties of marijuana are not baseless and illicit. Historic usage of this drug in medical practices testifies the authenticity of marijuana as a medical supplement.
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