5 Reasons Medical Marijuana May Be Right for You

When you first hear about all of the benefits of medical marijuana, you may be a bit skeptical and think of past “miracle cures” that were nothing more than snake oil. However, the far-ranging benefits of medical marijuana are explained by the existence of something called the endogenous cannabinoid system, which extends throughout your body. This endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates your response to both internal and external disruptions in body and mind to help you stay healthy and balanced.

Scientists discovered the endocannabinoid system about 25 years ago while studying the effects of cannabis (marijuana), which is why it’s named after the plant. Your ECS consists of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids (a type of fat your body produces), and enzymes that help make and break down endocannabinoids.

The components of the ECS facilitate communication between your brain and body. Endocannabinoids, their receptors, and their enzymes are found in and affect nearly every tissue in your body. The wide reach of your ECS explains how introducing cannabinoids from the outside — such as with medical marijuana — affects your brain and almost all of your organs.

It also explains how medical marijuana can help you manage a variety of disorders. Dr. Dareld Morris of Morris Medical Center in Fort Myers and LaBelle, Florida, recommends medical marijuana if:

1. You have chronic pain

Your ECS is present in your body’s tissues, including your nerves. Your own natural endocannabinoids help dull sensations of pain and help your body achieve a sense of health and balance after an injury.

When you have chronic pain, such as osteoarthritis or back pain, your nerves may be overloaded by pain signals that your own endocannabinoids can’t override by themselves. Medical marijuana binds to the endocannabinoid receptors in nerve cells, calming them down and preventing them from over-firing.

Medical marijuana is especially helpful if you can’t tolerate over-the-counter painkillers. You might also be able to avoid dependence on pain medication or addiction to opioids by switching to medical marijuana for pain management.

2. You have a medical condition

Cancer

Medical marijuana helps subdue pain associated with cancer and cancer treatments. Medical marijuana also relieves nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and helps you digest your food normally to prevent or reverse wasting.

Digestive diseases

Cannabinoids can soothe the nerves in your digestive system, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the appetite. You may benefit from medical marijuana if you’re one of the 74 million American women and men who suffer from conditions such as:

Other conditions

Medical marijuana relaxes your muscles, which may be helpful if you have multiple sclerosis or a spastic condition. Medical marijuana is also beneficial for glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, lupus, and hepatitis C. Medical marijuana is FDA-approved for two rare, severe types of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

3. You have sleep problems

Aging, hormonal changes, and stress can cause bouts of insomnia, a condition in which you have trouble falling or staying asleep. Sleep medications don’t usually work long-term and can cause dependency and side effects. Because the ECS is involved in soothing over-stressed nerves, medical marijuana relaxes you and helps you fall asleep sooner and longer. Cannabis can increase your time in deep-wave, physically restorative sleep,

Because medical marijuana seems to shorten the amount of time you spend in REM (dreaming) sleep, you may benefit from its effects if you suffer from nightmares. Researchers are studying medical marijuana as a possible way to help relieve sleep apnea.

4. You’re anxious, depressed, or have PTSD

Your ECS helps regulate learning and emotions. If you suffer from a mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), very low doses of medical marijuana may help control your symptoms by helping your brain process troubling memories and emotions.

5. You want to protect your brain

Studies have shown that medical marijuana helps prevent the accumulation of the toxic protein amyloid in the brain, which is one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Cannabinoids also slow or subdue inflammation, which is involved in the development of dementia. Some studies have shown that low doses of cannabinoids protect the brain from further damage after a stroke or traumatic brain injury.

The benefits of medical marijuana are dose-dependent, and you should never try to treat your symptoms on your own. Morris Medical Center offers the expertise you need and a number of delivery systems for medical marijuana, including sublingual (under the tongue) and topical. To find out if medical marijuana can help you, call today or use the online booking form.

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