What is marijuana?
Marijuana refers to the flowers of the cannabis sativa plant. It has a number slang terms, such as weed, grass, Mary Jane, and many more. Most marijuana users seek the plant for its euphoric effects - that “high” feeling commonly associated with cannabis use, caused by the plant’s psychoactive compound, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Others use it for medicinal purposes.
Marijuana users can consume the drug through several different methods:
- Ingestion - through marijuana edibles/drinks
- And even anal suppositories
Marijuana has been getting some good press over the past few years. While the drug was vilified for decades as a dangerous substance, recent studies have found it to be quite useful. And with the emergence of Cannabidiol (CBD) as the plant’s non-psychoactive compound, the medical community has been more open to its acceptance as a treatment for a variety of health conditions.
Marijuana for medical use
Medicinal cannabis isn’t really different from recreational cannabis. Many who seek marijuana as a treatment for ailments choose to use actual marijuana flowers, as opposed to chemical extracts and synthetic cannabis.
However, there are pharmaceutical cannabis products, most of which are extracted cannabis compounds or their synthetic equivalents. Regardless of which kind of medical cannabis being used (marijuana flowers, natural extracts, or synthetic), it is only legal in Australia if you’ve obtained a prescription.
A lot of the medicinal cannabis products that have been accepted are CBD concentrates. This is because THC is usually associated with recreational users and, thus, labeled as the bad part of the drug.
However, THC contains a ton of medicinal uses as well, treating just as many health conditions as CBD.
Here’s a look at some conditions marijuana’s THC has been cited as a treatment for:
- Muscle spasticity
- Low appetite
The great part about it is that marijuana doesn’t only contain THC - it also contains CBD. So you don’t have to pick and choose its medicinal benefits, because you also get the benefits of CBD, which treats:
- Epileptic seizures
- Chronic pain and inflammation
- Mental disorders
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Another benefit of marijuana as a medicinal treatment is in the entourage effect. The entourage effect refers to using all the compounds found in the cannabis plant combined (not just THC and CBD) to get the maximum effect. Because marijuana is not just a CBD extract or THC extract, it contains a combination of all the cannabinoids needed for the full entourage effect.
How long does marijuana stay in your system?
The amount of time marijuana remains in your system depends on several factors. It’s really a matter of how much you smoke, how long you smoke, and how often you smoke. The higher the quantity, time, and frequency, the longer it stays in your bodily fluids.
There are even more factors - age, gender, and body mass index (BMI). These really have to do with how your body breaks the marijuana down - the longer it takes, the longer it lasts in the system. Also, the potency of the marijuana strain is a factor.
Typically, marijuana can be detected in your bodily fluids between 1 and 30 days after the last time it was used. However, hair follicles can give off marijuana use several months after the last time it was consumed.
Benefits of using marijuana
The benefits of marijuana use are mostly medical in nature. For recreational users, the drug really has no purpose other than euphoria - highness - or perhaps refreshment. It’s much of the same when compared to other recreational drugs like alcohol.
But the medicinal nature of marijuana packs a ton of benefits. Studies have shown how effective cannabis is for treating a number of health conditions, some of which we pointed out earlier in this article. Cannabis has even been cited as a treatment for side effects caused by cancer treatments, and some believe it can serve as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
Marijuana is the most widely used drug in the world. Even before it became legal in several parts of the world for medical use (and recreational use in some parts), cannabis was popularly and openly used.
Recent developments that have pushed an increasing acceptance of marijuana use have been due to its medicinal benefits. Marijuana as a medicine is a real thing, backed by several scientific studies and research to prove its efficacy. As more studies emerge, we can become more enlightened about the pros and cons of cannabis use, and discover more about marijuana for general medical use.