Marijuana is becoming more accepted as medication to treat some diseases or conditions. Cannabis-based treatments are now helping to address afflictions like stress, PTSD, and phobias. Moreover, marijuana treatments could replace NSAIDs like Ibuprofen, and they are being used to deal with some pet’s medical issues.
Medical marijuana has been prescribed across the U.S. since 1996 when California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis. After California, legalization has expanded across the U.S, and medical marijuana is now legal in over thirty states, with the recent addition of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas.
This measure has improved the health of many citizens, and legalization has resulted in significant drops in violent crime, between 8 and 11 percent decrease in traffic fatalities, and a decline in rates of opioid abuse in places that have legalized medical marijuana.
Medical cannabis might be better than Ibuprofen
Recent studies have shown that over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like NSAIDs are consumed by more than 17 million Americans on a daily basis, but the side effects of these drugs are rising. Some common NSAIDs are Ibuprofen, aspirins, Diclofenac and Ketoprofen.
A study found that NSAIDs have an adverse reaction risk of 26%, and complications associated with the painkillers could lead to ulcers, liver or kidney problems, high blood pressure, heart attacks and even death, according to the blog Marijuana.
Over 16,500 NSAIDs-related deaths occur yearly in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis and 100,000 NSAIDs users are hospitalized every year for gastrointestinal complications. Another study that collected data from 17 previous studies found that every year 11 percent preventable hospital admissions are related to NSAIDs use.
In the light of these results, some physicians have started prescribing medical marijuana to their patients. Multiple studies have found that cannabis has anti-inflammatory qualities and benefits, like blocking pro-inflammatory compounds that the body creates after an illness or injury.
Smoking is not the only way to consume medical marijuana. Other successful treatment methods include edibles, vaporizers, and topical balms.
Treating your pet with medical marijuana
Medical marijuana is also being used to address diseases that affect pets. Cannabis has been proven to relieve humans with afflictions like arthritis, epilepsy, and cancer. For this reason, some pet owners have found that in smaller doses the plant can do the same for dogs, cats, and other pets.
In most states, veterinarians are not empowered to discuss prescribing cannabis to a pet, so few studies have been conducted to prove if it works. However, many stories have been shared to support the plant’s medicinal benefits in animals.
Some pet owners have given medical marijuana to their pets when they have been diagnosed with a terminal disease. Often, the drugs prescribed by veterinarians to ease the final stages of a terminal disease can cause severe side effects for the animal. In this cases, some owners have decided to administer cannabis to their pets, reporting an increase in the pet’s appetite and stamina, without any severe side effects.
A number of dispensaries in California have even started selling tinctures with THC, developed by Dr. Douglas Krame, a veterinarian that specializes in cannabis treatments for pets. Other California-based developers, Brian Walker and Ed Breslin have created hemp-derived tinctures for horses.
The key to stress relief
Scientists have identified a chemical from the marijuana plant, called cannabidiol, which could be the key to treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), stress and phobias. The study was led by Dr. Carl Stevenson, and it was published in the British Journal of Pharmacology.
“Cannabis is best known for the ‘high’ caused by the chemical Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But it contains many other chemicals with potential medicinal properties, including cannabidiol,” explained Dr. Carl Stevenson, of the University of Nottingham. “This chemical isn’t linked to the cannabis ‘high’ and it is safe for people to use so it might be helpful for alleviating certain symptoms of these disorders without having the unwanted side effects of cannabis,” said Stevenson, according to iNews.
Stevenson believes that more research is needed to determine in cannabidiol would be prescribed for the diseases, as they are trying to find out if it would have side effects on emotional memory processes.
Cannabidiol side effects could include drowsiness, weight gain, and sexual dysfunction, but Stevenson noted that the chemical use for epilepsy suggest that the chemical would not inflict serious side effects.