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Understanding Medical Marijuana
When people talk about Medical Marijuana they are referring to the plant used to help alleviate some medical health issue. Individuals who have health problems are not looking to get “high” but to use alternative methods instead of medications prescribed by their doctors.
Cannabis is now sold legally as medicine in Nevada and many other states. There are new strains for medical marijuana that do not contain the chemicals that cause euphoria. These other strains provide more of the health benifits.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD (cannabidiol) were discovered in the 60’s and the THC is the psychoactive chemical in marijuana.
The CBD is now used to treat illness like seizures. This is the first time the FDA has consided making a Scheduled 1 drug accepable for medical use. CBD does not cause intoxication or euphoria. THC can increase anxiety where CBD tends to reduce it.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Epidiolex (cannabidiol) [CBD] oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, in patients two years of age and older. This is the first FDA-approved drug that contains a purified drug substance derived from marijuana. It is also the first FDA approval of a drug for the treatment of patients with Dravet syndrome.
Reasons why physicians are recommending elderly patients use medical marijuana include that it:
- Offers a safe pain relief alternative: Opioids are becoming a considerable concern among the senior population. In a single year, more than 2.5 million Americans over the age of 50 abused their painkiller prescription, a statistic that explains the rising number of hospitalizations for senior opiate abuse. Unlike opioids, medical cannabis is a non-addictive treatment option.
- Delivers few side effects: Every prescription medicine comes with several side effects. Oxycodone, for example, risks cold sweats, chest pain, bloating, convulsions and more. This lack of significant effects is an immense benefit considering the age of seniors and their increased health risks.
- Treats multiple symptoms: Many seniors are receiving a cocktail of medications from their physicians. While necessary in severe cases, a cocktail of drugs requires considerable care, as the combination of select medicines can lead to adverse effects. By adopting medical cannabis into their treatments, seniors can reduce their medications and remove some from their daily regimen, as medical weed treats a variety of symptoms.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
What you need to know about cannabis and chronic pain
- There’s a lot of uncertainty around using cannabis for chronic pain. Cannabis-based products may help treat chronic pain in some adults, but more information is needed to know if pain relief from cannabis is any better or worse than other pain management options, such as over over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen or alternative treatments like occupational therapy.
Assisted Living and the Law
You will not be seeing Medical Marijuana in our communities any time soon until our Federal laws are changed. A doctor can not write a Rx for any drug that is considered illegal. Marijuana is a Scheduled 1 drug and thus has been deamed “no safe medical use” .
Since nothing can be brought into our Assisted Living communities without a doctors order, end of story.
Unfortunately family members sometime think it is ok to bring items in to family like over the counter medications not understanding they may interact with prescription medications.