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Demystifying Cannabis and Medical Marijuana in DC

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So, you know that medical marijuana is becoming more widely accepted in the United States. But–you find yourself confused.

There are all sorts of questions to be answered about marijuana, cannabis, hemp, weed and more, but you can hardly get past whether or not it’s going to be legalized.

Here’s a primer to get you started on cannabis and medical marijuana–on what each of these terms means, how it works, and how, if you have a medical condition, you can acquire it.

Different Terms

You may have heard of cannabis, weed, hemp, and marijuana as interchangeable terms referring to the same thing. But that’s not the case.

Cannabis refers to the plant writ large. Weed is a colloquial term to refer to the plant. Marijuana and hemp, meanwhile, are actually different parts of the plant. Hemp is the stalks, the roots, and the sterilized seeds. Meanwhile, marijuana refers to the leaves, the flowers, and the viable seeds.

Hence while you’ll often hear of different hemp products–hemp textiles, for example, and why you typically won’t hear of smoking hemp. Hemp oil, meanwhile, is an oil of great nutritional value–containing necessary fatty and amino acids.

Marijuana, meanwhile, is the part of the plant that contain cannabinoids–the active ingredients that tend to lead to the dramatic effects on the body. This isn’t just THC, which tends to lead to the psychoactive and recreational effects, but CBD, which is compound that tends to reap the most medical benefits.

CBD, surprisingly, actually helps block the high caused by THC.

More on Cannabinoids

Cannibinoids are much of the reason why medical marijuana is gaining widespread acceptance. The benefits of CBD create a long list. They’re anti-oxidant. They’re anti-inflammatory. They’re anti-convulsant. The list goes on and on, until it seems that almost any anti feature (that’s healthy) is covered by CBD.

Surprisingly, CBD isn’t actually contained within cannabis per se. It arises from a chemical reaction with many of the major acids intrinsic to cannabis. With a little heat, THC and CBD naturally arise.

Dealing With Pain

One of the major uses for medical marijuana is chronic pain management. Chronic pain conditions can be debilitating–and in the cases of being part of a more severe condition, such as cancer, they can be even worse.

Many times, medical marijuana can help where opioids can’t. In a case where a patient already suffers from a condition that’s deleterious and difficult on the body, reducing inflammation, reducing pain, and promoting general health and mental health can do wonders in helping a patient manage their condition and come out of it better in the long run.

Is Medical Marijuana Legal?

This is a somewhat complicated question. Depending on the state you live in, the basic answer is “yes.” In many states, you can legally get a prescription, and obtain the drug to use for managing your condition without fear of legal recourse.

That said, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I substance, and is therefore technically illegal federally. In practice, however, it is legal in the states where it’s been legalized.

Obtaining marijuana can be very simple, although depending on the state acceptance to a medical marijuana program can be more or less difficult.

Within DC, the main battle is to find a doctor who is authorized to prescribe medical marijuana who will recommend you. From there, it’s a simple matter of obtaining a medical marijuana card.

Overall, medical marijuana is gaining more and more acceptance by the day, and becoming easier to obtain for people who really need it.

Want to know more about medical marijuana and if it’s the right treatment for you? Call Capital Medical Associates today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bruce Rashbaum, one of the few medical doctors in Washington DC who is authorized to prescribe medical marijuana.

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