Medical marijuana is now legal in almost half the states in the USA, and in the process of being legalized in several more. The classic movie ‘Reefer Madness’ would have us believe that North America is about to be overrun by hordes of drug-crazed hippies willing to kill everyone in suburbia for their stash of Oreo cookies. This perception could not be further from the truth. Marijuana holds enormous potential for helping people who suffer from disease and pain. Since it was classified as a Schedule I illegal substance because “It has a high potential for abuse”. This was done despite marijuana being non-addictive and impossible to overdose. In any case, it was made illegal and even medical testing is highly regulated to the point where it is prohibitive. Even hemp, which does not contain THC, may not be grown in the United States and imports are heavily checked.
Marijuana is used medicinally in many forms. Of course, the simplest and most common is smoking it. Another variation on this is vaping (e-smoking). This is usually preferable if the THC and its psychoactive properties are desired. This is usually the case when the patient is coping with stress, pain, loss of appetite, or insomnia. There are cases where the psychoactive effects are not desired. In the case of juvenile epilepsy this is the case, and a strain of marijuana is prescribed that is high in CBD and the THC is a very low concentration, or non-existent. In these cases, the marijuana is given in an oil infusion. There are states in which medical marijuana is legal, but only in this form.
One of the medical applications of marijuana is as a topical application for pain relief. Marijuana is also anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. Since it is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, cannabis oils and salves have proven to be very effective in alleviating arthritis. Many also use it to help with eczema and psoriasis. Clinical studies have shown it to be effective in alleviating lower back pain. It has been suggested that marijuana can help where conventional pain killers are not as effective. This is because it doesn’t block the pain, like a pain killer. Marijuana makes the pain bearable. Since many pain killers are narcotics and addictive, marijuana is a promising alternative that has fewer side-effects.
Marijuana used topically will not make you test positive for THC and it will not get you stoned. That is because the THC is absorbed into the skin and not into the blood stream. It is theorized that the CBD in the marijuana connect with the CB2 receptors in the skin. There are transdermal marijuana patches, similar to nicotine patches, which will make you test positive for THC. They work differently, are used for different purposes than topical salves and crèmes, and they will get you stoned. Strangely enough, despite the fact that you cannot get stoned from marijuana topical use, the creams and salves are illegal in states that do not allow medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana salves are expensive and difficult to make. Home preparation, though a viable alternative, requires precise temperature control so as not to ruin the oils and waxes, and also to retain the best qualities of the marijuana.
If you believe this can help you, there are many salves, crèmes, ointments, and oils available on the market. It is a growth industry and one of the more promising branches of the medical marijuana industry.