Legal in 44 states, medical marijuana helps people with a variety of medical conditions. New Jersey legalized medical cannabis in 2010 to treat a number of qualifying conditions, but marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes by some groups of people for over 3,000 years.
Large-scale scientific studies are limited, because although it’s legal in most states, the federal government still considers marijuana a Schedule 1 drug, the same classification as heroin and LSD.
As restrictions loosen, studies are starting to verify the benefits of marijuana in treating symptoms for many health problems.
Dr. James Lee Jr. with Orange Orthopaedics Associates is a qualifying physician who can evaluate people for registry in the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program. Here, Dr. Lee shares some of the benefits of medical marijuana.
Treats chronic pain
Chronic pain affects about 25 million adults in the United States. As an alternative to opiate use, studies have shown that marijuana is effective in relieving pain. Specifically, marijuana has been shown to help relieve pain associated with nerve injury and is thought to help with arthritis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and migraine.
In addition to reducing the reliance on opioids for pain, it can also reduce the need for NSAIDs such as ibuprofen for people who can’t take over-the-counter pain relievers because of health issues.
There two main components in marijuana that are responsible for its medical benefits: THC and CBD. CBD, or cannabidiol, is the substance thought to help reduce inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Reduces symptoms associated with cancer treatment
Studies are ongoing to assess the benefits of marijuana in treating cancer, specifically slowing tumor growth. But it’s already been shown to help reduce cancer treatment symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, pain, and anxiety.
Addresses sleep issues
Marijuana can improve sleep for a variety of reasons. It helps reduce pain and anxiety, and it acts as a muscle relaxant. It may also help restore an out-of-sync sleep cycle and reduce your REM sleep, which means a reduced dream cycle and a longer deep-sleep cycle.
There are numerous other conditions that marijuana is currently being used to treat or studied to treat. Some of these conditions include depression, anxiety, epilepsy, and HIV/AIDS.
Would you like to be evaluated for medical marijuana use? Call us at Orange Orthopaedic Associates to schedule an appointment or use our online tool. We have offices in West Orange, Bayonne, and Tenafly, New Jersey.