6 Basic (And Fun) Facts About Marijuana
At Peninsula Alternative Health, we strive to educate our qualifying patients and their family before their initial consultation. To understand the basics and grow your standard knowledge of medical marijuana, check out these facts:
Marijuana is also called cannabis, hemp, and other names. Marijuana is derived from the cannabis plant, also known as hemp. The plant usually grows between 8 and 12 feet tall and can be grown indoors or outdoors.
The main ingredient in a cannabis plant is THC, which stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. THC acts on specific molecules in the body, known as cannabinoid (CB) receptors that are mostly found in the brain.
The most common drug derived from the cannabis plant is marijuana, which is a mixture of the plant’s shredded and dried flowers. It’s greenish-gray in appearance.
Cannabis has a number of effects. The effects of marijuana can begin a few minutes after ingestion or inhalation and last for a few hours depending on your tolerance, symptoms, and dosage. THC is absorbed more slowly when it’s taken as a food or liquid, which means the effects don’t kick in as quickly.
The United States took awhile to legalize medical cannabis. The use of medical cannabis is legal in 29 states, including Maryland, plus U.S. territories like Guam, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.
It was first medically legalized in California in 1996, followed by Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Nevada, and Colorado in 1998 and 1999. In 2000, Hawaii became the first state to legalize it by state legislature. Since then, the following states have legalized medical cannabis under ballot measure or state legislature:
Rhode Island (2006)
New Mexico (2007)
New Jersey (2010)
New Hampshire (2013)
New York (2014)
North Dakota (2016)
West Virginia (2017)
4. Not a single person has died from a cannabis overdose. Did you know that about 23,000 people died from a prescription drug overdose in 2010?
Also, on average, “An estimated 88,000 people...die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States,” according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Factually, since cannabis has been utilized in human history, not a single marijuana overdose has been recorded, according to the Huffington Post. Unfortunately, the reason why medical marijuana is a hot-button topic in politics and society is based in stigma and stereotype.
5. Cannabis is safer than other legalized drugs. Aside from death, prescription drugs and alcohol can cause serious addiction and long-last effects on relationships, education, and other factors of life.
Even tobacco, the most widely used legalized drug in the US, has a 30 percent addiction rate. Not to mention, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 16 million Americans live with a disease caused by smoking cigarettes, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more.
However, less than 9 percent of people become dependent on marijuana, according to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent. Those people who do become “dependent” are likely to have undiagnosed medical conditions like anxiety, insomnia, depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and physical ailments.
And as we mentioned before, no one has ever died from overusing cannabis, especially in the right dosages that have been prescribed by a qualifying physician.
6. Medical marijuana dispensaries outnumber Starbucks in Colorado 3 to 1, according to Cannabis News. With about 1,100 medical cannabis dispensaries in the state alone, Colorado has more dispensaries than liquor stores.
From how medical cannabis is used and which benefits THC has on your body to where you can legally obtain this alternative treatment, the most important parts of your medical journey with marijuana is to become educated and to educate those around you.