What the new Medical Marijuana Laws could mean for prescribed pain relief

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Marijuana has been a controversial drug for over a century. In the early 1900s, states across America were prohibiting the use of marijuana, and in 1937, President FDR made marijuana illegal with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. Since then, the law was repealed and overturned, and replaced with the Controlled Substances Act. Today, however, states are turning back and issuing new medical marijuana laws that allow patients to use marijuana as a form of pain relief. Additionally, eleven states and the District of Columbia fully legalized marijuana, allowing the recreational use of the drug.

With new medical marijuana laws rolling out across the country, it’s important to know about how they can affect you. Here’s what you need to know about the new medical marijuana laws and prescribed pain relief.

What is Medical Marijuana?

In the modern day, marijuana has had a bit of a notorious reputation. Recently, however, marijuana as been gaining acceptance and used as a common medical treatment. Marijuana contains chemicals called cannabinoids, such as THC (the mind-altering chemical responsible for the “high”) and CBD (does not cause the “high”). However, it’s important to not mix up these chemicals up with another popular component of marijuana, which is hemp. Hemp is the fiber of the plant used for hemp clothing, paper, textiles, soap, and products.

To create medical marijuana, doctors are able to separate THC and CBD so they can either be taken together or separately. Many issues revolving around marijuana was how the only form of intake was through smoking, which can have dangerous side effects. Luckily, marijuana can now be taken in various forms besides smoking, such as in pill form or as an edible, such as brownies, candy, and other treats.

While there still isn’t enough research on the proven benefits of medical marijuana, countries across the world, including the U.S., are approving increased production of cannabis for clinical research. This shows that marijuana is becoming a more accepted drug, which will provide relief to millions of Americans across the country.

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What Symptoms Can Medical Marijuana Treat?

Most medical marijuana contains either CBD or THC, or both, although medical marijuana often contains higher quantities of CBD than THC. When it comes to the symptoms medical marijuana can treat, patients report marijuana mitigates symptoms of pain and anxiety. Aside from pain relief, medical marijuana can be used to treat or provide relief to the following conditions:

● Multiple sclerosis
● Nerve pain
● Parkinson’s disease
● Fibromyalgia
● Endometriosis
● Interstitial cystitis
● Nausea
● Weight loss
● Irritable bowel syndrome
● Crohn’s disease

Medical Marijuana Laws and Workers’ Compensation

Medical marijuana and worker’s compensation has always been a highly debated topic. On one hand, workers who use medical marijuana on the job may face impairment at work, such as loss of balance, coordination, and alertness. This can lead to an increased risk of injury on the job, especially in active roles such as construction and transportation.

On the other hand, if a company decides to test an employee for marijuana, it’s difficult to determine whether the employee consumed marijuana on the job or at home, or if it was medicinal or recreational and bought from a dispensary. This is because THC can stay in the bloodstream for up to a month.

So, businesses continue to struggle balancing the fine line of creating blanket zero-tolerance drug policies and whether to offer full, partial, or no workers’ compensation for injuries on the job when medical marijuana was used.

Why is Medical Marijuana Gaining in Popularity?

Whether you’re an injured worker or a regular citizen who happened to get hurt, doctors and hospitals traditionally prescribe some sort of opioid for pain relief. Unfortunately, around 130 people die every day in the United States due to opioid abuse. Opioids are an extremely addictive pain relief medicine that has been used for years. Popular opioids include Vicodin, Morphine, Fentanyl, Oxycodone, and Codeine. Due to the current opioid crisis in America, searches for alternative pain relief treatments have been administered.

Medical marijuana is becoming a popular pain relief medication because of its non-addictive properties and can be used to reduce opioid use. Additionally, more and more states are passing fully legal, or partially legal use of medical marijuana, where users can use marijuana in their homes and even on vacation at cannabis friendly lodging.

The Bottom Line

The laws surrounding medical marijuana use are changing. Whereas even a decade ago it was virtually illegal in almost every state, today it’s becoming more popular and accepted across the country. These new laws are now allowing marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes for ailments such as pain relief, nausea, and mental illnesses.

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