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When it comes to health related matters in Canada, there are very few topics that are more controversial than medical marijuana. While medical cannabis is a miracle treatment capable of easing pain, nausea, seizures and several other health issues to some people, to others it is an unproven, risky, and illegal substance that might cause long-term health problems. Conducting studies related to medical marijuana in Canada is almost impossible due to lack of funding, a stigma against cannabis, and tight government restrictions. As a result, the debate of medical cannabis remained rhetorical for a long time. Fortunately, the Canadian government recently approved a number of clinical trials, some of which are currently underway. Although more and more experts now believe we will know more about the benefits and risks of medical marijuana, below are some of the basics.

How the system works
Despite numerous anecdotal stories of success, the safety of marijuana is yet to be assessed by Health Canada in a thorough manner. As a result, the drug has not been approved as a form of medical treatment. However, the federal government has to provide reasonable access to medical cannabis from listed and licensed producers thanks to a court ruling. As it stands, physicians are currently the gatekeepers of this drug amidst a lack of clear evidence about its performance. Unfortunately, the confusing situation puts both patients and doctors in an awkward position.
How marijuana works as a medicine
Cannabinoids, which are compounds found in marijuana, are responsible for the healing power of this drug. Apart from being the best-known cannabinoids, cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol are also the most studied. Cannabinoids occur in the body naturally, transmitting essential messages that help in the regulation and control of appetites, pain, pleasure, and response to other forms of stimuli, which is why some individuals report improvements after smoking marijuana.
Treatable conditions
While there have been few reliable trials of cannabis, evidence from the evaluation of some randomized trials suggests that this drug might be effective in treating muscle stiffness and chronic pain, particularly when the symptoms are related to multiple sclerosis. According to a study conducted in 2010, patients suffering from neuropathic pain as a result of surgery or an injury slept better and experienced less pain after taking three puffs of marijuana daily. However, researchers stated that flexible dosing strategies and higher potencies might yield different results seeing as they used small doses to minimize the drug’s psychoactive effects such as hallucinations, paranoia, and impaired memory. Needless to say, more research is obviously necessary. Other studies show that using medical marijuana boosts the appetite of HIV-AIDS and cancer patients.

How to take medical cannabis
The mode of intake, whether it is smoking, vaporizing, or oral ingestion, typically depends on the reason for its use and personal preference. However, vaporizing and smoking bear close to immediate results. Medical marijuana bypasses your stomach and liver, going straight from your lungs to your brain when vaporized or smoked, hence the almost immediate effects. It might take at least an hour before cannabis takes full effect when eaten.

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