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Why Marijuana Works

About Cannabis (Marijuana and Hemp)

For centuries, marijuana was known for one thing: getting people high. But as science has taken a hard look at cannabis (marijuana and hemp), they discovered so much more therapeutic potential.

It turns out that cannabis can help those with so many conditions because its components naturally bind to receptors in our Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which is found in our central nervous system and elsewhere.

ECS receptors in this complex cell-signaling system, present in all humans and animals, interact with cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis to produce positive effects on our health.

Cannabinoids. Cannabis plans have hundreds of cannabinoids offering a great diversity of possible health benefits.

The most researched cannabinoids with the most obvious benefits are delta9-THC and cannabidiol (CBD). THC can act as a euphoric to ease pain and nausea, for example, while CBD and others shown below may relieve a surprising diversity of conditions.

information about marijuana and hemp

These cannabis molecules all impact your homeostasis: the stability of your internal environment. For example, if an outside force — such as pain from an injury or a fever — throws off your body’s homeostasis, your ECS kicks in to help your body return to its ideal operation. Cannabis facilitates the process.

Terpenes. If your cannabis smells lemony or spicy, for example, it’s caused by the plant’s terpenes – the plants’ essences or aromas — which offer many health benefits. Here are five terpenes and their potential therapeutic effect:

Generally categorized as being either sativa (typically for daytime use) or indica (usually better for sleep or relaxation), the plant types don’t tell the full story.  You’ll be better able to make an informed buying decision based on a plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes.

How you consume cannabis should be guided by the desired timing of action.

As a general rule, faster-acting methods (choose vaping over smoking) have a shorter duration, while longer-acting methods (choose pills over other edibles) can be effective longer, as shown here.

Vaporized                                         Oil/Tincture                                      Pills/Other Edibles

marijuana consumption recommendations

When guided by a medical marijuana treatment plan customized for you by Dr. Alarcon, it is hoped that the benefits of cannabis products outweigh the risks, as is the case with many prescription medications.

As you probably know, drugs effect people differently. Ultimately, while regular examinations and bloodwork are advised, you will be your own judge and jury in assessing your risk/benefit ratio.

For example, while THC may be recommended for a range of symptoms, it may also leave you anxious, afraid, or panicked. It may raise your chance of clinical depression or worsen the symptoms of an existing mental disorder. In high doses, it can make you paranoid or even lose touch with reality.

The effects can differ depending on how potent your pot was, and how you take it. Marijuana  might:

  • Impact your senses and judgment
  • Distort the passage of time
  • Undermine your motor skills
  • Reduce your inhibitions
  • Effect your heart by changing your blood pressure
  • Aggravate respiratory conditions

Avoid the following when using marijuana:

  • Alcohol – marijuana might increase its effects
  • Anticoagulants and anti-platelet drugs, herbs and supplements – it mightincrease the risk of bleeding. Don’t use marijuana two weeks before planned surgery.
  • CNS depressants – can increase the sedative effect of CNS depressants, such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates
  • Protease inhibitors – could reduce the effectiveness of these antiviral drugs
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – may increase the risk of mania

When following Dr. Alarcon’s medical marijuana treatment plan, please avoid any product with THC that is not recommended, and always seek the lowest effective dose.

CBD is unlikely to cause side effects at low and moderate doses (<100mg daily). Nevertheless, the most commonly reported adverse effects include tiredness, diarrhea and changes of appetite and weight

CBD can negatively interact with blood thinners such as Warfarin, along with medications for seizure disorder

Watch for potential blood pressure increases when taken with topiramate, zonisamide, rufinamide, n-des-methylclobazam/clobazam and eslicarbazepine

Those taking valproic acid should monitor liver function.

Those on statins (excluding pravastatin) should add coenzyme Q10 to avert potential side effects.

Take care when combining CBD with erythromycin, azole antifungals, anti-depressant drugs and immunosuppressant medications, cyclosporine and tacrolimus.

Note: with Glaucoma, CBD can actually raise blood pressure

As a rule, it is always a good idea to contact our office for a customized treatment plan that may include CBD.

Beyond helping you qualify for participation in Delaware’s medical marijuana program, Dr. Alarcon can help guide you in the selection of products sold locally at State-supervised stores in the Georgetown/Lewes/Rehoboth Beach area.

Your treatment plan will constitute a roadmap toward acquiring medical marijuana offerings currently available. You will learn which products may prove most beneficial for your healthcare needs.

This knowledge will save you from acquiring expensive items that may not be right for you. What can be bought locally is often quite costly; you don’t want to waste money on marijuana products that simply will not medicate you properly.

One major consideration in product selection involves your possible wish to avoid products containing THC because of its intoxicating effects. If so, Dr. Alarcon can tailor your treatment plan so that it limits recommendations to selecting CBD products sold locally or online.

When buying CBD products from a State-controlled store, you can trust the products they sell have been properly lab tested. Buy

What’s more, if you suffer from anxiety, we can help you apply for a CBD Rich Patient Card issued by the State. This Card can also be used to acquire selected products (some of which may include an extremely low, non-intoxicating quantity of THC) for certain other qualifying conditions.

Contact Atlantic Family Physicians today for help applying for your Delaware Medical Marijuana card. If you have one or more qualifying conditions, our staff will simplify the application process for you.

If you are already in the program, Dr. Alarcon will help you find and benefit from the medical marijuana products for sale in State-controlled stores in Georgetown, Rehoboth Beach and Lewes, the state of Delaware, as well as CBD products available locally and online.