The drug cannabis – or in this case, medical marijuana (MMJ) – is able to treat illnesses as much as traditional medicine does. Evidence of this points towards cultures around the world using it in various medicinal practices. Today, while regulated by the drug and medical community, individuals are able to carry out treatment on their illnesses using medical marijuana. This includes complications connected to the immune system.
As a network of specialized cells, tissues, chemicals and organs maintaining the health and homeostasis of the body as a whole, the immune system is a person’s main defense against infectious diseases. This is regulated by the endocannabinoid system, which produces natural endocannabinoids to interact with cannabinoid receptors throughout the body and keep the immune system functioning well. It is not uncommon for the immune system to get compromised by the presence of autoimmune illnesses. Healing is slowed and the quality of life an individual has immediately takes a drastic turn, ranging from loss of appetite, physical degradation, to susceptibility to being stricken with other dangerous sicknesses.
Medical marijuana can offer a hand in relieving this concern. Among the many cannabinoids that compose the drug, cannabidiol (CBD) can interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system. Normally, cannabinoids produced by the endocannabinoid system suppress unwanted immune cell activity and reduce inflammations when immune cells respond to an injury. Cannabidiol can serve to replace the missing natural cannabinoids to restore balance within the immune system – as proved by numerous studies in laboratory and animal models thus far.
Additionally, cannabinoids from MMJ are capable of protecting the neurons of the nervous system from degenerating after brain injury or a stroke by reducing the inflammatory effects of the immune system. Cannabis can modulate neurogenesis and neurodegeneration, both of which cause an impairment in the immune system when experiencing abnormalities. Findings have strongly pointed out that it can strengthen the body’s response to conditions such as cancer and HIV/AIDS – though this continues to be the subject of debate from researchers and medical experts.
Towards that end, any individual inclined to use marijuana for medicinal purposes is required to meet their physician-in-charge. He or she will have to verify if the person who is to take the drug for medication can handle the drug, as well as the side effects that may arise upon use. Depending on the severity of the person’s condition (in this case, the state of the person’s immune system), a chosen strain of MMJ and the proper dosage (how much to be taken and at what specific times) will be written down on the signed prescription. The method of drug ingestion – whether it be by smoke or vapor, oral drops, edibles, cream or patches – would also be specified.
Medical marijuana isn’t something to be taken lightly. An open mind ensures the person’s health while taking MMJ is top priority. Proper guidance from a professional – as well as from loved ones – joins personal discernment and self-appointed regulation towards the use of the drug itself.