Marijuana use in the United States dates back to the 1600s. Before being introduced as a recreational drug in the early 1900s, hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant, was used to produce products such as rope and cloth.
Studies into the use of the substance in the 1930s associated it with crime and violence. Despite this research being disputed by a 1944 report by the New York Academy of Medicine, marijuana has been, until relatively recently, widely stigmatized as a “gateway drug.”
My knowledge about medical marijuana has grown since my family started giving it to our dog, Andre. He’s a compulsive paw chewer, and for six years we’ve tried several solutions to tackle his habit. We took him to a dermatologist and tried switching his food. However, we realized that allergies and his diet weren’t the cause of his behavior.
Our next theory was a fungal rash. We covered his paws with antibacterial powder and put baby socks on him. The pile of chewed socks grew, and we were forced to go back to the drawing board. No medication seemed to work for him, so we figured his problem was psychological. Cannabis was our last hope to treat what we believed was anxiety. It worked, and over time, we’ve adjusted his dosage to find the optimum amount needed to calm him.
The dispensary that Mom frequents is safe and professional, and the staff answers customers’ questions readily. The store carries a variety of products, from salves to edibles to dog treats.
The cannabis plant has many components. The two most important ones related to medicinal benefits are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the psychoactive ingredient that causes a “high” feeling. You may be wondering why there is a medical need for THC if all it does is create an altered state of mind. Well, science has shown that it has many benefits, including relieving chronic pain and insomnia and reducing seizures, to name a few. Some people are satisfied with CBD, while others need both compounds to achieve symptom relief.
I don’t need medical marijuana right now. My prescription medications are effective at alleviating my symptoms of mitochondrial myopathy. However, I won’t rule out the option of using medical marijuana should my situation change in the future.
Note: Muscular Dystrophy News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Muscular Dystrophy News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to muscular dystrophy.