Most people are familiar with cannabis — or marijuana — as a recreational drug. However, people have used this plant in herbal medicine since around 500 BC. That’s because it contains naturally occurring cannabinoids that provide numerous therapeutic benefits.
As a practicing physician with more than 25 years of experience, Dr. Richard Steslow prescribes medical cannabis at South Naperville Family Practice. Here are a few ways medical cannabis offers low-risk alternatives to other medications, especially when used for pain management.
First, it’s important not to confuse medical cannabis with recreational marijuana. The medical cannabis program in Illinois involves licensed physicians prescribing this treatment, and you use products cultivated, produced, and dispensed for medical purposes.
Two cannabis components known for their therapeutic properties include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC is what many people associate with the “high” you can get from marijuana. CBD doesn’t produce that feeling of euphoria, but it creates changes in your body and brain receptors that can relieve several symptoms, like depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.
Even though medical cannabis relies on both THC and CBD, one can be more beneficial for certain conditions than others. For example, formulas with higher levels of CBD could be more effective if you have seizures or chronic migraines. But THC could offer better results for muscle spasms or glaucoma.
To provide the best results, you take a specific combination of THC and CBD based on your condition and symptoms.
Dr. Steslow works closely with you throughout the entire process, starting with the initial consultation and monitoring your ongoing response to treatment.
There are different ways to take medical cannabis, ranging from pills and edibles to topical creams and formulas you inhale or smoke. This makes it easy to find an option that works for you, even if you have problems swallowing.
To qualify for a medical cannabis card, you must:
You also need to have a qualifying debilitating medical condition.
THC and CBD offer therapeutic benefits for a wide range of acute and chronic conditions, such as:
Medical cannabis has few side effects, and It’s also nearly impossible to overdose on medical cannabis. In some cases, it can even safely help with addiction, dependence, or substance abuse problems.
Ready to learn more about medical cannabis? Contact our office in Aurora, Illinois, by calling 630-296-6019.