Updated: 2020, Dec 19

Why Medical Cannabis is Growing in Popularity

Here are some reasons why medical cannabis is growing in popularity.
Why Medical Cannabis is Growing in Popularity
Medical Cannabis. Image/Unsplash

There are many reasons why medical cannabis is growing in popularity. To start, cannabis is used for medical reasons. It has the potential to assist with conditions like insomnia, depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.

In 2020, the medical cannabis industry continues to expand worldwide, with major contributions to the market coming from consecutive legislative victories in Europe and North America. Specifically, decriminalization and legalization of medical cannabis in some countries have led to a decline in black-market activity, as more and more people are shifting to legally buying marijuana for medical and recreational use.

According to New Frontier Data, despite the popular transformation of social attitudes toward cannabis over the past 20 years, as two-thirds of the country now support full national legalization, and 7 in 10 US citizens viewing cannabis use as morally acceptable, supporters indicate that the transformation from prohibition to legalization still has a few major obstacles to overcome.

So far, the popularity of medical cannabis is like a rebellious trend that transcends psychological and social boundaries. Not only is it a safer alternative to opioids, but it can also be used for a wide range of medical purposes. Here are the most important ways this ancient yet modern medicine is gaining favor with patients and healthcare professionals.

Medical Cannabis Is Gaining Momentum Through Telehealth

Until recently, the term “telehealth” was known in the medical community, but not the cannabis community.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic sent the country into lockdown, medical cannabis users can now join Veriheal’s waitlist to meet with a medical marijuana doctor in South Dakota by video for authorization, rather than in-person meetings.

More than two dozen states have briefly allowed prescribing medical marijuana via telemedicine – most for the first time- promoting patient volume for cannabis providers hurt by the lockdown, providing treatment to hundreds of patients, and leading to calls for making the models permanent.

While some are concerned about patient safety and the long-term consequences of opening up medical cannabis to telehealth in a precipitous, widespread fashion, others have embraced the new normalcy.

Will medical cannabis telehealth stick? Advocates are optimistic that some states will make the telehealth provisions permanent after the pandemic ends. The reason? Patients simply love telemedicine. Even before the pandemic, medical professionals and patients were advocating for it.

Cannabis is a Safer Alternative To Opioids

Smoking medical marijuana is safer than taking opioids, which were strongly promoted by big pharma in the past few decades. While overdose or opioid abuse has killed hundreds of thousands of US citizens, medical cannabis has minimal to zero side effects, depending on the strain and individual.

Studies have shown that states that have medical cannabis clinics have the lowest instances of opioid addiction and related deaths. These states had 25 percent lower cases of drug overdose deaths. Yet, the situation is different in other states or countries that are yet to legalize the medicinal herb.

The legalization of medical cannabis permits medical professionals to prescribe medical cannabis as a safer option against chronic pain, which brings down the unrestrained prescription of pharmacological opioids.

Alternative ways to consume marijuana include eating, vaping, and drinking it. Some people prefer baking it in sweets like brownies, which can deliver remarkable euphoric effects and pain relief for several hours. Anecdotal support across the states that have endorsed cannabis has shown the plant to be a helpful and reasonably safe medicine.

Helps Reduce Chronic Pain and Anxiety

A major reason why most patients gravitate toward medical cannabis for treatment is to effectively reduce anxiety and chronic pain. Those battling cancer particularly benefit from the plant because it alleviates some of the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy.

Today it’s easy for people to get stressed out over not having enough time or income to do what they want. In some cases, marijuana is the most economical and reliable choice for pain relief that beats conventional medicine’s rampant costs. While Sativa strains create a more positive feel, Indica strains help us sleep, making it a potential aid solution for insomnia. Both cannabis strains work for reducing anxiety and stress due to their pleasant effects.

Some patients have found marijuana to resolve the negative feelings caused by nightmares. It’s also a useful tool for meditation, which sometimes is all it takes to snap out of a string of disturbing episodes and refocus attention on positive energy.

States Continue to Move Toward Decriminalization

Medical cannabis has now been decriminalized and legalized in over 30 states and the nation’s capital. Utah is now the 33rd state to legalize its use for medical purposes in March 2020. The more legal the plant becomes, the more recognition and popularity it gains. The reason states are consistently pushing toward legalization is partly due to public opinion polls proving there is almost 60 percent of Americans encouraging legalization.

Throughout the last century, cannabis was furiously demonized by various influential elements and groups of society, from legislators to educators. Much of this demonization was encouraged through pure propaganda that couldn’t be supported with scientific proof.

In the last couple of years, some of the medical community has steadily joined the wave of advocates who want to make cannabis a commercial choice in the free market.

Cannabis Has Potential for Various Health Conditions

Another reason medical cannabis is growing in popularity is that it’s effective at assisting with a wide range of ailments. Some of the many health conditions in which it’s been shown to provide positive effects include:

Researchers are currently conducting deeper studies to find out the degree to which cannabinoids in cannabis plants can kill cancer cells. So far, the limited research in this area supports that the plant may play a role in battling tumours.

Medical cannabis is gaining momentum for the above reasons. It’s an ancient solution to modern times that works in situations where most traditional pharma drugs fail.

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Dr. Keith Kantor

Dr. Kantor has been an advocate of natural food and healthy living for 30 years. He is also on the Board of Directors for NAMI.org in G

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