Making Sense of Medical Cannabis

You’ve probably heard a lot about medical cannabis in recent years. Between political debates and the growing conversation around legality, medical cannabis has taken the stage in a new way. When you’re dealing with an illness or have a loved one who is suffering, you’ll pursue any path to find relief. That’s exactly how a lot of people stumble across medical cannabis. They research all of their options, take a step back from outdated political debates, and realize that cannabis is a lot more helpful than many people realize.

When you want to know about your cannabis options, you’ll want to make sure that you use the right resources. You’ll need credible research, regular updates, and knowledgeable people on your side. That’s where United Patients Group comes in. We’re dedicated to providing the most up-to-date information on medical cannabis so we can help people find the resources that they need for their health.

Medical Cannabis

First of all, what is medical cannabis? You’ve probably heard of the cannabis plant, perhaps in terms of recreational use. The cannabis plant has been used for thousands of years in religious, recreational, and medical contexts. In recent history, pharmaceutical companies have started producing cannabis-based medications for various conditions.

Cannabis gets its effectiveness from two main compounds: THC and CBD. THC is the reason why cannabis got so much negative press in the 80s and 90s. It’s the part of the plant that causes the “high” feeling, or the sense of euphoria and wellbeing that people associate with cannabis. Then there’s CBD. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a high. Many people do feel relaxed and sleepy when using CBD. Though they’re different compounds that impact the brain in different ways, THC and CBD both have benefits for medical purposes.

Types of Medical Cannabis

Types Of Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis comes in a few forms. Prescriptions are generally in pill form, but other types of therapeutic cannabis can be vaped, eaten, or ingested in the form of a tincture. Cannabis can even be brewed into teas. You can find all of these different forms at a medical marijuana dispensary.

Benefits of Medical Cannabis

Benefits Of Medical Cannabis

What are the benefits of medical cannabis? When you divorce the idea of cannabis from the political campaigning, you realize that medical cannabis can benefit a lot of people by treating chronic illnesses. As a matter of fact, doctors in the US commonly prescribed marijuana to their patients up until 1937, when new laws brought that practice to a halt. Below you’ll find some of the conditions that can be treated with cannabis medication.

Medical Cannabis Uses

Medical Cannabis Uses

Medical cannabis has several uses. You may have heard about cannabis and cancer, but what about other diseases and disorders?

Some people take medical cannabis to treat depression and other mental health conditions. Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions in the US, and a lot of people successfully treat their depression with therapy and/or antidepressant medication. However, those medications don’t work for everybody, and those who have treatment-resistant depression are often forced to look for other options.

Why do some patients need alternative options? Depression has many causes and factors, both genetic and environmental. In many cases, depression comes from an imbalance in brain chemicals, especially serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Traditional antidepressants aim to balance these chemicals and provide relief. However, when other factors come into play, focusing on brain chemistry alone isn’t always enough. A lot of research connects depression to inflammation. When inflammation is one of the root causes of a person’s depression, that person won’t get relief without treating said inflammation. Cannabis is used to treat inflammation, thus addressing certain types of depression at the source.

People also use medical cannabis for chronic pain treatment. Cannabis has proven effective for pain management. Plus, it comes with fewer side effects and less risk of abuse than other pain medications. In an interview with Healthline, researcher Kevin Boehnke, PhD, said that “chronic pain is indeed the most common qualifying condition for which people obtained medical cannabis licenses. Given the context of the opioid epidemic…we now have a better sense of how widespread that practice and rationale may be.”

Next, doctors prescribe cannabis for epilepsy. Cannabis medications, especially those with a high concentration of CBD, have been proven effective for certain types of epilepsy. Cannabis is often used when patients can’t get their seizures under control through other medications and therapies.

These aren’t the only conditions that can be treated with cannabis. As cannabis slowly gains more acceptance and moves away from the stigma, researchers are increasingly able to study cannabis and its impact on different conditions.

Cannabis and Cancer

Cannabis And Cancer

One of the most exciting cannabis breakthroughs comes from new studies on cannabis and cancer. These studies have examined cannabis and its impact on brain cancer, skin cancer, ovarian cancer, and much more. Cannabis works on the body’s endocannabinoid system, and that system impacts several cancer types. When cannabinoids like THC and CBD enter the body, they can “reprogram” cancer cells to self-destruct without harming healthy cells in the process.

Furthermore, medical cannabis can help cancer patients keep up with their nutrition while undergoing other forms of treatment. Nutrition plays a big role in keeping people healthy, energetic, and ready to fight off disease. However, cancer treatments like chemotherapy can cause appetite loss and nausea, making it difficult for cancer patients to keep up with their nutritional needs. Cannabis, especially THC, can reduce nausea and stimulate the appetite so that chemotherapy patients can eat the healthy foods that their bodies need.

United Patients Group

How exactly does United Patients Group get involved in the cannabis conversation? United Patients Group is an advocacy, education, and support group for people researching medical cannabis care. Whether you’re looking into cannabis for cancer, research for other diseases, or other cannabis-related help, we can help you find the right information and resources.

Our History

United Patients Group began with a cancer diagnosis. When Stan was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and given two weeks to live, our founders, John and Corinne Malanca, asked Stan’s oncologist about medical cannabis. With no other treatment options for Stan, the oncologist decided that it couldn’t hurt. She didn’t know much about cannabis and cancer, but when a person has two weeks to live, almost anything is worth a shot. John and Corinne started a THC capsule regimen for Stan. The first change was that Stan started eating. Slowly but surely, Stan started feeling better. He could sit up and move from room to room in a matter of days. More than six years later, Stan is still alive, and his body has no evidence of recurrent disease. John and Corinne knew that they couldn’t keep this information to themselves, so they started United Patients Group to begin spreading the word.

What We Do

One of the most important aspects of United Patients Group is research and education. John and Corinne had started Stan’s THC treatment as a last-ditch effort. After all, what did they have to lose at that point? They’d heard of cannabis and cancer research, but only on a surface level. Again, not even Stan’s oncologist knew much about the subject. Steve and Corinne didn’t fully dive into the research until after Stan started noticing a big difference in his health. When they did do more research, they learned that cannabis works because it has specific tumor-killing properties. They had stumbled across THC by chance, but what if they hadn’t? For that matter, how many more people would benefit from this cannabis research if they only knew about it? That’s why United Patients Group focuses so much on education. With more people realizing their options, more lives may be saved, and more people may get the comfort and relief that they deserve. At United Patients Group, our resources include events, videos, and updates on the most recent cannabis studies.

United Patients Group also has a Seal of Approval program to expand patient access to quality cannabis resources. This program vets products, healthcare professionals, and organizations.

When patients see the Seal of Approval, they’ll know that they’re getting a well-researched and high-quality care option.

Finally, United Patients Group provides news and alerts on cannabis in the United States. We keep up with current laws, new research, and other changes within the world of medical cannabis. From financial information to news on specific diseases, our resources give patients and their loved ones a simple way to keep up.

The People We Help

At United Patients Group, our goal is to make sure that patients know their options and get the best care possible. Patient health is our top priority, and we promote patient health in a few ways. First, we provide options for the patients themselves. Not only do we collect relevant information for patients, we also offer consultations to help patients understand their options and know how to access all of their available resources. With our physician directory, patients can also find nearby healthcare providers who provide medical cannabis treatment options.

In addition to helping patients directly, we also help the physicians who help those patients. How different would the medical world be if more physicians had the right research and resources on medical marijuana’s benefits? We collect physician-specific information and research that healthcare providers can access from a single source. Physicians may also apply to join our medical directory of providers who embrace medical cannabis.

Finally, we help medical cannabis organizations raise awareness for their own cannabis products and research. With a combination of outreach techniques, United Patients Group builds connections between patients and their medical choices. This way, they get a full spectrum of opportunity.

Our Course Options

Another way that we provide help is by offering courses on medical cannabis. During our conferences, we partner with universities and healthcare organizations to provide continuing education on the benefits of cannabis. With webcasts and in-person conferences, we’ve offered and will continue to offer courses on the following subjects:

  • Medical Cannabis Fundamentals
  • Pharmacology
  • Oncology
  • Neurological Conditions
  • Pain Management
  • Palliative Care
  • Psychiatry
  • Safety

Other Resources

Finally, we offer other learning resources for people of all histories and knowledge levels. Some people find United Patients Group because they’re already enthusiastic about medical cannabis and want to learn more. These enthusiasts usually know a lot about cannabis and want more ways to go deeper into the research. Our resources help them get the information that they need.

Other people who find us are just getting started on their medical cannabis journey. They want beginner-friendly information, starting with the basics. We offer those resources, too. On our website, people can learn all about the different types of medical cannabis, the differences between CBD and THC, and other basic information that can help them get started.

Whether or not you’re new to medical cannabis, you can find our resources in the form of blog posts, articles, and similar content. All of these resources are designed to keep you as up-to-date as possible.

Get a Consultation

Now that you’ve gotten a good look at what medical cannabis can do, you may want to know how medical cannabis can help you or someone you love. All of this information can get overwhelming, especially when you need this information for your own health or for a loved one’s health. Sometimes, it’s hard to know where you should even start. Don’t worry. Getting started is simpler than you might think. You can start by scheduling your consultation with us. United Patients Group is here to help you find your resources and make the most of them for your health. Request your consultation now, or take a look at our physician directory to see which health providers near you provide medical cannabis services.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are plenty of questions surrounding medical cannabis. Legal issues and social stigma have both led to a lot of confusion. Plus, when you’re concerned about your own health or a loved one’s health, it’s normal to have a lot of questions. We’ve listed some of our most frequently asked questions below. If you don’t get all of the answers you need from this list, feel free to browse our website for answers. You can also contact us with your questions. We’d be happy to have a conversation and point you in the right direction.

Is medical cannabis legal?

As of early 2020, well over half of the states in the US have legalized medical marijuana, and many of these states have also legalized or decriminalized recreational marijuana use. If you live in a state that has legalized medical marijuana, then you can go ahead and talk to your doctor about your options. If your state hasn’t legalized it yet, then keep an eye out for new laws and regulations. Every day is another step closer to full legalization. As a matter of fact, we’ll probably see federal legalization before all fifty states reach that point on their own.

However, we do know that not everyone can afford to wait that long. Stan certainly couldn’t have waited that long if he had lived in a state without legalization. If your state has not legalized medical marijuana yet, you do still have options. One of those options is an extended stay in a state that has legalized medical cannabis while you get treatment.

Another option is to pursue cannabis and hemp products that contain minimal THC. Think about CBD, for example. Hemp-based CBD products are legal in all fifty states, and they’re not difficult to obtain. Just make sure that your CBD products come from a reputable source, and make sure that you look for medical-grade products. These days, you can find CBD products in ordinary grocery stores, but not every CBD product is created equal. They have different levels of purity and potency. You can start by checking out products that have our Seal of Approval. We only approve products that meet our high standards.

Why medical cannabis for cancer?

There are two big reasons why people use medical cannabis for cancer, especially when other options don’t show results. The first reason is because THC sends messages to cancer cells, sending them into apoptosis. Apoptosis is a state that causes cancer cells to destroy themselves while leaving the surrounding healthy tissue alone.

The second reason is because medical cannabis can complement traditional cancer treatment options. As our founders learned while researching options for Stan, a lot of cancer patients die not from the cancer itself but from the resulting malnutrition. Cancer certainly doesn’t help the appetite, and chemotherapy causes appetite loss and nausea as well. THC, however, stimulates the appetite and fights off nausea, which lets cancer patients get the nutrition they need during treatment.

Do I need a prescription for medical cannabis? You may not need a prescription per se, but you do need a doctor’s approval to use medical marijuana products that contain THC. As of early 2020, the FDA has approved two medical marijuana drugs for seizure disorders, and those specific drugs do require a prescription. For other medical cannabis uses, including cannabis for cancer, you’ll need a written recommendation from your doctor. Depending on the state where you live, you may also need a medical marijuana card. Look up your state’s laws on the matter before you get started. Once you have your written recommendation and/or marijuana card, you can visit a medical cannabis dispensary to find the products that you need.

My loved one can’t leave the house. Can I help them get medical cannabis? Yes. If your loved one is confined to their bed or home due to terminal illness or mobility issues, you can get something called a caregiver’s permit. This permit lets you buy medical cannabis products on your loved one’s behalf.

I don’t like smoking. Can I still benefit from medical cannabis, or will there be less of an impact? You don’t have to smoke cannabis to get the full health impact. As a matter of fact, smoking is probably the least healthy way to consume cannabis, and the combustion can make the cannabis less potent than it might be otherwise. Most medical cannabis users prefer other methods like vaporizing, eating, taking pills, or using tinctures. New options are emerging all the time, so look for the one that works best for your needs and lifestyle.