For people over the age of 18, medical marijuana is an increasingly popular option to treat a wide range of conditions.
However, to use medical marijuana, you cannot just go to your physician and ask for a prescription. The reason is that U.S. federal law still prohibits the use and possession of marijuana.
Nevertheless, 33 states have thus far approved legislation to allow the use of marijuana for medical conditions provided a doctor has recommended it. Federal law has been amended to prohibit federal prosecution of people who comply with Oklahoma medical marijuana regulations.
Oklahoma regulations require medical users to be resident in the state. The process of getting and Oklahoma medical marijuana card starts with an appointment with a doctor.
The state does not provide a definitive list of conditions that it says cannabis is an appropriate treatment for. Instead, it relies on the doctor to make a reasonable and prudent assessment.
While you may read of people who claim that marijuana helps them in all sorts of ways, there is not a lot of science to support many of these claims.
What researchers are focusing on is the similarity of the 120 plus molecules in marijuana plants with molecules that naturally exist in human bodies. These are known as cannabinoids and endocannabinoids respectively.
The endocannabinoid system in humans is all about the chemical signals sent through neurons that link the brain and the body. These affect how people feel, move, and react. Broadly, the impact of marijuana slows down this system.
What Types of Conditions are Helped?
The most common use for medical marijuana is for chronic pain control, according to the Harvard Health Blog. This covers conditions like arthritis, back pain, tendinitis, and migraines. The use of medical marijuana in Oklahoma for this group of conditions is considered safer than using opiates.
The same blog post also notes that marijuana is helpful for nerve pain and multiple sclerosis sufferers in particular, where few other options exist.
Medical marijuana can be used to manage nausea and weight loss and to treat glaucoma, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. The purpose of the list is not to be exhaustive but to demonstrate the wide number of conditions that marijuana is considered appropriate for use.
Peter Grinspoon, MD, who authored the article, advises that all claims of effectiveness should be critically evaluated and treated with caution.
Talking to a Doctor
Grinspoon notes that many patients find themselves in the situation of wanting to learn more but feeling embarrassed to raise the topic with their doctor. In the past, many in the medical community were overly dismissive.
Which brings us back to the regulations around the use of medical marijuana in Oklahoma, which require a consultation with a doctor at the outset. If you are uncertain about who to talk to, you can actually use a service such as that provided by Veriheal. This will enable you to have an online consultation with a doctor who, provided all goes well, will provide by email a recommendation for your use along with an application to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.
The Veriheal website itself lists 36 conditions where proponents believe the use of medical marijuana is effective.
If you follow the news closely, you will see that there are regular items about the health effects and harms of marijuana use. The federal law banning its use in 1970 were introduced on the basis that there were no accepted medical uses for marijuana. Nearly 50 years later society is having a rethink and plenty of research studies are underway to determine the facts.