When Can Medicinal Cannabis Help?

Stephen Andrews
24 Aug 2023

Millions of Americans use cannabis for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. Some of the most common health reasons why patients try medical cannabis products include chronic stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and body pain relief. Others use it to alleviate symptoms of diseases such as cancer, epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn's, etc. In this article, read more about which medical conditions cannabis can be most helpful, and also what are some of the side effects of its use.

Cannabis plants contain hundreds of different compounds known as cannabinoids. Each cannabinoid has a different effect in the human body. The two most famous cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis plant are Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the constituent that gives users the high, and Cannabidiol (CBD), the one that does not generate such effect. In addition, there are hundreds of other minor compounds like CBN (Cannabinol) and CBG (Cannabigerol). Cannabinoids, either alone in isolated form or in combination with other compounds, can be consumed for certain therapeutic benefit. 

The Common Uses of Medicinal Cannabis

Stress, Anxiety and Depression

One of the biggest qualities of cannabis is that it can soothe the mind and body, thus offer relief to those struggling with chronic stress or mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and mood disorders. It can also help people who suffer conditions such as PTSD. Cannabis can improve the mood, lift up the spirit, and help the person better cope with negative emotions or trauma. It also releases muscle tension and promotes relaxation and peace of mind.


Cannabis usually generates various effects in succession, and in many cases, the final effect it gives is sleepiness. Therefore, it can work as a great agent to calm the mind and enable those with troubled sleep a decent night of rest. The most helpful strains for insomnia are those with sedative properties. 

Pain Relief

Cannabis can also work as a great analgesic, therefore it can promote pain relief for different types of body pains, such as chronic pains in the back, the neck or knee, or after surgery. It can also help with neuropathic pain caused by nerve damage, and with muscle stiffness and pain in MS patients. Doctors traditionally prescribe opioids for pain treatment, but medicinal cannabis appears to be a much safer option; it can help against the pain without causing dangerous addiction. 

Nausea and Vomiting

Cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy treatment often experience side effects such as nausea and vomiting. Cannabis medicines based on THC such as dronabinol and nabilone, are often used to address these unwanted reactions. They reduce the side effects from the cancer therapy and work incredibly well among patients who do not respond to conventional treatment. 

Lack of Appetite

Recreational users might be well familiar with munchies, the hunger sensation that overwhelms the body shortly after smoking. This effect from weed is benevolent also for everyone who struggles to eat because of health reasons. Cannabis can work as a superior appetite stimulant among patients with HIV/AIDS or certain types of cancer. It can help people nourish better and strengthen the body. 


Cannabis is a known anti-convulsant. In the form of Epidiolex, it's one of the most potent medicines to treat epileptic seizures, in particular severe types of the disease such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; it offers much-needed relief to children who suffer severe seizures and comfort to families and caregivers. 

when can medicinal cannabis help


Another therapeutic use of cannabis is that it can help counteract conditions where the underlying issue is inflammation. This again owes to the analgesic, anti-pain qualities of cannabis. Therefore, plant-derived products can help those with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), to name three.

Other Health Conditions

Cannabis shows great promise in offering some form of relief to people suffering a range of other serious medical conditions, such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Tourette's syndrome, and ALS, among others. There's now more medical research than ever, assessing the full effects of cannabinoids and trying to figure the most helpful cannabis-based therapies for patients. 

What Else Makes Cannabis Convenient?

There are now much more options how to consume cannabis than ever before. If you don't like smoking, or if you suffer conditions like asthma where you are not supposed to smoke, Cannabis is available in different forms. It can be found as oil, tincture, pills, capsules, tablets, powders, edibles, etc. It can be consumed as any other prescription pill and in a way that's most comfortable for the user

Medicinal cannabis will not necessarily get you high. Though, it would really depend your medical condition and the available cannabis medicines that can help for that. Cannabis in its isolated forms, such as CBD oil, can facilitate healing and recovery without causing any mind-altering effect. 

Last but not least, cannabis is natural therapeutic supplement; it's found in nature just like other herbs. Medicinally, it has been used for centuries, in various cultures, starting from ancient China, India and Egypt. Modern research is simply digging into greater detail how it works in the body, what are the best therapies, and when we should avoid it. A bit of the plant can help the ill recover faster from any disease, as an old Thai saying goes. 

common reasons why people use medical cannabis

What Are the Side Effects from Cannabis Use?

As with every other medicine, prolonged use of cannabis has its share of drawbacks. Below are some of the unwanted side effects associated with marijuana. 

Effect on Memory

Continued use of marijuana can affect short-term memory in adult users. However, the memory function recovers quickly after pausing consumption. Young people are at greater threat if exposed to it. Long-term cannabis use as a teenager does alter the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in long-term memory formation and memory retrieval. That is one of the reasons why cannabis is not recommended for this age cohort. 

Cognitive and Motor Impairment 

THC intoxication can further affect cognitive and motor skills. Problems can appear with basic body coordination to more complex tasks, such as the ability to plan, organize, make decisions, solve problems, remember, and control emotions and behaviors. Again, these side effects are impermanent and clear off after consumption is paused or stopped. 

Lung Damage from Smoking

Whether it's tobacco or marijuana, inhaling smoke can hurt the soft tissue of the lung, causing cough and phlegm build-up in the respiratory tract. Smoking is explicitly cautioned against for those with weak respiratory health. There is an array of other medicinal products such as infused gummies, tablets, powders, that can work efficiently as an alternative to smoking or inhaling cannabis. 

Increased Anxiety and Paranoia 

Cannabis is a known medicament against anxiety, however, in some cases, and in particular products high on THC, might have the opposite effect. The increase in cannabinoids can hyper-stimulate the amygdala, the part of the brain that's responsible for our reaction to fear, which in turn leads to feelings of fear, anxiety and paranoia. CBD products would usually not generate this effect. 

Caution When Used Alongside Other Meds

Both THC and CBD can cause harm when they are consumed alongside certain other therapies. Cannabis should be avoided if the patient takes any of the following types of drugs: psychiatric medications, seizure medications, blood thinners, bronchodilators, sedatives, and even over-the-counter pain medicines. The problem appears because cannabis affects how the body metabolizes the drugs; either it increases the level of the other medicine to a troublesome level, or it reduces it so much that's ineffective. This is why it's important to always consult a health professional, a doctor or a pharmacist, about your cannabis use. 

Also read on Soft Secrets:

- What Types of Medicinal Cannabis Are There?

- Where Can You Buy Medicinal Cannabis?

- Can You Use Cannabis in Combination with other Medications?

Stephen Andrews