Understanding marijuana: recreational vs medicinal

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- For the past two decades, legalizing marijuana has been a hot-button issue. It’s been debated in almost every state. Hello Wisconsin wanted to know more about the marijuana plant. Below is their Q&A with Dr. Alicia Arnold. To learn more, watch the video above.

What are the differences between medical marijauna vs. the recreational version?

Dr. Alicia Arnold, “Cannabis is a complex plant containing many different compounds. Some kinds of medical marijuana may have a lesser component of the chemical THC that gives you psychotropic effects or a “high” and larger component of CBD which is thought to have medicinal benefits. Of note, the FDA doesn’t regulate marijuana or any drug products containing the marijuana plant. There are approved medicines which contain synthetic chemicals that have similar effects.”

So many states have different regulations on controlling use. How does cannabidiol (CBD) work on the body?

Dr. Alicia Arnold, “CBD does not appear to be psychotropic, so it doesn’t change the person’s state of mind or give them a “high”. It is suggested that it may have therapeutic effects such as reducing pain or inflammation or preventing seizures.”

How does THC affect the body?

Dr. Alicia Arnold, “THC contributes to the psychotropic effects or “high” that people get from marijuana. It works differently on brain receptors than CBD and produces “feel-good” chemicals.”

Why do people ask for medical marijuana?

Dr. Alicia Arnold, “There are a number of conditions for which patients may interested in using medical marijuana. These include certain seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy-induced nausea, chronic pain, glaucoma, and some symptoms of AIDS. “

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