Medical Marijuana

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Basics

Medical marijuana refers to the use of cannabis or cannabinoids as medical therapy to treat disease or alleviate symptoms.

Description

  • Marijuana contains >100 phytocannabinoids.
  • The most active ingredients include Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Most of the psychoactive properties come from THC.
  • Routes of administration include inhaled, intranasal, oral (extract, mixed into food, or made into tea), sublingual, and topical.
  • Cannabinoids can be taken in herbal form, extracted naturally from the plant, gained by isomerization of CBD, or manufactured synthetically.

Epidemiology

  • Cannabis is the most widely used illicit substance worldwide.
  • An estimated 192 million people ages 15 to 64 years used cannabis in 2016.
  • In the United States in 2016, 8.9% of individuals 12 years old had smoked cannabis in the previous month and 13.9% in the past year and 46% of 12- to 17-year-olds have used marijuana in 2016.
  • Use among high school seniors now exceeds tobacco use and is commonly seen in lower socioeconomic groups.
  • More than half of the states in the United States have legalized marijuana, although it remains illegal under federal law (schedule 1 substance).

Prevalence
Prevalence rates are higher in western USA.

Risk Factors

Cannabis use is more common in young unmarried males with poor socioeconomic status. Smokers and alcoholics have increased use of cannabis.

General Prevention

Education about the adverse effects of cannabinoids and overall education beyond high school can decrease use.

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Basics

Medical marijuana refers to the use of cannabis or cannabinoids as medical therapy to treat disease or alleviate symptoms.

Description

  • Marijuana contains >100 phytocannabinoids.
  • The most active ingredients include Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Most of the psychoactive properties come from THC.
  • Routes of administration include inhaled, intranasal, oral (extract, mixed into food, or made into tea), sublingual, and topical.
  • Cannabinoids can be taken in herbal form, extracted naturally from the plant, gained by isomerization of CBD, or manufactured synthetically.

Epidemiology

  • Cannabis is the most widely used illicit substance worldwide.
  • An estimated 192 million people ages 15 to 64 years used cannabis in 2016.
  • In the United States in 2016, 8.9% of individuals 12 years old had smoked cannabis in the previous month and 13.9% in the past year and 46% of 12- to 17-year-olds have used marijuana in 2016.
  • Use among high school seniors now exceeds tobacco use and is commonly seen in lower socioeconomic groups.
  • More than half of the states in the United States have legalized marijuana, although it remains illegal under federal law (schedule 1 substance).

Prevalence
Prevalence rates are higher in western USA.

Risk Factors

Cannabis use is more common in young unmarried males with poor socioeconomic status. Smokers and alcoholics have increased use of cannabis.

General Prevention

Education about the adverse effects of cannabinoids and overall education beyond high school can decrease use.

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