Cannabis, or marijuana, is known for its reality-altering side effects when ingested, due primarily to the release of the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Medical or medicinal cannabis refers to a specific prescription given to provide relief for a specific medical ailment by a professional, such as a general practitioner. Medical cannabis is not used recreationally, and instead should be administered carefully over a set period of time for pain relief for chronic illnesses such as epilepsy, arthritis, or multiple sclerosis.
Medical cannabis is usually prescribed as an oil or spray, including derivatives of the cannabis plant or the THC or CBD (cannabidiol) chemical. For the production of medicinal cannabis, cannabinoids are harvested mainly from the female flower head of the cannabis plant, which like any other plant has terpenes which is responsible for its unique smell. CBD is not psychoactive or reality-altering, unlike THC, and has been proven to provide immense relief to those with chronic health conditions by affecting the nervous system. Unlike cannabis, medicinal cannabis is highly regulated, meaning ingredients and process of production is documented in detail.
Although appealing to many individuals who experience any type of pain, medicinal cannabis has been proven to treat chronic pain more effectively and efficiently than short term pain, such as a broken bone. Medicinal cannabis, when prescribes and administered properly, can produce positive results including relieving direct pain, soothing nausea, and acting as an anti-inflammatory.
Medicinal cannabis is extremely difficult to obtain in Australia at this current time, due to the illegal nature of cannabis itself, and the stigma, stereotypes and negative discourse surrounding cannabis.