Comparison - NSAIDs vs Medical Marijuana | cannabisMD

A Comparison Between NSAIDs With Medical Marijuana

NSAIDs Medical Marijuana Comparison

NSAIDs is the term used to describe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These are drugs which aim to reduce inflammation in the body without the use of steroids. These drugs have become extremely popular in recent years as much scientific evidence has emerged surrounding the short term and long term harmful effects of steroids.

Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause a long list of side effects in both the short and long term.
Possible short term side effects include:

  • Acne
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lowered sperm count
  • Irritability and mood swings

Possible long term side effects include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Blood clots
  • Greater risk of heart attacks
  • Decreased fertility
  • Stroke

Considering that steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can increase the risk of such serious conditions, it’s no wonder that people have turned to NSAIDs and medical marijuana.

The four most popular types of NSAID include:

  1. Apirin
  2. Ibuprofen
  3. Celecoxib
  4. Naproxen

These drugs have become widely used in recent times and are now household names. However, many people are turning to medical marijuana as an even less harmful alternative to reducing inflammation.

What is Inflammation?
While inflammation is a perfectly natural response created and triggered by the body, it can cause nasty side effects. These include:

  • Localized redness
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Loss of mobility

For these reasons, many patients try to reduce the inflammatory response to whatever it is that has caused the reaction. This is particularly useful for those suffering from chronic illnesses, diseases and conditions which may cause regular inflammation.

How Do NSAIDs Work?
The way that NSAIDs work is really quite simple and effective. Our bodies have enzymes known as COX enzymes. COX-1 and COX-2 are responsible for the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are the chemicals which cause inflammation, pain and fevers. NSAIDs block these enzymes and the chemicals they produce. As a result, NSAIDs reduce pain and inflammation at the source.

In general, they deliver fast-acting inflammation and pain relief. They are readily available in every drug store and most supermarkets across the country. It’s no wonder really that they’ve become so popular.

What Exactly is Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana is becoming the most popular alternative medicine in the Western World. However, this drug isn’t new to us at all. For centuries people have used the marijuana plant for its fabled medicinal properties. It was only in the late twentieth century when the plant became associated with recreational drug abuse, criminality and social deviance.

This relatively new association earned marijuana a bad name. It soon became illegal throughout Europe and in the United States. In America today cannabis (the scientific name for marijuana) holds the legal status of a Schedule 1 Substance. This means it is up there with heroin in terms of the seriousness of its federal categorization.

However, researchers have begun to unearth some of the healing powers of marijuana in recent times. The legalization of the drug in many states for both medicinal and recreational use has led to more research. This, in turn, has resulted in what some would call a storm in a teacup. The internet is positively bursting with anecdotal evidence that medical marijuana can cure every disease and illness known to mankind. The scientific evidence, however, remains sparse.

In simple terms, medical marijuana describes marijuana or marijuana products which are used and consumed for medicinal purposes. It has become an extremely popular treatment for the management of chronic pain. There are many documented cases of parents using it to treat epilepsy in their small children. Some people are even using it to manage chronic mental illness. But one area where it really does show a lot of promise is in reducing inflammation.

How Does Medical Marijuana Work?
Medical marijuana works by interacting with the human body’s endocannabinoid system. This is a system which is closely linked to the immune system in the bodies of most animals. It is comprised of receptors which are scattered throughout the body but mainly found in the skin and brain. This system remains somewhat of a mystery as it was only discovered relatively recently.

Medical marijuana interacts with the endocannabinoid system because the plant itself contains cannabinoids. Researchers are unsure how many it contains. Some estimate there could be over one hundred cannabinoids in the plant. However, the cannabinoids which are particularly useful for health and wellness are:

  1. Cannabidiol (CBD)
  2. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

These cannabinoids have an impact on neurotransmitters and are believed to significantly reduce pain and inflammation.

4 Fun Facts About CBD and THC You Didn’t Know

There are always risks whether you’re using an over the counter or prescription NSAID, or medical marijuana to reduce inflammation. Medical marijuana remains largely untested and quality control is a serious issue with the drug. NSAIDs, on the other hand, are heavily regulated but can cause their own list of nasty side effects. They are after all a drug like any other.

Which is the better option? It’s is really up to the patient in question and their doctor to decide what’s best for them. If you’re considering using medical marijuana for the treatment of inflammation, or any other condition, please remember to research its legality in your state before purchasing.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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