Marijuana has been used to relieve pain, digestive and psychological disorders for more than 3,000 years.
Medical marijuana is the use of the leaves, flowers and buds of the hemp plant cannabis as treatment for diseases or symptoms. The healing properties of marijuana are due to its high cannabidiol (CBD) content (the non-psychoactive component of cannabis that may be beneficial in treating pain, epileptic seizures and possibly psychoses). Marijuana also contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a molecule that can stimulate appetite, decrease nausea, reduce pain and produce a psychoactive effect.
Cannabinoids attach like a key to a lock to your body’s naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors, which make up the endocannabinoid (EC) system. Both the therapeutic and psychoactive properties of marijuana occur when a cannabinoid activates a cannabinoid receptor. Because the EC system is found in many parts of your brain and cannabinoid receptors are all over your body—in your brain, lungs, liver, kidneys and immune system—the effects of THC and CBD are wide-ranging.
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