What is polypharmacy? In a nutshell, it’s overprescribing medications. Doctors today are quick to prescribe pharmaceuticals. When too many are prescribed to one person, there is a polypharmacy problem. Poly means many, and pharmacy means exactly that, pharmaceuticals. Prescribing someone too many drugs at once, to the point of there being a long list of medications is a polypharmacy problem. Thankfully, getting a marijuana card can help with that.
Sometimes doctors will prescribe one medication that causes side effects, so to treat the side effects, they prescribe another medication. That second medication has its own side effects and the situation spirals out of control. Sometimes patients don’t even know why they are taking the drugs they are on. The good news is that after you get a marijuana card, you can use cannabis to treat multiple underlying conditions and remove a lot of the medications you are on because they will become unnecessary. Of course, this will be with consultation of your doctors to make sure that you are not stopping medications on your own and potentially causing a serious consequence.
How Getting a Marijuana Card Can Stop Polypharmacy
Once you have your marijuana card, you can start using cannabis to treat your conditions. Cannabis works on the body by bringing it back to balance. This balance is scientifically called homeostasis. Getting a medical marijuana card can bring your mind and body back to homeostasis.
In order to readjust your body into balance, cannabis works on multiple organ systems. The most important of these are the immune system and the nervous system. The nervous system includes the neurons in your brain and in your body as well as the neurons that stimulate or relax the organs. For example, marijuana is known to treat nausea and affect the appetite. This is because it has an effect on the neurons that regulate the gastrointestinal tract, like your your stomach and your small and large intestines.
The immune system also has a lot of effects on the body’s other organs. One of the most important examples is the musculoskeletal system. When we have arthritis that affects the bones and joints, it is called osteoarthritis (OA) because osteo is greek for bone. Once the cartilage in our joints starts to wear away, the bones begin to hurt because inflammation occurs from rubbing of the surfaces on the inside of the joints. This inflammation is caused by immune cells noticing the irritation and damage in the joint and calling their friends (the other immune cells) over to help clean up the damage. The communication between these cells is done by releasing chemicals into the local area and the bloodstream. These chemicals open up blood vessels so that the immune cells can travel into the area more easily. That’s why inflamed joints feel warm to the touch, because the blood vessels are dilated and more blood is pooring into the area bringing more immune cells, which call more of their friends and create a vicious cycle of inflammation.
Marijuana soothes inflammation by telling the immune cells to become less active. That’s how it also stops autoimmune conditions like Crohn’s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis (MS). One of the great things about cannabis is that it doesn’t stop the immune cells from fighting infections, like drugs that are used for autoimmune conditions, and it also doesn’t affect other parts of the body in a bad way the way that drugs like ibuprofen and tylenol damage the kidneys, stomach, and liver.
The other effect you will have on you after your marijuana card certification is that you will feel high. This high is caused by the cannabis working on the neurons in your brain. Cannabis receptors that are located in the brain are called Cannabis 1 Receptors (CB1). They have a different effect on the body than other receptors because they work on neurons to stop them from being too active. For example, if you are having anxiety and your thoughts are running in circles like a hamster on a wheel, this is because your neurons are overactive, especially those that control your memory. You will be thinking about the same thing too much and it causes you to become worried or emotional about it. Once you use your marijuana card at a dispensary and purchase some cannabis, you can inhale it or eat it and activate the CB1 receptors. This will cause the neurons that are causing you worries or anxiety to stop being over-active and to return to a regular activity level. This is why cannabis works so well for anxiety and for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
Stopping Other Drugs
Polypharmacy is associated with a lower quality of life, decreased mobility, and difficulty with cognition (keeping a clear mind). This means that getting off of medications as much as possible is helpful to long-term life fulfillment. As mentioned, this has to be done with your doctor’s permission so that important medications are not stopped just because you may have a marijuana card. However, with the use of cannabis, certain conditions can improve and symptoms may disappear. You may think to yourself, “my neuropathy is not as bad anymore,” and ask your doctor if you can stop taking your gabapentin (neurontin), which may not be helping as much and probably causes significant unwanted side effects that you may not notice until you stop taking it.
Marijuana should be used in combination with increasing your physical activity. This helps it work better and more effectively. When used this way, you may see weight loss and then improvement in blood pressure and blood sugar levels. If your lifestyle changes enough after getting a marijuana card that you lose weight, increase exercise, and eat healthier, you may see enough of a reduction in your blood pressure that you no longer need blood pressure medications. Your cholesterol can go down too so you won’t need cholesterol pills. Diabetics may find that they can use less diabetic medications (or stop them altogether). All of this because of getting a marijuana card and using cannabis legally (in combination with healthy lifestyle habits).
Cannabis can also improve sleep so no more sleeping pills are needed (like melatonin or Ambien). It can improve your mood so you can stop being on antidepressants. There are countless medications that getting a marijuana can help people stop.
How to Get a Marijuana Card
Getting a marijuana card requires seeing a marijuana doctor like those here at Nature’s Way Medicine. If you are in Pennsylvania, you can schedule a video appointment with one of our cannabis doctors at this link here. We can gladly discuss with you the details of your medications and help you plan for decreasing the amount of medications you are on in a safe way. Stop polypharmacy today, get a marijuana card and start medicating naturally!