With the medical use of marijuana legalized in nearly every US state, an increasing number of patients are curiously exploring medical cannabis as an alternative treatment for a range of chronic conditions.

Cannabis gets it healing properties from the chemical compounds secreted by its flowers, known as cannabinoids. Here is a quick primer for you to understand cannabinoids and how they work to improve human health.

What are cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds that give the cannabis plant its tremendous healing power. There are over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis, many of which have been extensively researched for their medicinal properties.

Of these, CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the most widely used in medical cannabis products. These therapeutic compounds provide relief by binding with receptors present in the human brain and body, imitating the compounds called endocannabinoids produced naturally in our bodies.

Knowing which cannabinoids would be most effective in treating your symptoms is important, so that you can get maximum benefit from your cannabis treatment.

What is the difference between CBD and THC?

THC is the psychoactive compound, which means consuming cannabis or cannabis products with high levels of THC will give you the euphoric high associated with marijuana. In fact, THC is so far the only known plant cannabinoid that produces an intoxicating effect on the user.

On the other, CBD is less intense and is preferred by those looking for a low-potency, non-intoxicating cannabis strain for medicinal use.

Both THC and CBD are present in cannabis, although their ratio may differ between strains. People who need to use medical cannabis several times a day for relief from debilitating symptoms such as pain, inflammation or anxiety often prefer to use high-CBD strains to avoid the side effects of consuming THC, such as intoxication, anxiety and dizziness.

What is a medical marijuana card?

A medical marijuana identification card (MMID) is issued by the state as a legal permit to allow patients to buy marijuana for treating a medical condition. To be eligible for an MMID, you must have a qualifying medical condition approved by your state and a doctor’s recommendation indicating that cannabis would be the most effective treatment for your ailment.

Having a cannabis card allows MMJ patients to purchase medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries and to use home delivery services such as Gokushly marijuana delivery. Some states also allow MMID holders to grow their own cannabis at home.

Can minor patients buy medical cannabis?

Yes. Some cards allow patients under 20 to buy legal marijuana. Check your state’s laws and regulations regarding the same.

How is medical marijuana used?

Fortunately, smoking marijuana is not the only option when it comes to using this potent herb for a non-recreational purpose. Medical cannabis is available in a variety of forms, such as edibles, capsules, oils, tinctures, topicals (ointments, lotions and creams) and so forth.

You can choose a cannabis product based on your lifestyle and medical needs. Remember to check the cannabinoid content of the strain or product before buying.