Updated on January 25, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Alcoholism is a serious illness that can greatly impair one’s ability to perform their daily tasks with ease. That’s why it’s crucial to develop a treatment plan that effectively helps patients manage their symptoms during their road to recovery. If you or a loved one are experiencing the effects of alcohol dependency, be sure to get in touch with a licensed health professional who can recommend the necessary medications that bring a sense of relief.
Alcoholism manifests in a variety of forms, with the symptoms and side effects of this disorder varying from patient to patient. While this addiction is characterized by an abnormal urge to drink alcohol, many other issues characterize the disease, too. Many alcoholic patients develop physical illnesses due to the body’s inability to deal with elevated levels of alcohol intake. It is also common to feel mental side effects, including irritability, depression, anxiety and mood swings.
Luckily, there are many treatment options crafted to help alcoholic patients find relief — including medical marijuana. Because researchers, scientists and herbalists develop their understanding of marijuana’s therapeutic benefits, this substance has expanded dramatically into the medical world.
Patients previously unable to treat their symptoms can now manage their unwanted side effects by turning to alternative medicine options. Once you decide to enlist in a medical marijuana treatment plan, the next option is to determine which form of cannabis intake is best suited for you.
Because every case of alcohol dependency is different, certain individuals may experience more severe symptoms than others. In addition to seeking the advice and expertise of a professional trained in assisting those with alcohol addiction, many patients may find it therapeutic to develop a treatment plan that includes certain prescriptions, too.
However, it’s crucial to find a medication with relatively little to no adverse side effects — that’s why many patients seek medical marijuana. Cannabis not only assists alcoholic patients in finding relief from the physical symptoms of alcoholism, but the psychological side effects, too.
So how does medical cannabis work? The cannabinoids within the plant interact with a very crucial component of the human body — the endocannabinoid system.
This system is critical for maintaining the body’s daily functioning while ensuring the individual retains a healthy response to internal and external factors. In patients with alcoholism, the endocannabinoid system may experience some irregularities. Luckily, the cannabinoids in cannabis stimulate receptors in the endocannabinoid system to perform their necessary functions.
Some of the positive side effects of medical marijuana on alcoholics include:
When dealing with alcoholism, patients typically find themselves ingesting higher-than-average levels of alcohol. This tendency toward excessive drinking not only causes a variety of physical health side effects, but psychological ones, as well. Medical marijuana offers a way to decrease dependency on this substance while managing the adverse effects of withdrawal.
When choosing medical marijuana, many alcoholic patients opt for vaporizing as their method of intake. Unlike smoking, which can cause throat discomfort and irritation, vaporizing offers a healthier, more comfortable form of ingestion.
Vaporizers heat the cannabis to temperatures that emit cannabinoids in a fine mist form. Rather than combusting the product, vaporizers capture more active ingredients while providing a fast form of relief to the patient. Vaporizers are easy to store and take with you on the go, too.
One of the potentially negative implications of vaporizing your medical cannabis products is the price associated with buying the vaporizer. However, vaporizers are easy to use and can be cost-effective to maintain after this initial purchase.
Although many patients often decide to smoke or vaporize their medical cannabis, edible marijuana is another option that may be best suited for your treatment plan.
For those desiring the benefits of medical marijuana without the psychological impacts, edibles offer a way to avoid psychoactive effects. When the leaves of cannabis are left raw, THCA — the cannabinoid found in marijuana — remains in its original form. It only transforms into THC — the component responsible for a “high” feeling, when heated or aged.
Also, edibles offer a tastier way to ingest medical marijuana. These options can include drinks, baked goods, candy, and more. Edibles are available in a myriad of forms crafted to suit each individual’s unique taste buds.
Lastly, edibles are slower releasing. Although they do not provide a quick effect in the same manner as smoking or vaporizing, the side effects stay in the body for longer periods of time.
If you are considering incorporating medical marijuana into your treatment plan, remember to always do so under the guidance of a trained physician or doctor who can better assist you with the process. For patients with alcoholism, a medical professional can monitor your symptoms while helping you find the ideal cannabis dosage for your symptoms.
If you would like to receive a cannabis prescription, be sure to schedule an appointment with a marijuana doctor in your city who will help you become qualified first.
For more information about how cannabis can be used to treat alcoholism, check out our resources: