As rules and laws become more relaxed in the United States regarding medical marijuana, providers including PTs and PTAs need to be aware of negative and positive effects (Loria, 2018). There are many diagnoses that medical marijuana is used for including: restless leg syndrome, multiple sclerosis, cancer, anxiety, glaucoma, central nervous system disorders, controlling nausea and vomiting, increasing appetite, crohns disease, inflammatory bowel disease, epilepsy etc.
Many patients receiving physical therapy take opiates, muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories that could benefit from medical marijuana. A rise in physical therapists across the US are supporting medical marijuana because in many cases it’s safer and more beneficial than opiates (Loria, 2018). During physical therapy sessions medical marijuana can provide and greater relaxing effect on muscles allowing stretching to be comfortable and longer lasting.
Most Americans are aware of the opiate crisis in the United States and understand the side effects and addiction they cause, medical marijuana can be used to avoid serious side effects and even death from over dose. However, it’s important that no provider including PT’s and PTA’s recommend drugs and / or chemicals to patients, but instead provide education about latest research (Loria, 2018).
Like anything medication or chemical there are negative effects using medical marijuana in conditions like cardiovascular diseases, respiratory and nervous system (Loria, 2018). Therefore all patients should consult their physician before taking medical marijuana, CBD oil and / or any chemical to ensure safety.
Research shows that marijuana targets the cannabinoid receptors communicating with our body about our pain (Loria, 2018). Chemicals such as THC and CBD help relieve pain by altering the neurotransmitters in the brain. Currently there is a rise in CBD in United States and is legal in Oklahoma. CBD oil contains cannabinoids found in marijuana demonstrating medicinal properties (Loria,2018). CBD oil comes in many forms including: oil drops placed under the tongue, spray for skin, lotion, pill form and vape. There is even CBD oil for pets to control pain and anxiety.
Sherri Boos, PT, DPT
Loria, K. (2018). A Growing Interest in Medical Marijuana. PT in Motion, 1-16. Retrieved from http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/2018/2/Feature/MedicalMarijuana