By: Tom Goulding

As cannabis use becomes more normalized, both patients and healthcare providers have explored its medicinal uses. Much thinking has gone into how to use cannabis safely and for the better of patients. Demand for more cannabis healthcare experts is increasing given that it is becoming a crucial issue for modern and upcoming practitioners, especially for its medicinal use. With this kind of interest, let’s talk about some of the reasons this discussion is happening and what ailments cannabis can be used to treat.

Times are changing

Marijuana is now legal in nearly half of US states for recreational use, and legal in all but three states for medicinal use. This reflects a drastic change in attitude toward cannabis since the late 1990s, leading to most Americans calling for some form of legalization of the drug.

Cannabis research is ongoing, but results have thus far been encouraging, especially when taken in the context of public opinion. This may be due to a variety of socioeconomic and political factors including generational shifts from the “War on Drugs” in the '80s to today, where a visible shift of younger voters overwhelmingly want cannabis legalization in some form.

Per the American Psychological Association, recreational consumers are happy with the option of using marijuana but there are those who are looking for methods, including cannabis, to feel better, not get high.

“Given that so many people are using marijuana, it’s [our] job to help patients and consumers figure out the very best ways in which they might be able use these products safely and effectively,” said Staci Gruber, PhD, of Harvard Medical School.

Cannabis has ample medical uses

Calls for legalization for at least medicinal purposes correlate with many study findings. Let’s get into some of the specifics as to what’s treatable with cannabis.

Chronic pain can be treated by cannabis

Close to 21% of adults in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain, and cannabis is quickly becoming a popular method of treating this pain, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This has also come in light of the risk of opioid use leading to overdose, which is impossible with cannabis. It can provide the pain relief that people need with less literal mortal danger of fatal overdose.

Cannabis can treat epilepsy

The FDA has also approved cannabis in several forms to treat epilepsy. Cannabidiol, an extract of marijuana, has been observed to reduce seizure likelihood by 39%, a symptom that can be very difficult to treat.

This kind of breakthrough could change millions of lives across the globe and could become a major focus of study for medicine.

CBD can reduce inflammation

CBD oil, in particular, has been observed to treat inflammation to benefit several ailments including common ones like Crohn’s Disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), rheumatoid arthritis and more, per Healthline. Cooling the body helps it function better and above all can aid the quality of life of the user.

Treatment for mental disorders

Doctors sometimes prescribe cannabis to treat ailments like anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and even Tourette syndrome. Cannabis interacts with the brain’s limbic system and can help to treat otherwise debilitating disorders like the aforementioned.

Current treatment options for mental health conditions will vary depending on the disorder, but as research into treatment strategies revolving around cannabinoid medicine continues, more clear results come through. Some further results have included;

  • Improved symptoms for those diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • Reduced anxiety.
  • Reduced cravings for tobacco-dependent patients.

Based on the above, cannabis skills are in demand. As one of the fastest growing sectors in the U.S., the cannabis industry is creating thousands of exciting career opportunities, but there is a significant shortage of qualified professionals. UCR University Extension has the highest quality professional certificates with focused instruction from top experts in the cannabis industry.

UCR University Extension is offering programs within this exciting space. With rapid professionalization and accreditation, students can expect to receive quality education in cannabis medicine and healthcare, building toward bettering the quality of life for their patients.

UCR University Extension has been rewarding and advancing students for more than 65 years through professional development, personal enrichment and academic excellence. Every program is designed for our learners to further enhance or start their professional journeys with skills and ambition to match, to provide value and enhance one another. Whether it’s to upskill, upgrade credentials or shift careers altogether, UCR University Extension offers a variety of choices with outstanding value and flexibility.