LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Lake Charles was recently approved for a medicinal marijuana pharmacy, but what exactly is in medical marijuana?
Let's break this down: According to drugabuse.gov, the term medical marijuana refers to using the whole unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse says the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has still not recognized or approved the marijuana plant as medicine. FDA researchers haven't conducted enough large-scale clinical trials that show the benefits of the actual plant. This may be why only limited pharmacies offer medical marijuana as an option.
However, the FDA released two approved medications that contain cannabinoid chemicals in a pill form. With more research, more medications could be available in the future, says NIDA.
NIDA explains that cannabinoids are chemicals related to the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, levels. Different grades of marijuana are measured by THC because it is the main mind-altering ingredient that makes people "high".
The medical industry is interested in the THC and CBD of marijuana plants. Unlike THC, CBD is a cannabinoid that doesn't make people "high," NIDA says.
Some cannabinoids are extremely powerful and have led to serious health effects when misused, says NIDA. So, in a nutshell, medical marijuana uses more CBD whereas recreational marijuana contains more THC.