Both hemp and marijuana derive from the Cannabis Sativa plant. The most notable difference between medical marijuana and hemp is the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC found in the plant. THC is the cannabinoid known for its psychoactive properties responsible for the "stoned" feeling.

A hemp plant has less than .3% THC and does not produce a “high” feeling. Marijuana has between .5% and 30% depending on the strain.

The term medical marijuana or medical cannabis refer to a strain that is prescribed to relieve a particular condition or symptoms of an ailment.

How Medical Cannabis Works:

There are many strains of marijuana and hemp. Both versions of the cannabis plant contain various cannabinoids and other properties which used for medicinal purposes. Below are some of the ways in which cannabis helps the human body heal:

• ECS- The Endocannabinoid System was discovered in the 1980s when research was conducted to determine why cannabis treatments helped so many conditions when other methods failed. The ECS exists of small acidic molecules throughout the body. The purpose of the system is to maintain health and balance. The ECS can malfunction when auto-immune disease, poor diet, or alcohol or drug abuse are factors. A cannabis dose works with the ECS at the cellular level to bind with C1 and C2 receptors in the cell nucleus. The DNA is signaled to produce a protein which turns off the arachidonic acid which is responsible for pain and inflammation.
• CBD THC- Strains of hemp or marijuana are developed to target particular conditions and symptoms. THC, for example, has pain relief and anti-spasm properties. CBD can be added to the THC prominent strain to subdue the psychoactive properties.
• Other healing properties- Hemp products also are known for their EFAs, antioxidants, and beta-caryophyllene.

Methods:

• Ingested- Medical cannabis can be smoked, eaten, or in oil or pill form.
• Topical- Hemp cream and oil also works at the same cellular for massage and localized treatment.

The method selected determines how quickly you can expect results and how long the effects will last. Smoking marijuana is the fastest way to feel the results though edibles may have more staying power. Topicals are terrific for targeting localized pain.

Legality Issues:

In Canada hemp is legal to grow and possess for industrial and medicinal usage. Canadian can purchase hemp products online or through land-based retailers.

Canada was the first country to legalize medical marijuana nationwide. MMPR (Marijuana for Medical Purposes) legislation passed in 2014 allows the individual to determine if they want marijuana treatment. A patient is allowed up to 5g a day, or they may order a 30 day supply online.

Technically the sale of edibles and oils are illegal, causing controversy and complications for dispensaries. The future is, however, bright for legalizing marijuana outright in Canada. As scientific evidence and public demand continue to grow so does the likelihood of legalized marijuana.