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Real Life

Medical marijuana: What you need to know

Is cannabis really a safe medical alternative to conventional medicine?

By Laura Masia
Over the past few years, Australian laws surrounding marijuana have been changing state by state, slowly allowing the limited use of medical marijuana.
And now, the ACT recently passed laws allowing the growth and personal use of cannabis from January 31, 2020.
From January 31, 2020, it will be legal to grow and use cannabis in the ACT. (Image: Getty Images)
Because of this, many people have started to come around to the benefits of cannabis when used appropriately, and many of the taboos surrounding the drug are being dismantled.
In countries like Canada or some states in America, cannabis is a budding industry. It's been added into baked goods, confectionery and skin care.
In Australia, we're not as liberal but it seems like the times are slowly changing.
But with so much stigma surrounding the use of the "devil's lettuce" over the years, is it really a safe medical alternative to conventional medication or is it just a new-wave fad?

So what’s the difference between THC and CBD?

Within cannabis there are over 100 chemical compounds.
These are known as cannabinoids.
The two most widely known cannabinoids are THC and CBD.
The THC cannabinoid is a psychoactive compound that creates a feeling of a high or euphoria.
Other legalised products such as alcohol, tobacco and prescription medicines have psychoactive compounds.
The two most widely known cannabinoids are THC and CBD. (Image: Getty Images)
CBD does not have these properties and will not get you high. Instead, it has been a breakthrough medical discovery.
In fact, in 2018, the World Health Organisation determined that there were no public health risks for abuse potential for CBD oil, while claiming that it could be useful in treating Alzheimer's disease, cancer, psychosis, Parkinson's disease and other serious conditions.

What are some of the benefits of CBD?

CBD oil has become increasingly popular all over the world due to its medical properties.
Its most common uses are currently in the treatment of anxiety, schizophrenia, nausea, vomiting, inflammation and epilepsy.
CBD oil has become increasingly popular all over the world due to its medical properties. (Image: Getty Images)
Although CBD has already been proven to assist with these issues, scientific research is still in the beginning stages.
CBD oil is well tolerated and considered to be safe.

What about side effects?

It does not have the same effect on your body as THC or smoking marijuana does.
However, CBD oil can react to a range of medications so it's important to check with your doctor to see if it's the right choice for you.
CBD oil is well tolerated and considered to be safe. (Image: Getty Images)

Is CBD oil legal?

Yes, CBD oil is legal for use but under specific rules.
CBD oil was legalised for use by the Australian government in 2016 but it is currently only available in Australia with a prescription through a government-approved pathway.
Medical cannabis is mostly an unregistered medicine and the doctor must be authorised to prescribe it at both a federal and state level.
A doctor must be authorised to prescribe medical cannabis at both a federal and state level. (Image: Getty Images)
These pathways make this treatment very rare, and reports have shown that as many as 100,000 people are sourcing CBD oil illegally due to the complicated prescription process.
However, many people believe that this is soon to change and, like Canada and the US, we'll soon see a variety of CBD products lining our pharmacy shelves.
WATCH BELOW: Olivia Newton-John speaks out about her cancer and medical marijuana. Post continues after video...

Health news

It's no secret that living a sedentary lifestyle is bad for your health, but getting your steps in can often be harder than expected.
Especially for those with jobs that require desk work and sitting down all day.
When you break down commute time, the work day, the time spent eating dinner and sitting down in front of the telly, it leaves you with only a small window of time to get moving.
By standing up at work, you can burn an additional 50 calories per hour. (Image: Getty Images)
Studies have shown that standing up for four hours per working day has numerous benefits to your health, both physically and mentally.
By standing, you can burn an additional 50 calories per hour, which equates to 1000 extra calories per week.
Now, businesses are turning to standing desks to help their employees relieve lower back pain, improve productivity and lower the chance of cardiovascular disease.
If you'd like to find out more information about standing desks, head to au.varidesk.com.

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