Both medical and recreational marijuana have been legalized across several states. Medical marijuana is legal in 32 states while recreational use of marijuana is legal in 10 states. The federal government is also coming to terms with the growing po

For organizations, this means debating whether they should include recreational marijuana as part of their employee health benefits. Despite being legal, medical marijuana is not usually covered under employee benefits. But as mainstream media and people at larger come to accept medical marijuana, it will be more likely doctors to prescribe it for pain and other illnesses.

In an ecosystem where it is common for opiate addiction to escalate, physicians worldwide will have to open up to the possibility of entertaining alternative prescriptions. Medical marijuana has shown a lot of potential when it comes to treating debilitating diseases without having as many dangerous side effects as traditional prescriptions do.

Some of the diseases that marijuana can treat include epilepsy, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, HIV/AID, cancer and in some cases, even reversing the carcinogenic effects of cigarette smoking.

How Marijuana Works with the Body

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 113 cannabinoids that have been identified as in the Cannabis plant. It is the non-psychoactive component of the plant, which means it does not stimulate the high commonly associated with recreational marijuana. This is because the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the compound that is responsible for the high – is removed from the plant.

It is not perfectly understood how CBD interacts with the body, but it has been shown to mimic naturally occurring endocannabinoids in the body that can deal with potential threats such as cancer. CBD does this by cutting off the supply of blood and nutrients to cancer cells and tumors, effectively putting a stop to their uncontrollable growth spurts.

CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and the worst of their side effects include drowsiness and vomiting. This is in stark contrast to opioids, the consumption of which can lead to addiction that can prove to be deadly if not controlled.  This means that there is less danger overdosing on medical marijuana when compared to other medications.

The main hurdle before insurance carriers can start covering medical marijuana prescriptions is the federal government which continues to classify marijuana as a Schedule I drug. This carries harsh criminal penalties that could result in several years of jail time.

The status of medical marijuana from is not likely to be reclassified which means that insurance carriers will be more hesitant to offer employee health insurance that covers medical marijuana. Only employers who have self-insured plans are likely to provide adequate medical marijuana coverage for their employees. This isn’t easy when you take into account the wide range of laws at state and local levels, both of which seem to be in direct conflict with each other.

Plus the outcomes of taking medical marijuana at the workplace haven’t been shown to correlate with higher productivity and motivational levels. Unless such key questions are answered, employers might be tempted to keep a distance from medical marijuana until progress is made.