In the recent past, the debate over medical marijuana legalization has elicited mixed reactions. Numerous studies have been carried out, with varying outcomes. Marijuana use is now legal, but only under certain conditions. Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Spain, Uruguay, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Jamaica, and Portugal are among these countries. The federal government has made it illegal to cultivate, use, or possess marijuana in the United States, but state law has made medical marijuana legal in sixteen states. The conditions for marijuana legalization in the aforementioned jurisdiction, however, are influenced by the cultural and socioeconomic environment. This paper seeks to evaluate the case for legalization of medical marijuana. The paper will focus on societal and medical issues that support the use of marijuana.
Scientific research has shown that cannabis can be used to treat Glaucoma. Glaucoma is a condition that escalates intraocular pressure consequently damaging the optic nerve and causing partial or total blindness. A study conducted in the year 1970 by the National Eye Institute indicate that marijuana helps in lowering the pressure on the eyeball. This indicates that marijuana slows progression of glaucoma in patients. Additionally marijuana can also be used by healthy individuals to maintain and sustain normal or lower intraocular pressure (Leaf science).
It is becoming common for cancer patients to use marijuana. Marijuana has been found to reduce vomiting and the nauseatic feeling for the chemotherapy patients. Apart from that it has shown great potential as a therapy for cancer. Researches have proved that cannabinoids can kill many types of cancer cells. In a 2007 research by Harvard University, it was found that a component found in marijuana called Tetrahydrocannabinol can compress human lung tumors that were implanted in rats and mice. The compression of the tumor in mass and volume was found to be by 50%, additionally the cancerous lesions in the lungs reduced by 60%. Also Cannabinoids helps reduction of the spread of cancer. From a study done in 2007 by California Pacific Medical Centre in San Francisco, found that cancer cells make copies of their genes faster than non-cancerous cells this causes cancer to spread faster in the body. Therefore treatment with cannabinoid reduces the replication of the cells and hence less aggression in the spread of the cells through the body (Welsh and Loria).
Cannabinoid also known as CBD has effects on psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. It has been found to be an effective antipsychotic. It is safe according to doctors because it doesn’t cause the same degree of risk as other antipsychotic drugs. However unlike Cannabinoids, THC may make the symptoms of psychosis worse. It is therefore not recommended for patients with the psychotic disorders (Leaf science). However if the Cannabinoids can be extracted it can be good to treat the patients. Some parents have also found cannabis being a reliable remedy for the violent mood swings in children with autism disorder. Marijuana has also been found to be a better remedy for ADD or ADHD than Ritalin or Adderall. (whitley).
It would seem like marijuana would be bad for lungs. However this is evidently proved wrong in that the compounds in marijuana actually can help those with asthma. Tetrahydrocannabinol is proved to work as a bronchodilator. Bronchodilator is a substance that opens the lung’s airways. A clinical study done in 1975, it was seen to rapidly improve the asthmatic symptoms. Marijuana reduces the spasms and over-inflation of the lungs (Leaf science). The people that smoke tobacco lose their lung function over time however the bhang smokers show an increase in lung capacity. This is probably because of the deep breaths taken when inhaling the drug other than its compounds. From this it can be concluded the marijuana is good for increasing the lung capacity (Welsh and Loria).
Marijuana also prevents and reduces seizures, particularly epileptic seizure. According to a study done in the year 2003, extracts from the plants were given to epileptic rats. The rats were rid of the seizures for almost 10 hours. The compounds found in marijuana that is cannabinoids and Tetrahydrocannabinol bind the brain cells that are in control of excitability and regulating relaxation. In addition it brings down the symptoms of a seizure called Dravet’s Syndrome. According to doctors, the cannabinoid in marijuana, interacts with the brain cells to calm down the aggressive activity in the brain that causes the seizures (Welsh and Loria). Therefore marijuana is good for seizures particularly the cannabinoid compound.
Use of cannabis has also been found to reduce weight. It controls the production of insulin and caloric intake is well regulated. These people are less likely to be obese. Even with high calorie intake people who use cannabis tend to have low body mass. In 2013 research, over 4,600 people who use marijuana were found to be skinnier and had healthier levels of cholesterol than non-users. It therefore controls diabetes due to the fact that it controls the sugar build up in the body. This is a positive medical benefit for the marijuana users. They have a low probability of becoming obese or developing diabetes (whitley).
Cannabis has been found to also control and treat chronic pain. Patients with chronic spine pains tend to take the herb and it well controls the pain. Jody Corey-Bloom conducted a study on thirty sclerosis patients who had pangs of pain in their muscles. These patients never responded to any other treatments which was different when they smoked bhang. They had less pain after smoking marijuana. The Tetrahydrocannabinol in the pots clings to the receptors in the nerves and the muscles to relieve the pain. Other studies have also proved that the compound also controls and reduces the pain. Other kinds of muscle spasms can also be controlled using marijuana. A condition called myoclonus diaphragmatic flutter (Leeuwenhoek’s Disease) that is painful and also interferes with breathing and talking. Smoking marijuana calms the attacks soon after starting to smoke. It also calms the nerves and the diaphragm muscles. This reduces the pain in the system (Welsh and Loria).
With the use of bhang, patients of hepatitis c get to control the side effects of the treatment and also the treatment is also made effective. The side effects of treating hepatitis c are fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, loss of appetite and depression, they also last for months. This makes some patients drop the treatment. Studies have shown that 86% of people suffering from hepatitis c who use marijuana complete their treatment. On the other hand 29% of the non-users only manage to complete their medication. This mostly because marijuana reduces the side effects of the medication. Also it has been proved that around 54% of the patients infected with hepatitis c, who smoke marijuana tend to have their viral count down and also keep them low. Contrary to that only 8% of the non-users are able to keep them down (Welsh and Loria). “Researchers also believe that marijuana’s stimulation of CB2 receptors on immune cells may improve outcomes in the Hepatitis c patients” (Leaf science).
Alzheimer’s disease is also responsive to marijuana. Alzheimer’s disease is a condition connected with memory, thinking and behavior. Marijuana seems to slow down the progression of this disease. A study done in 2006 and published in Molecular Pharmaceutics journal, concluded that Tetrahydrocannabinol slows down the formation of amyloid plaques. This happens by blocking an enzyme found in the brain that makes the amyloid plaques. These plaques kill brain cells causing Alzheimer’s disease (Welsh and Loria). The compound also helps with symptoms like apathy and sleep disorders in these patients. There are studies that also prove that Tetrahydrocannabinol can help patients with dementia. This therefore leads to the fact that marijuana can be prescribed for these patients and will improve their health (Leaf science).
The Cannabinoids component in marijuana reacts with collagen hence quickening the healing process. Cannabinoids has also been found to help in stimulating formation of bones and also preventing bone resorption. Resorption can cause osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to be decreased in density. The Cannabinoids component also reduces the rate of loss of bone mass after menopause. According to a review done in 2009, by Israel Scientists, Cannabinoids may in future be used to treat osteoporosis (Leaf science). Marijuana reduces pain and discomfort for people suffering from arthritis. People who suffer from arthritis who have used a drug called Sativex, with cannabinoid get positive results after two weeks. They also get better sleep compared to Placebo users (Welsh and Loria). This makes marijuana suitable for the arthritis patients.
In conclusion marijuana as seen above through research has been found to have a lot of health advantages. It has been proved to reduce pain for people suffering from glaucoma and also quicken the healing. According to the above results from studies bhang can also be used to reduce pain, such as muscle pains and spasms. It also reduces spine pains. Cancer patients largely benefit from this herb in that the side effects of the treatment are controlled especially the chemotherapy patients. Side effects such as nausea and vomiting. It also controls the spread of the cancer cells through the body. Cannabis also controls the seizures such as epileptic seizure by calming down the excessive brain activity that causes the seizure. It also controls different types disorders. Smoking bhang also increases lung capacity due to the deep breaths when inhaling the herb. Cannabis can also help to reduce obesity and chances of contracting diabetes by keeping the insulin levels down. Hence we can conclude that it is beneficial to our health.
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Welsh, Jennifer and Kevin Loria. “23 Healtth Benefits of Marijuana.” BUSINESS INSIDER (2014).
whitley, Chip. “GREEN FLOWER.” 50 unexpected benefits of cannabis (2015).