Medicinal Use of Marijuana Essay Example
Medicinal Use of Marijuana Essay Example

Medicinal Use of Marijuana Essay Example

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  • Pages: 6 (1582 words)
  • Published: October 12, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
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There has been a lot of praise for the therapeutic properties of marijuana in recent times. Medical practitioners have historically used it to alleviate chronic pain, increase appetite and treat respiratory conditions like asthma and migraines. However, there is an important question that needs to be asked: do the benefits of medicinal cannabis outweigh its drawbacks? Is it really a groundbreaking development in medicine that deserves to be legalized? It's essential to consider these concerns before advocating for medical marijuana legalization.

The dried and cut leaves of cannabis sativa, commonly known as marijuana, have various nicknames such as "grass", "Mary Jane", "pot", "smoke", "reefer", "herb" or "weed". Marijuana contains delta tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive ingredient that can modify mood, perception and consciousness resulting in a state often referred to as being “high”. Many cultures throughout history have utilized marijuana for these



Although primarily known as a recreational drug, "Cannabis" has diverse properties that can stimulate creativity, spiritual experiences, and heightened sensations. It is actually the second most frequently used substance for leisure activities after alcohol. Furthermore, it has played a significant role in the cultural and therapeutic traditions of various South American, African, and Indian populations.

Throughout history, marijuana has served as both an intoxicant and anesthetic in different regions. African miners use it to combat work monotony, while Jamaicans depend on its properties for exhaustion relief. As early as the 2nd century B.C., Chinese medicine's "Herbal" book recorded marijuana as an anesthetic - a practice that dates back 5,000 years. In the United States during the 20th century, marijuana was mainly utilized for recreational purposes.

Throughout history, marijuana has been used by various civilizations for medicinal purposes.

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The Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans and East Indians all utilized it to alleviate muscle spasms, indigestion and pain. In Africa and Asia, it was also included in traditional medicine practices. By 1611, Jamestown began growing marijuana for its fiber production. During the 19th century in the U.S., doctors prescribed marijuana to patients suffering from insomnia, labor pains, menstrual cramps, headaches and spasticity. Today it is still used as medicine in Asia and the Middle East ("History of Marijuana"). However, controversy remains over whether or not to legalize its medical use.

Despite extensive research and analysis, there is significant debate about the potential benefits and risks of medicinal marijuana, which has been used for over two millennia. Both proponents and opponents argue whether the drug should be acknowledged as a legitimate medical treatment (Zimmerman). According to "Marijuana and Medicine," interpreting scientific data on this controversial subject remains difficult due to unclear safety and efficacy. The current discussion regarding marijuana centers on balancing its possible health advantages with potential hazards for users, despite its historical use for both medicinal purposes and recreation.

Although marijuana has been recognized for its medicinal properties in thirty-four states, it remains a Schedule 1 illegal drug under the Controlled Substances Act in the United States. Therefore, there is controversy surrounding its potential use to relieve pain in end-of-life scenarios. Despite ongoing discussion and debate among Congress and medical professionals regarding its usage and classification, it is not yet considered an accepted treatment option ("Acts of Love…").

There is conflicting sentiment on the efficacy of marijuana for pain relief. Supporters contend that it can ease symptoms associated with diseases like cancer and AIDS, while detractors argue

that alternate treatments exist and legalization may pose threats. Advocates for medical cannabis legalization maintain that withholding relief from intense pain in patients is unethical. According to a March 1999 study by the Institute of Medicine, marijuana has the potential to mitigate nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy, assist in weight loss due to AIDS, and alleviate chronic pain unresponsive to traditional opioids such as Morphine.

A recent study conducted by the University of California at San Francisco revealed that rats can obtain pain relief from a drug similar to marijuana. This drug interacts with the same part of the brain as morphine, indicating that cannabinoids may have potent analgesic properties. Additionally, researchers from the National Institutes of Mental Health have discovered that THC and CBD – which is not psychoactive – can help protect brain cells against damage following a stroke.

A recent study has revealed THC and CBD as potent antioxidants that can protect brain cells from toxic levels of glutamate following a stroke-induced cessation in blood flow to the brain. This outcome indicates that marijuana may have medicinal potential in treating neurological disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. There will be further research on cannabis' therapeutic properties, with new trials authorized by the government to investigate whether smoking marijuana can alleviate limb pain associated with AIDS or benefit individuals diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Despite the Drug Enforcement Administration's approval of limited marijuana use in scientific experiments on November 28, 2001, doctors are not allowed to prescribe or recommend it as a treatment in states where it is legalized under state law, according to Hilts. The Institute of Medicine and National Institutes of Health propose

that although there is little proof supporting the medical advantages of marijuana, extensive research could be advantageous. In forthcoming trials, scientists will contrast the effects of marijuana cigarettes against placebo cigarettes that have had their active components extracted.

Before the 1980s, experiments were carried out in the United States with the goal of investigating marijuana's capabilities as a medication for stimulating appetite and alleviating nausea. However, research agencies and the federal government held unfavorable opinions which made obtaining funding difficult. In 1996, California and Arizona held referendums to assess whether scientific evidence supported using marijuana for medicinal purposes (Hilts). Despite opposition, there are still those who advocate against legalizing marijuana.

Legalizing marijuana raises concerns about increased availability for abuse, especially among children. Some argue that there is insufficient evidence for its medicinal value. However, two well-controlled studies on pain management in cancer patients compared graded doses of oral 9-THC to placebo, with one using codeine as a control. The studies revealed analgesic efficacy but also a narrow therapeutic margin between useful pain relief and adverse effects. While many view smoked marijuana as an unsuitable medication, others see limited potential for it in the future ("Acts of Love...").

Despite the legality of marijuana in Amsterdam, Holland (as stated by Smith), crime and hard drug use persist. Additionally, using marijuana can have substantial adverse impacts on crucial safe driving skills such as attentiveness, focus, coordination, and reaction time - effects that may last for up to 24 hours following consumption. Moreover, ingesting marijuana can impede an individual's capacity to assess distances accurately and react suitably to various signals and sounds while driving.

While not all marijuana users develop addiction, those who

become obsessed with finding and using the drug are classified as dependent or addicted. In 1995, 165,000 people sought help from drug rehabilitation programs citing marijuana as their primary substance of abuse, indicating a need for cessation aid ("Marijuana, Facts…"). The legalization of marijuana is a highly debated issue that will likely continue. Throughout history, societies have utilized marijuana to alleviate various medical conditions.

Despite being utilized by physicians in the 19th century for pain relief, marijuana has reemerged as a valuable therapeutic option. This demonstrates that not all contemporary medications are superior to those of previous eras, as certain drugs have proven to be highly toxic.

It is justified to prescribe marijuana as medicine for those who are ill or dying, and reclassifying it as Schedule II would allow doctors to do so. However, more research is needed to confirm its potential medical benefits. Legalizing marijuana would make it easier to fund and conduct studies that could determine the extent of its legitimate medical use.

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine urged greater assistance for lawful and open inquiries into the potential uses of marijuana, particularly by medical professionals and scientists. ("Marijuana and Medicine")

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<http://www. nap. edu/readingroom/books/marimed/ch1. html> Zimmerman, Bill, Ph. D.

According to the HTML tag and its content presented in this paragraph, Bill Zimmerman, who holds a Ph.D., can be found at the website Science of Medical Marijuana article by [author name], et al. in 1998 addresses the controversy surrounding marijuana and provides an examination of the research findings. The article can be found at http://www.medmjscience.The website, in 2008, published

a chapter on caring for a dying loved one called "Acts of Love". The content is located at org/Pages/history/chapter.bhtml.The following sources contain information related to the topic of drug legalization:
- "Legalization of Illicit Drugs: Impact and Feasibility" Report by Larry Smith, from the Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control in 1989. Source:
- "After Two Decade Halt, Marijuana Research is Set" article by Philip Hilts, from The New York Times on December 15, 2001. Source: http://query.The article "History of Marijuana" from the year 2000 can be found on, as well as on Human Anatomy Online at The original and their contents are preserved.The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) published "Marijuana, Facts for Teens" on their website in September 2004 at

Access the section on marijuana use among teens by visiting the following website: gov/MarijBroch/Marijteenstxt.html#Lead>

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