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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Medical Marijuana: A summary and an opinion

The cannabis plant has a long history of being used as a medicine in many cultures and there has been many positive studies involving the use of cannabis as a medicine. It has helped the life's of sick people but still many countries reject the idea cannabis has any medical value

What Is Medical Marijuana?:

Medical Marijuana refers to the use of cannabis/marijuana as a herbal therapy and also the use of synthetic THC and cannabinoids.

A Brief History:
The first use of cannabis as a medicine is hard to pinpoint but in China its believed its been used as a medicine for around 4000 years, Egyptian texts like Ebers Papyrus and the Ramesseum III Papyrus, both from over 1000 years BC describe medical marijuana. Other cultures also have references to medical marijuana from texts thousands of years old. In modern medicine cannabis was used more in western civilization from the 19th century onwards following experiments and promotion from Irish doctor William Brooke O'Shaughnessy. The creation of aspirin is considered by some to be responsible for the decline of the use of cannabis as a medicine, along with the anti-cannabis campaign in the early part of 20th century, with movies like Reefer Madness cannabis went from medicine to a drug that makes you insane. In more recent times only a few countries recognize cannabis as a medicine and there is some pharmaceutical companies looking into the many compounds within the plant for medicinal purposes.

Where?:
Lots of countries class cannabis as having no medicinal value so Medical Marijuana is only available in either herbal or synthetic form in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Israel, Spain, the Netherlands, the UK and in 13 states of the US. The laws are different in all countries with medical marijuana and gaining access maybe difficult. You will need a doctor's recommendation so your doctor is the best person to speak to if you live somewhere where medical cannabis might be available for you. The situation in the US is complicated with the 13 states having passed state laws, but medical marijuana is not recognized by federal law. This means patients who use and grow medical marijuana legally under state law still have to live in fear of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) raiding and possibly arresting them. As I spoke about before, there is hope that thing will change under the new president but only time will tell

Uses:
Cannabis has been used as a medicine for years for pain relief and is considered especially good for relieving neuropathic pain (pain from nerve damage). Cannabis also helps with nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders, cannabis is also a powerful appetite stimulant and is specifically good for patients suffering from HIV and other illnesses that reduce your appetite. Some newer research finds cannabis properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors and are neuroprotective. There is many more uses for cannabis medically and no doubt further research will show more benefits of the plant.

Future:
It should be easy to say that the future of cannabis being used as a medicine is bright but with most countries worldwide rejecting the idea that cannabis has any medical value it makes progress much harder. I hope soon more countries and all the states of the USA will have access to medical cannabis. Awareness needs to be spread about the medical value of cannabis as there is more people who could benefit from the plant.The use of cannabis as a medicine is nothing new and the fact that some pharmaceutical companies are looking closely at the plant and some of its compounds does not surprise me. Since they cannot patent a plant those looking into making money from the plant will look at making a synthetic version that they can make millions of. It would be easier and better for the patients simply to grow their own medicine but of then how would the pharmaceutical companies make money then?

People might argue that smoking your medicine is not a healthy way of taking medicine, but with the vaporizers available on the market for healthy inhalation and the fact you can make edible or drinkable goodies form cannabis or a hemp oil then cannabis does not need to be smoked.

The difference among recreational use and medical use of cannabis needs to be recognized by more people. While I believe that a responsible adult should have the right to use cannabis recreationally, I do think that there should be no doubt about allowing a sick person use a plant with a long history of medical value should be accepted and legal. What might be considered just the munchies by a recreational user is for some medical users the difference between having an appetite or not.

Cannabis has a great potential as a medicine and more awareness, and acceptance is needed. Read up and spread the word

If you would like more information on the medical use of cannabis and to read studies and more on the subject then please check out the following websites. There is plenty of more information out there.

NORML
Medical Marijuana Pros and Cons
MPP
CannabisMD.org

8 comments:

  1. Warlock,

    Keep up the good fight!

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  3. Bold and insightful post; The authors clarity on the issue of medical marijuana activism and the truth it brings to bear on the prospects for the future give us all reason for hope. The question is: Are people ready to hear the good news yet? I for one AM!

    Way to go Warlock, we' re all behind you.

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