The Medicinal Value of Cannabis

Numerous states in the US have now legalized the medicinal use of marijuana. Colorado has even legalized it for recreational purposes. Overall, however, states only allow those with a qualifying illness to access it. Despite all of this, some people continue to say medicinal marijuana is wrong, and that those who need it for their health should access the synthetic form that the FDA has approved.

The Evidence for Marijuana

Why some people believe that there is no medicinal value to marijuana is incomprehensible. So much modern scientific studies have proven them completely wrong. It is undeniable that marijuana helps to reduce nausea and vomiting, that it helps people to put on weight, that it stimulates the appetite, that it helps lower glaucoma intra-ocular pressure, and that it reduces various forms of chronic pain.

A new study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, has also demonstrated that cannabis can help lower muscle spasticity, particularly when caused by multiple sclerosis or by spinal cord injuries. Another similar study has shown that the tremors associated with multiple sclerosis are reduced. Research is also being conducted into how marijuana can prevent convulsions, insomnia, seizures, depression, and migraine headaches.

Synthetic THC, the most important cannabinoid found in marijuana, has been available since 1986, when the FDA approved it and classified it as a Schedule II drug. Known as Marinol, it can be prescribed to fight nausea and to stimulate the appetite. It is mainly prescribed to HIV/AIDS patients and to those undergoing chemotherapy. Yet, many people have reported that vaporizing or smoking marijuana is far more effective, mainly because it works quickly and because it is difficult to swallow a pill when someone is nauseous or has no appetite.

One of the problems with cannabis is, however, that most people smoke it. Smoking is seen as the big bad bogeyman by physicians, who are more used to prescribing capsules, gel tabs, pills, or other oral preparations. Yet, when marijuana is smoked or vaporized, the blood concentration levels are as high as what they would be if they were intravenously injected.

Interestingly, marijuana is still a Schedule I classified substance. Hence, any user technically violates federal laws whenever they use it, even if they have a prescription for medical marijuana delivery in Los Angeles. However, people will never get prosecuted for it, since it is now accepted as a form of medical treatment. At the same time, this still varies by state, and only those in states where it is legalized can it be accessed, with a valid physician’s recommendation.

Numerous societies have spoken out publicly about the benefits of marijuana. This includes the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lymphoma Foundation of America, the Physicians Association for AIDS Car, the Federation of American Scientists, and the American Public Health Association. This public statement, coupled with the extensive scientific research on the benefits of cannabis for a variety of different conditions, truly shows that cannabis is effective and should be available on prescription.

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