|Source: By Todd (via flickr)|
Marijuana is prepared from the plant Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) and it is one of the drugs that are commonly abused. Users often get addicted to it, although it is generally considered an illicit drug. Despite its negative effects, marijuana is also known to offer many health benefits. Extensive medical studies have been carried out regarding dosage and subsequent effects of this drug. When marijuana is prescribed as a remedy for various health conditions, it is then referred to as medical marijuana. Historical evidence shows that cannabis plant has over the years been used by different communities and cultures for therapeutic purposes.
Health Benefits of Medical Marijuana
There are important medicinal components contained in marijuana. As aforementioned, beta-caryophyllene, cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol constitute the most important compounds. 40% of the total plant extract contains cannabidiol which is a neuro-protective oxidant. It is very effective in the treatment of anxiety, nausea, inflammation, cancer, schizophrenia and convulsion. Beta-caryophyllene helps to limit the body’s reaction to inflammation. Common methodologies of administering medical marijuana include smoking of dried herb, inhalation therapy, drinking plant extracts and administering it as food supplement.
There are common side effects associated with the use of marijuana. Unfortunately, some of the unavoidable side effects arising from administering chemotherapy treatment drugs include the killing some of the patient’s body cells. Following chemotherapy treatment, a patient usually experiences adverse effects such as vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite and general lack of coordination among various body functions. Medical practitioners concur that medical marijuana is an effective antiemetic which helps in relieving nausea, thus increasing the patient’s appetite for meals. The drug is preferably administered through smoking as opposed to oral intake.
- Lung cancer:Various medical journals and research findings indicates that smoking marijuana does not necessarily subject the user to risk of developing lung cancer. Ingredients like THC, for instance, are very effective in inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells. Medical practitioners consider it a potential herbal therapy for lung cancer treatment.
- Multiple sclerosis: Sclerosis is a medical condition that affects the body’s nervous system. Patients experience muscle spasm, fatigue, tingling, loss of coordination and numbness. Other symptoms include depression, eye problems and uncoordinated speech. There is no known treatment for multiple sclerosis apart from conventional temporal treatments that cause severe side effects. However, cannabis is known to be very effective in restoring eyesight, speech and managing symptoms such as tremors and spasm.
- Glaucoma: Damage to the vision optic nerves causes Glaucoma leading to total blindness. Conventional treatment of Glaucoma is often accompanied by several side effects. Recent research revealed that medical marijuana has the potential of reducing the intraocular pressure with no adverse side effects on the patient.
Abuse of Marijuana
Long term habitual use of cannabis might lead to addiction. The dry green-brownish marijuana herb contains a mixture of various parts of the plant (seeds, stem, leaves and flowers). Both hashish and hash oil constitute the most concentrated forms of cannabis. Hashish is extracted from the plant’s resin whereas hash oil is obtained from its various solvents. The addicted user consumes the drug by inhaling its smoke.
There is no doubt that use of Marijuana do have side effects.THC adheres to the concentration of cannabinoid receptors in some parts of the brain that’s linked to pleasure, thinking, perception of time, memory and coordination. The possibility of marijuana interfering with brain faculties such as balance, judgment and attention is real.