It is no doubt when someone mention marijuana, it divides the crowd pretty fast. You have people who straight-up in support of the drug. There are others who are against it because they feel it’s degenerate. There are also the group where they are pretty on the fence about marijuana.
As of March 2018, it is found that at least 84% of the American public supports the legalisation of medical marijuana. They believed that the drug should be legal for medical uses. At the same time, it is found that 61% of the respondents find recreational pot usage less controversial than ever.
Regardless of where you stand in regards to marijuana, it has its own benefits too. Here are a handful of marijuana’s benefits.
That’s right. Marijuana has medicinal purposes. The term ‘medical marijuana’ refers to using the entire, unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat symptoms of illness and conditions. So far it is not yet been recognised or approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over in the United States of America.
Researches and scientific studies of the chemicals found in marijuana called cannabinoids led to 2 FDA-approved medications. Such elements that includes cannabinoid chemicals in pill form. Continuous research may lead to more medications sometime in the future.
It is also said that the marijuana plant contain chemicals that may be able to help treat a range of illness and symptoms. This leads to many people arguing it should be made legal for medical purposes. As a matter of fact, there are a number of states in the USA that have legalised marijuana for medicinal uses.
Although there are medical aspects to marijuana, please take it with a pinch of salt. If you live in a country where marijuana is not illegal, consult a doctor if you should be consuming it for your health.
The reasons why marijuana has not yet been approved as medicine is because they have yet to determine the benefits and risk of a possible medication. Thorough researches have to be conducted with enough large-scale clinical trials to prove that the marijuana plant is indeed beneficial to the patient. The benefits have to outweigh its risks in the patients its meant to treat.
More research can shed more light on the risks of marijuana. There may be legitimate uses for medicinal marijuana but it does not mean it is entirely harmless. Some researches indicate chronic, heavy users can have impaired memory, learning, and processing speed, if they use it regularly before age 16.
Although marijuana does have some kind of medicinal value, it does not mean it is 100% god-sent. It has its pitfalls too and users will have to peruse it with moderation.
According to this study, it was revealed that using marijuana may help alcoholics and drug addicts to fight their addictions. Though that may be the case, it is contestable. The National Academies of Sciences suggested that marijuana usage, if left unchecked and uncontrolled, can increase risk of abusing and making the person more dependent on other substances.
On top of that, the more someone uses marijuana the more likely they are to develop marijuana problems.
This study was conducted by Clinical Psychology Review that investigates the use of marijuana to treat symptoms of mental illness.
The researchers found that there are evidence supporting marijuana usage to relieve depression and PTSD symptoms. They also caution that marijuana is not an appropriate treatment for some other mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder and psychosis.
In the same research, it shows that there is some evidence to suggest that marijuana might alleviate symptoms of social anxiety. This is, from time and time again, contradicted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine review. Instead, it is found that regular users of marijuana may be at increased risk of social anxiety.
Evidence gathered from several studies suggested that marijuana’s cannabinoids are effective against nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy. Some smaller studies show that by smoking marijuana, it helps alleviate these symptoms.
On top of all that, some other studies on cancer cells suggest that cannabinoids may slow down the growth of, or kill some types of cancer. Early studies that tested this hypothesis in humans revealed that although cannabinoids are a safe treatment. They are not effective in controlling or curing cancer.
Back in June 2018, the FDA approved the use of a medication containing cannabidiol (CBD) to treat 2 rare, severe, and specific types of epilepsy – Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Both syndromes are said to be difficult to control with other types of medication. The CBD-based drug is known as epidiolex.
CBD is one of many substances that can be found and occurs in cannabis, and it isn’t psychoactive. The drugs used to treat such conditions involves a purified form of CBD and the approval was based on the research findings and clinical trials.
In 2017, a study published found that the use of CBD results in a lot fewer seizures among children with Dravet syndrome as compared to the ones who peruse a placebo. People who have Dravet syndrome usually do not reach the age of 20 years old.
Although all that had been said, it does not mean marijuana is not without health risks. There are also a plethora of studies that shows that marijuana have negative associations between the drug and health. Here are a few examples of that.
Daily, frequent use of marijuana usage is believed to exacerbate existing symptoms of bipolar disorder and people who have such mental health problem. Though that may be the case, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report suggests that among people with no history of the condition there is limited evidence of a link between marijuana usage and developing bipolar disorder.
There were also evidence suggesting that regular marijuana users are more than likely to experience suicidal thoughts. There are also small and increased risk of depression among marijuana users.
Besides all that, marijuana is also likely to increase the risk of psychosis, including schizophrenia. Funnily enough, people who have schizophrenia and other psychoses with history of marijuana use is linked with improved performances on tests assessing learning and memory.
If you smoke too much marijuana, you may get increased risk of chronic cough. Though that may be the claim, it is still unclear whether smoking marijuana worsens lung functionality or increases the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
As marijuana may have benefits, it has its own disadvantages too. Users are asked to peruse the drug responsibly at all times.