MEDICAL USES OF MARIJUANA
Pot, Weed, dope, reefer, maryjane, smoke, ganja, green are all slang terms for the drug called Marijuana. Marijuana is a common fear among many parents, because it is such a popular and accessible drug. Teenagers rarely have much problem getting their hands on it; it is the most commonly used ?experimental? drug among high schoolers. Marijuana is a dry, shredded green and brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves from the hemp plant called Cannabis sativa. The main chemical in the drug is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also called THC. The definition of marijuana according to medterms.com is ?a very common street and recreational drug that comes from the marijuana plant?. However, that definition is slowly, but surely evolving as marijuana becomes more prominent in the medical field, rather than solely a drug of the street pharmacies. Marijuana is becoming an increasingly useful drug in the medical world in regards to reducing, or eliminating symptoms of multiple diseases.
The Marijuana plant is one of the oldest psychoactive plants known to mankind. It goes back as far as 6000 B.C. when it was documented that cannabis seeds were used for food in China. In 2727 B.C. there was the first recorded use of cannabis as a medicine in Chinese pharmacopoeia, used to treat illnesses such as malaria, constipation, and rheumatic pains. In every part of the world, cannabis has been used for a wide variety of health problems. Marijuana has been around since the beginning of the founding of the nation, in fact. In Jamestown in 1619, the first law concerning marijuana was written. The law stated the mandatory growth of Indian Hemp (Hemp is another name for the marijuana plant). Most of the colonies had similar laws by 1730. The laws have certainly changed since then. This country was founded on laws demanding the growth and use of Hemp, or marijuana, and now there are jail sentences for those who dare to partake in the use of it. There has been a lot of controversy concerning marijuana being used for medical purposes. It has become such a popular street drug that it is forgotten that it has a long history of being used in the medical world.
Of course, marijuana does have its negative effects as well, as all drugs do. Marijuana does affect the heart by causing it to beat faster than average. It CAN cause it to increase by 20 to 50 beats per minute, and blood pressure to drop. Smoking marijuana regularly can cause the same respiratory problems as tobacco smokers can experience. However, there are no documented cases of it causing disease or death, therefore making it safe to use as medicine. There is no risk at all in using it on a person already diagnosed with a deathly disease.
Cancer is currently one of the three top leading diseases in this nation. For a cancer patient, anything that can ease the pain even a little bit, or temporarily is a miracle. Living with cancer is a nightmare, and finding a drug to make that easier is like finding gold. Marijuana is proven to subdue cancer symptoms. In the book ?Marijuana As Medicine??, the author tells the story of a women who was an author of a 1992 medical marijuana proposal. Her husband was diagnosed with cancer. She said the following of her personal experience with the effects of marijuana on a cancer patient: ?He started chemo. He was ill. He was sicker from the chemo than he was from the cancer. He was given three months. The oncologist agreed that he could use marijuana. I had to do the back alley bit to get some. Two puffs and my husband would go for chemotherapy with a smile and come home happy.? Studies over three decades show medical marijuana is an effective treatment for symptoms of cancer as well as side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. THC is a natural antiemetic which has been shown to help decrease pain associated with many types of cancer and chemotherapy agents. Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. response to the topic of marijuana as cancer treatment with the following; ?a number of studies have shown that these compounds can inhibit tumor growth in lab animal models. What?s more, cannabinoids seem to kill tumor cells without affecting surrounding normal cells?. There are cannabis related drugs being produced to soothe cancer as well.