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Medical Marijuana - Research Paper Example

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Health Sciences and Medicine: Medical Marijuana. Introduction. There is an on-going debate in many societies about the use of marijuana for medical purposes, because some people argue that marijuana has properties which are valuable in the treatment of certain chronic diseases, while others argue that any benefits are far outweighed by its risks…
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Medical Marijuana

Download file to see previous pages... Medical arguments for the use of marijuana. The leaves and stem of the plant Cannabis sativa, otherwise known as grass, weed, pot, ganga or marijuana have been used both for medical purposes and as a recreational drug for as far back as human history leads us. It can be smoked like tobacco, or baked in food like any other spice, or in resin form it can be crumbled into liquids. Archaeologists have traced its usage as far back as ancient China and Bronze Age Europe around 2000 BC (Medicalmarijuana,procon website) and there are historical records of its use all the way through early and medieval Europe, to India and the Americas, right up to the present day, where the substance is banned in most developed countries because of its hallucinogenic and addictive qualities. The clinical effects of marijuana are both physical and mental. It induces relaxation in the muscles and a feeling of wellbeing. These effects are very positive for patients who suffer from illnesses such as multiple sclerosis which can cause cramping of the muscles, and for patients undergoing painful and stressful treatments for cancer. Users report that it helps young people and old (Belkin, 2009). Risks and arguments against the use of marijuana for medical purposes. ...
le, stating that he organized a conference and “At this conference, 51 papers presented failed to show that marijuana had any practical therapeutic value” (Pace, 2006) This demonstrates that large sections of the medical establishment are not convinced of the drug’s benefits. There are dangers also an unregulated supply system, such as allowing users to grow their own cannabis plants, or relying on sources which are of dubious legality. This underground business in the drug means that quality control is not very good, and customers cannot be sure of obtaining a consistently pure substance in accurately measured doses. Much medical cannabis is self-administered, and the potential here for errors is huge. Side effects such as hallucinations, a feeling of paranoia and a powerful urge to eat are unpredictable in their severity, and this can be a cause for concern, for example if people take cannabis and then drive a vehicle or walk in busy traffic. Legal issues for physicians and patients. Throughout the ages various legal and professional bodies have made rulings on the use of cannabis for medical purposes. In the period from 1842 until the 1890s, marijuana and hashish in various forms were the first, second or third most popular medicines in the United States. (Medicalmarijuana.procon website) As doctors and patients gained more experience of the drug and its application in diseases such as neuralgia, depression haemorrhage, pain relief and muscle spasm, however, there was a rising tide of concern about the side effects that the drugs brought with them. This was an age of medicalized addiction, and substances like opium and marijuana were often prescribed for medical purposes, but turned into a vice which people could not free themselves from. The first state to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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Medical Marijuana
Since 2737 B.C., the mystic Emperor Shen Neng of China was recommending marijuana tea to cure “gout, rheumatism, malaria and… poor memory” (Stack & Suddath, 2009). Marijuana found its way to the United States in the early 17th century, when settlers transported the plant to Jamestown, Virginia to produce hemp (Lu, 2012).
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However, cannabis sativa is far from a threat to “national security” as most governments would like people to believe (Alison, 2001). THC is the main active chemical in cannabis sativa (Beau, 2010). This compound affects the brain by binding with cannabinoid receptors, therefore, influencing the whole bodies functioning.
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