Marijuana And Medicine

I decided upon the question "Should Marijuana be Medicine?" because I wanted
to confirm my strong beliefs of an anti-drug policy, but after research, my
attitude towards medical marijuana changed because it seems the benefits far
out-weigh the risks. Of the 60 some chemicals unique to the marijuana plant, the
main psychoactive ingredient and the one for exploring the physiological as well
as the psychological role in the anandamide system is delta-9
tetrahydrocannabinol, or more commonly known as THC. The anandamide system is
concerned with mood, memory and cognition, perception, movement, coordination,
sleep, thermoregulation, appetite, and immune response (a). Cannabis is the term
used to describe the dried hemp spike. When burned and inhaled, the cannabis
receptors bond to the macrophages in the brain and spine, which control the
anandamide system. Macrophages are chemicals in the body, which attack the
infected areas in the body and help take away the waste from an injury (a). THC
acts as a catalyst in this process. It speeds up the macrophages’ disposal of
the waste and is why therapeutic relief comes as such a rapid onset to the user
(b). Even though the THC bonds with the processes going on inside the brain,
there are few THC receptors in the part of the brain that controls the basic
life functions therefore making it impossible for cannabis intoxication to lead
to death (c). There are strong links to cannabis relieving aches and pains,
numbing the symptoms of opiate withdrawal, improving sleep, reducing anxiety,
and alleviating the vomiting, anorexia, and depression associated with certain

AIDS related disorders, specifically AIDS wasting syndrome(c). Some studies have
also shown that cannabis can relieve muscle spasms especially in multiple
sclerosis patients’ (b). "With smoked marijuana, patients get immediate
relief, whereas with the oral drug they get a delayed, big rush of
unpleasantness. " Studies on animals have shown it could also quite possibly
be an anticonvulsant. Doctors have been able to make a synthetic delta-9
tetrahydrocannabinol, which they call Nabilone, that helps relieve nausea and
vomiting after chemotherapy and may pose as the strongest evidence that
cannabinoids do work (a). It is a non-psychotropic drug and therefore greater
accepted. Researchers have also developed a delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, which
they call dronabinol (a). This oral drug has proven itself in stimulating the
appetite of AIDS patients and has won approval from the American Food and Drug

Association; one of only three drugs approved for this treatment. This drug has
also been found to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties along with
possible anxiolytic , hypnotic, and antidepressant properties, which gives this
drug a profile unique to other man made drugs, and is compelling enough for
further studies (a). The adverse effects have also been studied and there have
been no deaths due to cannabis toxicity alone. Some of the most common side
effects include sedation, euphoria, anxiety, and paranoia, dry mouth, blurred
vision, and incoordination. Dependence can occur but withdrawal symptoms are
mild. The smoke is toxic and may increase the risk of cardiovascular and
respiratory disease (a). When I began this study, I was greatly opposed to
marijuana for whatever reason it was being used, but now that I have found more
information on the subject, my opinion has definitely swayed. I have attained a
greater understanding for how this drug interacts with the body and why it has
the effects on pain that it does. I think that if I were to compile more
research, especially now that medical marijuana is actually a respected topic
and no longer a joke, I think that I would find even more reasons as to why this
drug should be seriously considered for therapeutic reasons. One of the reasons
that this drug is so frowned upon is that society has taken for granted and
abused a very unique and possibly beneficial drug therefore almost permanently
attaching a bad name and delaying the necessary research which could be putting
millions to ease. (a) British medical journal Cannabis as a medicine The major
point that this article brought out was that delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, the
active ingredient in marijuana more commonly known as THC, does ease a wide
variety of various symptoms from aches and pains to AIDS related disorders. They
described how patients told their doctors how effective cannabis is in relieving
aches and pains, numbing the symptoms of opiate withdrawal, improving sleep,
reducing anxiety, and alleviating the vomiting, anorexia, and depression
associated with AIDS related disorders. It also discussed how THC acts as a
catalyst in the anandamide system, which helps dispose of the waste from an
injury, and is involved with mood, memory and cognition, perception, movement,