Marijuana as a medicine

Posted by Winnie Melda on November 19th, 2018

 Is marijuana the right medicine? Can the illegal drug, marijuana with various adverse and physiological effects be used as a medicine for treatment of certain disorders? When marijuana smoke gets inhaled into the lungs, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient, leaves the blood quickly via metabolism as well as efficient uptake into the tissues. Tetrahydrocannabinol and its metabolites bind to proteins in blood and then get stored for extended periods in body fat. For smokers, lung absorption, as well as transport THC to the brain, is rapid, that is approximately 14 seconds. It gets metabolized more efficiently through smoking than intake through other methods such as oral ingestion or intravenous injection. Marijuana mainly affects the Central Nervous system with the impact varying from patients’ user, the social setting, the route of administration and past encounters. The smoking of marijuana cigarette leads to change in mood, memory, coordination and self-perception. For high doses of marijuana, it results in hallucinations, euphoria and paranoia and delusions. The amount of THC also consumed results in vasodilatation and an increase in heart rate. Marijuana smoke contains tar that is more than the weight of tobacco and results to damage of the lungs and other respiratory concerns. Marijuana abuse also results in different long-term effects such as increased psychiatric emergencies, decreased interest in personal appearance and goals, drowsiness and sedation, and inability to concentrate (Miller, 222-301)

The use of marijuana medically commenced in different parts of the world including the United States more that 150 years ago. In 1937 in the United Sates there was increased recreational marijuana smoking hence the American Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act that imposed strict restrictions on the sale and prescription of marijuana. In 1942, marijuana got removed from US Pharmacopoeia through a federal legislation that made it illegal. In the 1940s and 1950s, several studies thought of a medical utility of a material similar to synhexyl, an active component of marijuana (Hollister, 5-27). Some states in the United States enacted laws that made it possible for marijuana to get made available to cancer patients through state research programs. However, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) sealed off access to cannabis for clinical trials in the 1980s. In the late 1990s and the early twenty-first century, the United States Supreme Court ruled in support of federal authority concerning the cultivation as well as possession of marijuana no matter what the purpose. Several attempts to appeal the case and argue that marijuana was beneficial were all in vain. The institutions that have attempted to conduct independent research necessary for the approval of marijuana as a medicine by the Federal Drug Administration have experienced hindrances from several government agencies. The agencies include Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA has largely got involved in the discrimination of scientists studying the efficacy and safety of marijuana (Chapkis and Richard 56-72).

Marijuana plants get used because of their antiquity for both herbal medication and intoxication. Marijuana as a medicine for treatment has numerous benefits for various disorders. First, for patients appetite simulation is critical in regaining body energy and getting well. Proper nourishment gets needed for people to be healthy; hence, marijuana gets used as the right substance to increase appetite. Eating is also very important to the recovery of patients who suffer from anorexia.

Second, marijuana gets used as a medicine to reduce nausea and vomiting that often gets associated with chemotherapy. It eliminates the nauseous, the sick-to-stomach feeling and also prevents vomiting that is violent as well as physically taxing. Nausea and vomiting results in the dehydration and involuntarily weight loss of a patient; thus the patient stays on an extended recovery time. It gets attributed due to the lack of sufficient nutrients in the body to heal quickly. The effectiveness of marijuana as nausea and vomiting medicine is effective when ingested as a pill that often gets regurgitated.

Third, marijuana gets regarded as an effective pain reliever and more so in the types of pain caused by neuropathic cases such as shooting or burning. The inflammatory properties of the active ingredients of the cannabis plant have also demonstrated that the treatment of the medical condition such as arthritis and glaucoma is essential (Martin, Ed Rosenthal and Carter, P. 23-156). Fourth, marijuana gets regarded as an effective dose that impairs intellectual functioning in general. It does not alter any the basic personality structure of a person but, however, lessens inhibition. Hence brings out what is latent in their thoughts and emotions although no responses get evoke that would otherwise be totally alien to them.

Fifth, marijuana is a far safer medicine than many other medicines in the market. Psychoactive medicines such as alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and opiates have frequently resulted in fatalities due to a drug overdose. Approximately 26, 000 individuals got hospitalized, and 458 others lost their lives between 1990 and 2001 due to overdoses of acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, compared to zero deaths from marijuana overdose (Martin, Ed Rosenthal and Carter, P. 23-156).

Sixth, there have numerous credible researches regarding the use of marijuana as a medicine as well as to determine the efficacy of marijuana as a medicine. Martin, Ed Rosenthal and Carter, P. 23-156, states that more than 6, 500 peers-reviewed reports have confirmed marijuana’s medical value for various health problems such as the capacity to retard cancer cell and its ability to minimize pain and nausea of chemotherapy.

Lastly, according to Joy, Stanley, and John p. 1-89, patients suffering from different illnesses reported a positive experience in public workshops. The patients reported that they had experienced relief from symptoms associated with disparate disorders and ailments that include chronic pain, spasticity from multiple sclerosis, depression, AIDS wasting, and nausea associated with chemotherapy. Marijuana has also treated cancer and enhanced mental health. Scholars have also stated that the beneficial effects of marijuana extend to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Parkinsons and Huntington’s disease.

Marijuana can achieve positive treatment results when used as a medicine due to two cannabinoids contained in a marijuana plant. These are cannabidiol (CBD) and 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the main mind-altering ingredient contained in a marijuana plant. It is responsible for stimulating appetite in the body, reducing body pain, inflammation, muscle control problems, as well as reducing nausea. The Federal Drug Administration has however approved the use of THC for appetite stimulation and reducing nausea. CBD, on the other hand, does not affect the mind or the behavior of an individual. CBD has got used in reducing pain and inflammation in patients, controlling epileptic seizures and sometimes treatment of mental illness. The effects of marijuana as a medicine get produced by a cannabinoid receptor system in a person’s body comprising of at least two receptors namely CB1 and CB2 (Hanson, Peter, and Annette, p. 332-567). CBI receptors get located in the brain and get concentrated in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex that are responsible for controlling memory and cognition. These receptors interact with marijuana’s active compounds to generate its psychoactive impacts such as euphoric and the blissful state that make the pain more manageable. CB2 receptors also referred to as peripheral receptors get located outside the brain mainly in the immune system and organs, especially the white blood cells and spleen. The cannabinoid receptor system is where marijuana becomes medicine. The receptors allow patients to acquire the beneficial impacts of marijuana’s active ingredients such as regulation of different biological efforts with a person’s body like learning, motor skills, pain relief, memory, and heart rate (Mack and Janet p. 23-89).

The debate on whether marijuana is the right medicine for treatment of different diseases or whether it is safe to use lies with a trusted medical practitioner. For many years before marijuana abuse become widespread, it got used in treating disparate diseases and ailments. The local and federal authority should learn about the drug testing regimen used by employers. Marijuana should get reemerged in the society as a legitimate medicine, however, get controlled through stringent regulations. Marijuana has numerous health benefits when used in the treatment of certain diseases and ailments as well as when used to control pain experienced by a patient. There are little risks associated with controlled marijuana use. Hence, marijuana can be helpful in enhancing good health thus its use as a medicine should get legalized.


Chapkis, Wendy, and Richard J. Webb. Dying to get high: Marijuana as medicine. NYU Press, 2008. p. 56-72

Hanson, Glen, Peter Venturelli, and Annette Fleckenstein. Drugs and society. Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2011. p. 332-567

Hollister, Leo E. "Marijuana (cannabis) as medicine." Journal of cannabis therapeutics 1.1 (2001): 5-27.

Joy, Janet E., Stanley J. Watson Jr, and John A. Benson Jr, eds. Marijuana and Medicine:: Assessing the Science Base. National Academies Press, 1999. p. 1-89

Mack, Alison, and Janet Joy. Marijuana As Medicine?: The Science Beyond the Controversy. National Academies Press, 2000. p. 23-89

Martin, Mickey., Ed Rosenthal, and Carter, Gregory T, Medical Marijuana 101, Ed Rosenthal, 2011. P. 23-156

Miller, Loren L., ed., p. 222-301 Marijuana: Effects on human behavior. Elsevier, 2013.

Sherry Roberts is the author of this paper. A senior editor at MeldaResearch.Com in research paper writing help 24 hours if you need a similar paper you can place your order for essay writing services.

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Winnie Melda

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Winnie Melda
Joined: December 7th, 2017
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