Top Pro & Con Arguments
Marijuana is beneficial as a medicine with fewer risks than opioids and other prescribed drugs.
Medical marijuana is most commonly used for pain in the US. “While marijuana isn’t strong enough for severe pain (for example, post-surgical pain or a broken bone), it is quite effective for the chronic pain that plagues millions of Americans, especially as they age,” explains primary care physician and cannabis specialist, Peter Grinspoon.
Marijuana also offers pain relief for patients who are suffering the pain of multiple sclerosis or general nerve pain. In contrast with marijuana, the commonly prescribed drugs for these ailments are often heavily sedating, which can impair quality of life.
Marijuana, particularly CBD (the main nonpsychoactive component in cannabis), has also shown potential to treat high blood pressure, inflammation and related neuropathic pain, anxiety disorders (including generalized anxiety, panic, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, and post-traumatic stress disorders), gastrointestinal (GI) disorders (including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s, and ulcerative colitis), epilepsy and other seizure syndromes, as well as the prevention of drug and alcohol addiction relapse and alleviation of the effects of chemotherapy.
“Medical marijuana” also includes drugs chemically derived from marijuana, rather than only preparations of the plant itself. According to the National Institutes of Health, “THC itself has proven medical benefits in particular formulations.”
In the US, the FDA approved THC-based Marinol and Cesamet to treat nausea in chemotherapy patients and for appetite stimulation in AIDS patients. Also FDA-approved is the CBD-based Epidiolex, which treats Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes in children. Sativex, a THC- and CBD-based drug for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, is approved for use in the UK, Canada, and some European countries.
The bottom line: marijuana has been used as medicine for thousands of years. The drug should be legalized and studied to reap the full benefits.Read More