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                                                                              Medical Marijuana


Marijuana is the most common drug in the world. We all have come across lot of discussions and heated debates regarding various aspects of it. However, the most interesting among them is regarding the medical use of marijuana. It may come as a surprise to at least some people that marijuana, in fact, has medicinal properties and that it is not just a street drug.

However, the medical application of marijuana is clouded with controversies from different angles of life – religious, social, and political. Let us now analyze various points – both pro and anti – about this “wonder” drug.

medical marijuanaThe most important quality of marijuana is that it helps reduce pain and discomfort thus helping all chronic pain patients around the world. Besides that, it has been proven to help with patients suffering from anorexia nervosa by increasing appetite, epileptic patients by arresting seizure episodes, and so on.

Though medical marijuana is advised by physicians, the main reason which holds them back is the legal status and lack of expertise training in the clinical use of the drug as medicine. They also reasonably fear that their professionalism and medical ethics may not come to their rescue from the clutches of law enforcement.

Now let us look back at the origin of this drug. The advent of medical marijuana can be traced back to thousands of years in China, India, and the Middle East. People observed a high degree of ethics during those times, which made it possible for them to use marijuana as a pharmacological solution. Today, the scene is entirely different. If medical use of marijuana is allowed, chances are that it will be misused or abused even by the physicians themselves, let alone the patients! Other than ethical reasons, there are some technical reasons too. The drug, even though recommended for critical pain sufferers, continuous and regular use of it will slowly but steadily leads the consumers to psychological as well as physiological addiction. And the worst thing is that this slow process of addiction is not easily recognizable.

Research is going on to ascertain the anti-cancer characteristics of marijuana, its clinical and preclinical studies vehemently argues that the administration of marijuana drugs has the capacity to reduce the risk of spreading particular cancer cells through apoptosis.

The government through legislation is permitting the physician-supervised administration of medicinal marijuana. Still many physicians as well as patients are seeking expert advises as to the appropriateness of its therapeutic application. Studies indicates that therapeutic administration of medicinal marijuana has around 17 types of clinical implications, which includes Alzheimer disease, diabetes mellitus, dystopia, hepatitis, HIV, hypertension, gliomas, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis etc. The elevated intraocular pressure which takes place as a result of glaucoma can be mitigated by the clinical use of marijuana, taken in the form of tablet or smoked; this clinical use is evidenced and is supported with the help of reports via the treatment of patients with glaucoma. There are published studies regarding smoking of marijuana, which suggests that smoking of marijuana by people with spinal cord injuries and with sclerosis gives them relief.

medical marijuana growTo be approved for medical use, the benefits and adverse effects of a drug is analyzed comprehensively. If the benefits outweigh the adverse side effects, it is approved and can be used as a prescription drug. In case of marijuana, it is usually consumed in three different forms such as oral, inhalation (smoked), and rectal (suppositories). No matter in what way it is consumed, regular use of it can produce various side effects. These include an increased heart rate, decrease in blood pressure caused due to the widened blood vessels, damage of lungs caused due to smoke, inability to fight infections, decrease in sperm count for men and ovulation suppression for women and hormone imbalance for both men and women, and above all, the psychological addiction and physical dependences on the drug. On stopping the drug after prolonged intake, the patient or the user shows withdrawal symptoms. Restlessness, irritability, low appetite, unhealthy sleep, etc. are some of the withdrawal symptoms. Thus, marijuana’s future as a medical solution looks very bleak. In addition to the abovementioned problems, uncontrolled use of drug leads to craving to acquire the drug and will eventually force the consumer into antisocial activities. There is also a tint of genetic factor to decide the cause of addiction.

Another issue related to medical marijuana is that even when the drug is administered in the right doses, the patient will be at a higher level of risk while driving a motor vehicle. This is because influence of marijuana is seen to cause both auditory and visual hallucinations, and affect the alertness and orientation of the user. This is a serious drawback and thus stands in the way of making its usage a legal one. Also, it tends to develop ‘disassociation,’ which means one’s reluctance to be with friends, family, work place and social life. Any medicine that will affect the social relationship can never be entertained simply due to the fact that the very purpose of all medicines is to make the patient fit enough to lead a normal life in the society.

Studies have published their report saying that this use of drug tends to cause physical problems too, but they are not bringing to limelight the real problem. Clinical experts certify that bodily disorders such as low heart rate and hormone imbalance are definite side effects. Researchers have found some slight impairment in psychomotor functions of marijuana users, but the acute psychological impact on drug users are one way more complex and it depend on persons and the circumstances of each persons. Recent studies tend to dispute the psychoses attributed to marijuana.

Thus, the conclusion is that whether the drug is administered with close guidance of a physician, problems are bound to occur. This makes marijuana unfit for medical use and also the most dangerous and most controversial drug in the world. Nonetheless, let us hope that all the clouds of controversies will clear and marijuana will come up in a new useful form.