Marijuana is also called pot, grass and weed however its formal name is definitely cannabis. Referring from your leaves and flowers of the plant Cannabis sativa. It is considered an illegal substance in the united states and a lot of countries and possessing marijuana is a crime punishable by law. The FDA classifies marijuana as Schedule I, substances that have a very high risk of abuse and have no proven medical use. Through the years several studies are convinced that some substances seen in marijuana have medicinal use, especially in terminal diseases including cancer and AIDS. This started a fierce debate within the positives and negatives with the using medicinal marijuana. To stay this debate, the Institute of Medicine published the famous 1999 IOM report entitled Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. The report was comprehensive but would not give you a clear yes or no answer. The other camps from the medical marijuana issue often cite the main report within their advocacy arguments. However, even though the report clarified several things, it never settled the controversy forever.
Let’s consider the down sides that support why medical cannabis should be legalized.
(1) Marijuana is really a naturally sourced herb and possesses been used from Brazilian to Asia as a possible herbal medicine for millennia. Within this day and age once the organic and natural and organic are crucial health buzzwords, a naturally sourced herb like marijuana is more attracting and safer for consumers than synthetic drugs.
(2) Marijuana has strong therapeutic potential. Several studies, as summarized inside the IOM report, have noticed that cannabis bring analgesic, e.g. to treat pain. A number of studies showed that THC, a marijuana component works in treating chronic pain experienced by cancer patients. However, studies on acute pain like those experienced during surgery and trauma have inconclusive reports. A few studies, also summarized from the IOM report, have established that some marijuana components have antiemetic properties and are, therefore, effective against nausea and vomiting, which can be common side effects of cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Some researchers believe that cannabis has some therapeutic potential against neurological diseases such as ms. Specific compounds taken from marijuana have strong therapeutic potential. Cannobidiol (CBD), a serious part of marijuana, has been shown to have antipsychotic, anticancer and antioxidant properties. Other cannabinoids have shown to prevent high intraocular pressure (IOP), an important risk factor for glaucoma. Drugs that have active ingredients within marijuana but are already synthetically produced in the laboratory happen to be authorized by the US FDA. One example is Marinol, an antiemetic agent indicated for nausea and vomiting connected with cancer chemotherapy. Its ingredient is dronabinol, a man-made delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
(3) One of the major supporters of medical marijuana may be the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), a US-based organization. Many medical expert societies and organizations have expressed their support. As one example, The American College of Physicians, recommended a re-evaluation of the Schedule I classification of marijuana in their 2008 position paper. ACP also expresses its strong support for research into the therapeutic role of marijuana and also exemption from federal justice; civil liability; or professional sanctioning for physicians who prescribe or dispense medicinal marijuana relative to state guidelines. Similarly, protection from criminal or civil penalties for patients who use medical cannabis as permitted under state laws.
(4) Medical marijuana is legally used in many western world The argument of if they’d like to get it done, you will want to us? is another strong point. Some countries, including Canada, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, britain, Spain, Israel, and Finland have legalized the therapeutic utilization of marijuana under strict prescription control. Some states in the usa can also be allowing exemptions.
Now listed here are the arguments against medicinal marijuana.
(1) Deficiency of data on safety and efficacy. Drug regulation will depend on safety first. The protection of marijuana and its particular components continues to have to first be established. Efficacy only comes second. Even when marijuana has some beneficial health effects, the benefits should outweigh the risks for it to be considered for medical use. Unless marijuana is proven to be better (safer and much more effective) than drugs available today on the market, its approval for medical use could be a long shot. According to the testimony of Robert J. Meyer of the Department of Wellness Human Services accessing a medication or medical treatment, with no knowledge of the way you use it or even when it is effective, doesn’t benefit anyone. Simply having access, without having safety, efficacy, and adequate use information does not help patients.
(2) Unknown chemical components. Medical marijuana can only be accessible and economical in herbal form. Like other herbs, marijuana falls underneath the class of botanical products. Unpurified botanical products, however, face many problems including lot-to-lot consistency, dosage determination, potency, shelf-life, and toxicity. According to the IOM report if you find any desolate man marijuana as being a medicine, it is in its isolated components, the cannabinoids along with their synthetic derivatives. To fully characterize the different components of marijuana would cost a lot time and money that the costs in the medications that may emerge from it would be too much. Currently, no pharmaceutical company seems thinking about investing money to isolate more therapeutic components from marijuana beyond what exactly is already available in the market.
(3) Potential for abuse. Marijuana or cannabis is addictive. It might not be as addictive as hard drugs including cocaine; nevertheless it can’t be denied that there is a possibility of drug use linked to marijuana. It’s been demonstrated by a number of studies as summarized in the IOM report.
(4) Lack of a secure delivery system. The most common form of delivery of marijuana is thru smoking. Considering the current trends in anti-smoking legislations, this kind of delivery will never be approved by health authorities. Reliable and safe delivery systems in the form of vaporizers, nebulizers, or inhalers continue to be in the testing stage.
(5) Symptom alleviation, not cure. Regardless of whether marijuana has therapeutic effects, it is simply addressing the signs and symptoms of certain diseases. This doesn’t treat or cure these illnesses. Considering the fact that it is effective against these symptoms, we already have medications available which work just as well lounge chair somewhere, devoid of the unwanted effects and risk of abuse linked to marijuana.
The 1999 IOM report couldn’t settle the talk about medicinal marijuana with scientific evidence offered by that period. The report definitely discouraged using smoked marijuana but gave a nod towards marijuana use through a medical inhaler or vaporizer. Moreover, the report also recommended the compassionate utilization of marijuana under strict medical supervision. Furthermore, it urged more funding in the research in the safety and efficacy of cannabinoids.
So what stands when it comes to clarifying the questions brought up through the IOM report? The authorities don’t appear to be interested in having another review. There is certainly limited data available and whatever can be obtained is biased towards issues of safety about the uncomfortable side effects of smoked marijuana. Data on efficacy mainly are derived from studies on synthetic cannabinoids (e.g. THC). This disparity in data bakes an objective risk-benefit assessment difficult.
Clinical tests on marijuana are few and difficult to conduct due to limited funding and strict regulations. Because of the complicated legalities involved, not many pharmaceutical information mill investing in cannabinoid research. Most of the time, it isn’t clear the best way to define medical cannabis as advocated and opposed by many people groups. Can it only refer to the usage of the botanical product marijuana or can it include synthetic cannabinoid components (e.g. THC and derivatives) also? Synthetic cannabinoids (e.g. Marinol) you can purchase are incredibly expensive, pushing people towards the more affordable cannabinoid available as marijuana. Naturally, the issue is further clouded by conspiracy theories relating to the pharmaceutical industry and drug regulators.