We Still Need to Advocate for Medical Marijuana

The question as to whether marijuana can provide any medical benefits has asked and answered, yet there are still places where medical marijuana remains illegal.  While it can be purchased and used in more than 23 states we still have a long way to go in accepting that the medicinal value in marijuana far exceeds any negative effects associated with its use.  There are still lawmakers throughout the country who still believe that marijuana needs to remain illegal.  Let’s look at why that needs to change and we still need to advocate for medical marijuana.

How it is used

The use of marijuana to treat a variety of medical conditions goes back almost 4,000 years in China, from there the practice traveled to India and beyond.  Marijuana has more than 60 active ingredients that are shown to provide medicinal uses.  These compounds are called cannabinoids, our body can also produce cannabinoids naturally and they help with pain management.

The main cannabinoid you find in marijuana is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, it can trigger the CB1 receptors found in the body.  The CB1 receptors, when activated will release hormones that help with pain and stress.  Pain and stress aren’t the only uses for medical marijuana it has been known to help with patients suffering from muscle spasms and chronic stiffness.

Cancer Patients

In North America one of the first recognized uses for medical marijuana has been to help cancer patients.  Cancer patients who have had to undergo chemotherapy are often ill from the treatment and suffer from a loss of appetite.  Using marijuana has helped them to eat more and keep food down while going through chemo.  It has been invaluable in helping patients deal with side effects.  Here is a closer look at how it works.

Side Effects

While the medical benefits of medical cannabis aren’t in dispute it isn’t without side effects.  The THC contained in marijuana is the ingredient that is responsible for the “high” feeling and it can affect your thinking and reasoning skills.  It can also lead to anxiety and feelings of paranoia in some patients.  That being said there are very few if any physical side effects to using marijuana.

Bear in mind that if you want to use medical marijuana you still may have some resistance in getting it.  While it is legal in more than 20 states it is still illegal at the federal level and you may not have access depending on where you live and how your doctor feels about prescribing it.