Medical marijuana, and weed in general, has not always been held in the positive light it is today.
From the early 1900’s to the early 2000's, the use of marijuana was severely frowned upon. Not only was it illegal, cannabis use was absolutely demonised in every way possible. The media made it sound like an addictive, dangerous drug, similar to heroin and cocaine.
Films like "Reefer Madness" did not help the credibility of cannabis either. These types of propaganda movies pushed the idea that marijuana was the "devil's weed". According to them, it would lead to hallucinations and murderous thoughts.
None of this was based on evidence or studies done at the time. Most of it was rooted in racist ideals and a need for power, without any real science to back it up.
The world has certainly changed its mind since then. People now smoke weed and watch Reefer Madness because of its hilarity. I guess that backfired on the original creator's purpose.
Why is the world changing its mind now?
Behind the recreational purposes of cannabis lies a wealth of potential medical benefits that we can tap into.
The research conducted on weed back in the day was one-sided and often done for political gain. Now there are thousands of scientific studies taking place to back up the green herb. As more research takes place, there will be more fact-based evidence to change people's minds.
It will still take some time before we see the complete legalisation of weed. There is plenty of proof for the efficacy of medical marijuana, but some downsides still exist. It may take a few years of authorities weighing the pros and cons before it is legalised around the world.
What can medical marijuana help you with?
Thankfully, people’s perception of medical marijuana is becoming more positive. In many countries, prescribed cannabis is available to those suffering from a legitimate problem.
And no, wanting to relax after a hard day's work is not a legitimate problem. Authorised medical practitioners can provide you with a prescription, so long as you fit the bill.
Medical marijuana is more potent than isolated cannabidiol thanks to the "entourage effect." This means that cannabis is far more effective when all its cannabinoids work together. Pure CBD has its benefits, but it may prove to have fewer therapeutic purposes than weed.
Here are some of the top ways medical marijuana could benefit you:
Chronic pain relief
There is a reason why "chronic" became a name for cannabis. Studies show that the cannabinoids in medical marijuana relieve pain without serious side-effects. It is also not as addictive as drugs like oxycodone and codeine.
A recent study shows that cannabis can reduce activity in the amygdala. Part of the brain that is responsible for how you respond to fear. This will help reduce the response to post-traumatic stress disorder. It is also believed cannabinoids can help to extinguish traumatic memories.
ADD/ADHD medication replacement
Certain strains of medical cannabis can be effective in treating ADD and ADHD. The cannabinoids may reduce hyperactivity, improve focus, and promote better impulse control. Some side effects of ADD/ADHD medication can be severe, so cannabis may be the better option.
Shrink cancer cells and alleviate cancer treatment side-effects
New research shows certain cannabinoids may shrink cancer cells. This is not yet proven, but there are promising studies taking place. Medical marijuana also assists with the debilitating effects of radiation and chemotherapy treatment. Nausea, appetite loss, and fatigue can be managed with the help of weed.
Weight loss/weight gain
According to the science, marijuana may help regulate insulin levels in the body, but this varies person to person. Many of you who have smoked know that it may also increase your appetite. This could be useful if you are suffering from anorexia.
Epilepsy and seizure control
Medical cannabis has proven to be useful in the treatment of epilepsy. Many people report a huge increase in their overall quality of life when using weed for seizure control.
Alleviate stress and anxiety
If you’ve smoked weed before, you will know that it can really make you chill out. We now know that Reefer Madness was wrong. Reefer will aid in stress relief and can help ease anxiety sufferers.
Bring order to mental disorders
With the uplifting effects of many strains of marijuana, it is no surprise that it may help with depression and bipolar disorder. We are not all the same, so take this with a pinch of salt. There is some evidence to suggest that it can worsen mental disorders such as schizophrenia.
Healthier replacement for alcohol
If you are recovering from alcohol abuse, it is better to be stone cold sober. However, medical cannabis is a less addictive, healthier alternative that will lead to fewer complications.
The list of medical marijuana benefits could go on and on. New studies reveal the potential of this wonder plant. But we must also be mindful that everything has its downsides.
The negatives of cannabis
Marijuana is a safer bet than many of the drugs that are easily available. There is not a single report of an overdose or death directly caused by marijuana. Many say that it is not addictive, but the truth is a little different. You can become psychologically addicted to weed. Regular use can ingrain it into your habits, a habit that can prove tough to kick.
Many long-time smokers report bad side-effects like memory loss and an increase in depression. Studies have also linked it to mental disorders such as schizophrenia and other psychoses. While it can aid with anxiety, long-time use suggests it may worsen over time.
Some evidence may also suggest it slows reaction speed, impairs judgement, and may lead to more car accidents. It may also have negative drug interactions with other prescriptions.
Always be sure to get a checkup with your doctor before consuming any medical cannabis.
Every person has their own unique mix of genetics and life experiences. The outcome of using cannabis is dependent on many factors, so the effects vary from person to person. Some people have used it their whole lives with no issues, whereas others have taken one hit and never tried it again.
The only way to know is to find out for yourself.