Medical Marijuana

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Although marijuana is still mainly an illegal drug in the United States, its status is being more widely questioned than ever before. A number of professional medical organizations support marijuana for medicinal use, and the federal government is currently conducting research on potential benefits of the drug. Still, the Institutes of Health (NIH) do not advocate using marijuana as medicine or for any other purpose.[1]

Medical marijuana may be recommended by doctors "legally" in 16 U.S. states and Washington, DC. These include Delaware, Maine, Arizona, Vermont, Michigan, Alaska, California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Washington, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Oregon, and New Jersey.[2] It is used to treat a variety of health issues, including chronic pain, nausea, glaucoma, and side effects from prescription drugs used to treat serious illnesses such as HIV/AIDS. Typically, the state will require that sufficient need be established before allowing marijuana. Users, sellers, and growers are still subject to prosecution by federal law.

Some say that the most dangerous aspect of marijuana use is the fact that it is smoked, which could potentially cause damage to the lungs and cause cancer. These concerns may be alleviated by consuming it in foods or teas, or by using a vaporizer.


Medicalmarijuana.jpg
Flickr: Chuck “Caveman” Coker
Other names Weed, pot, herb, dope, Mary Jane, reefer, cannabis, sativa, indica, chronic
Manufacturer Grown and produced independently
Legal status Medical marijuana is illegal in most of the United States
Uses Treatment of nausea, pain, glaucoma, arthritis and other conditions
Active ingredient Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
Disclaimer The information provided by PharmacyDrugGuide.com is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not take any action based on the information on this page without consulting a physician.
Author Allison Hughes
 
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Contents

About Marijuana

Marijuana is the most popular recreational drug in the United States. However, not everyone who uses it does so in an attempt to get "high." The drug is made by drying out the flowers and leaves of a plant known as Cannabis. These may then be smoked in cigarettes or pipes, or consumed in other ways. The active ingredient in marijuana is THC, which causes the feeling of being "stoned" and also produces side effects such as red eyes, dry mouth, increased blood pressure, and an increase in appetite.[3]

Marijuana as Medicine

The Cannabis plant has a very long history of medicinal use, with evidence dating back to 2,737 BCE. Today, synthetic cannabinoids such as Marinol and Cesamet are sold as prescription drugs.[4] While marijuana is not known to cure any diseases, there is compelling evidence to suggest that it can ease the symptoms of glaucoma, anorexia, HIV, migraines, nausea, pain, multiple sclerosis and spasticity, PMS, depression, epilepsy, migraines, alcohol abuse, and the side effects of chemotherapy, among other conditions.[5]

In November of 2009, the American Medical Association urged the U.S. Federal Government to rethink its current stance on marijuana in order to allow more medical marijuana research. According to the AMA statement, the current classification of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance should be reevaluated in order to facilitate the development of cannabis-based medicines.[6]

Other organizations, such as the New York State Nurses Association, take the official position that marijuana legalization should be supported, so that it may be used to fight nausea and pain, and to increase appetite among cancer patients and others who are not getting adequate nutrition due to stomach upset or lack of interest in food.

The Negative Side of Marijuana Use

The use of marijuana is not without its downsides. For example, as with anything else that is smoked, frequent marijuana use can lead to coughing, bronchitis, and potentially lung disease. One study showed that marijuana smoking doubled or tripled the risk of developing cancers of the head or neck (although other studies have found no marijuana-cancer link). Marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70 percent more cancer-causing compounds than tobacco smoke.[7]

Marijuana can lead to other problems, such as issues with memory and learning, distorted perception, difficulties with thinking and problem solving, loss of coordination, anxiety, panic attacks, and paranoia, a compromised immune system, leading to lower ability to ward off disease. Since chronic marijuana use can cause learning and memory problems, students who are heavy marijuana smokers are at greater risk academically and socially. [7]

Obama's Stance on Medical Marijuana

The president speaks on marijuana

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Also See: Marijuana, Marijuana Coupons, Marijuana and Pain, Marijuana and High Blood Pressure, Marijuana and Nausea, Marijuana and Weight, Marijuana and Anxiety, Marijuana and Depression, Drug Coupons, Drug Side Effects

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References

  1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/marijuana.html
  2. http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881
  3. http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/marijuana-use-and-its-effects
  4. http://www.doctordeluca.com/Library/WOD/WPS3-MedMj/CannabinoidsMedMetaAnalysis06.pdf
  5. http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000087
  6. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-5614233-503544.html
  7. 7.0 7.1 http://womenshealth.gov/smoking-how-to-quit/other-forms-tobacco-nicotine-marijuana/marijuana.cfm