Medical marijuana is an alternative type of medicine that comes from Cannabis Sativa’s dried parts. People have used it as a herbal remedy for centuries, and it as proven to be effective in relieving and treating symptoms of chronic illnesses. Although the Federal government considers it illegal, some states allow its use in treating particular health conditions. Medical marijuana can be in the form of vaporized spray, pills, and smoking leaves or baked into foods depending on how often one should use it. This paper will analyze medical marijuana as an alternative medicine for various chronic illnesses, and advocate for its legalization.
Medical Marijuana as an Alternative Medicine
Medical Marijuana has been proven to improve the quality of life in patients with certain chronic conditions and it can be used an effective alternative medicine option. Patients should be able to have access to medical marijuana without having to face the stigma that currently exists in modern medicine. Medical marijuana is one of the most vital remedies for people with chronic ailments. According to Borowicz, Kaczmarska & Szalewska (2014), marijuana is an effective treatment for lung cancer, which is a chronic condition. The study revealed that cannabis contains active ingredients with the ability to inhibit tumor growth in people with lung cancer, thus reducing the spread of metastases. The CB1 and CB2 receptors enhance efficacy and their activation can also be a result of cannabinoids and TCH medical derivatives. The receptors that become overexpressed in various cancers inhibit epidermal growth factor receptor, which is prevalent in non-small cell carcinoma (NSCLC). With the discovery of medical marijuana, it is evident that its anti-tumorigenic action will help in suppressing tumor growth and other oncological related symptoms. The cannabinoid receptor activation in the hypothalamic hunger center enhances the intake of food and leads to weight gain (Borowicz, Kaczmarska & Szalewska, 2014). As such, it will also be possible to eliminate the cachexia that develops during the terminal stage of cancer.
Studies have also established that marijuana can heal Glaucoma, a condition that destroys the optic nerve and makes the patients blind. Borowicz, Kaczmarska & Szalewska (2014) found that the CB2 receptor-induced enhancements in retinal circulation mediate the action. Using cannabis as a medicine for glaucoma is advantageous because it lowers intraocular pressure without exposing the patient to serious adverse effects. A combination of timolol eye drops and cannabis extracts produces good treatment results (Borowicz, Kaczmarska & Szalewska, 2014). Additionally, the spreading of cannabinoid receptors in a person’s immune system is an indication that endocannabinoid receptors are the targets of anti-inflammatory interventions.
Cannabis also helps in the treatment of HIV, a virus that multiplies and kills the CD4+T lymphocytes, destroying their ability to fight infections. Since most of the HIV infections present the cognitive impairment and dementia symptoms, it becomes difficult for other medications that cannot cross the blood-brain barrier to eliminate the symptoms. However, data from Harvard University has established that marijuana can pass through the barrier and result in protection of the brain from HIV-related neurotoxin proteins (Borowicz, Kaczmarska & Szalewska, 2014). Inflammation that is also a common condition is treatable using marijuana. Cannabinoids contain an anti-inflammatory activity that can also help in rheumatism therapies. During this process, the cannabinoid agonists influence lymphocyte proliferation and help in modulating the cytokines production.
Marijuana, as an alternative medicine also heals inflammatory bowel disease. The gastrointestinal tract condition’s symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pains, and internal cramps. As such, experiments in patients revealed high CBR expressions and endocannabinoid levels in the intestines. However, researches have confirmed that the THC-rich cannabis heals 90 percent of the patients without exposing them to significant side effects. Additionally, patients with multiple sclerosis conditions can also use medical marijuana as an alternative source of medication.
Stigma Associated With Medical Marijuana
Although research has confirmed the usefulness of cannabis as an alternative source of medicine, it remains difficult o use in several regions due to the stigma involved. The association of marijuana with illegal drugs makes it challenging for some people to purchase and use it openly. However, the administration of marijuana in ways that resemble traditional medications like pills increases its intake levels. On the other hand, marijuana intake using recreational approaches like cigarette smoking receives a high level of stigmatization (Rudiski, 2014). Therefore, the reasons for marijuana consumption and method used are essential aspects of the treatment process. Since no evidence-based information exists, the doctors find it challenging to recommend the precise information to patients confidently.
Since the benefits of medical marijuana are evident, it is crucial to legalize it and recommend its use in clinics so that people do not shy from openly using it. Eliminating the controversies and stigma will also make it easier for health facilities to prescribe the right doses to patients.
With the growing morbidity of immune ailments and the ineffectiveness of available therapeutic techniques, it has become increasingly important to invest in alternative medicines. Marijuana appears to be one of the best options for treating chronic conditions like lung cancer, glaucoma, and HIV among others. However, the stigma associated with the drugs makes its open prescription and consumption difficult. Additionally, the lack of its national recognition makes it appear illegal in some states; hence, people cannot get it easily. Therefore, approving marijuana and legalizing its use will help in eliminating most of the persistent chronic diseases.
- Borowicz, K. K., Kaczmarska, P., & Barbara, S. (2014). Medical use of marijuana. Archives of Physiotherapy & Global Researches, 18(4).
- Rudski, J. M. (2014). Treatment acceptability, stigma, and legal concerns of medical marijuana are affected by the method of administration. Journal of Drug Issues, 44(3), 308-320.