Using Marijuana for medical treatment

ByTalha Mansoor

An advocate


August 13, 2022

Talha Mansoor talks about usage of a prohibited substance for medical treatment

The matter of utilising marijuana for medical purposes is now a recognised subject and the drug is treated as a valid source of manufacturing medicines. The apparently spurious substances known in Pakistani parlance as Charas and Hashish are purified resinous extract of the hemp plant used as a hallucinogen. Another branch of such substance is Cannabis Sativa also known as Ganja or Marijuana that is a strong-smelling plant from whose dried leaves a number of euphoriant and hallucinogenic drugs are prepared.

The first reference to the medicinal qualities of these substances is found in 2737 BC when Chinese Emperor Shen Nung described the usage of cannabis product psychoactive agent. It was known as a medication for rheumatism, gout, malaria, and funny enough, for absent-mindedness. Gradually its use spread from China to India, and then to North Africa, and reached Europe as early as AD 500. Marijuana was listed in official medical journals from 1850 till 1942 and it was prescribed for different medical uses such as labor pain, nausea, and rheumatism.

From 1850s to 1930s cannabis started to grow famous for recreational purposes. As the intake of this drug increased over time, The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classified it as a Scheduled 1 Drug and naturally controversies aroused surrounding the medical use of marijuana. To make it more medical-friendly, its active ingredient THC was synthesized in 1966 and finally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1985. A 1999 a US Government sponsored study by the Institute of Medicine uncovered the beneficial properties of marijuana in certain medical conditions such as nausea caused by chemotherapy and wasting caused by AIDS.
Since 1999, a number of studies have been done to show that smoking marijuana has pain reducing effects. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize the use of marijuana for medical objectives and about 24 of the states now have some sort of medical marijuana legislation. There are many specified medical benefits of marijuana as it can slow and stop cancer cells from spreading and Cannabidiol has the ability to stop cancer by turning off a gene called Id-1 and researchers at California Pacific Medical Center reported that CBD may prevent cancer from spreading. American Association for Cancer Research has found that marijuana actually works to slow down tumor growth in brain, breast and lungs considerately.

THC, the active ingredient present in marijuana slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease as it slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. These plaques kill the brain cells, and potentially lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Marijuana can be used to treat glaucoma, which increases the pressure in the eyeball, injuring the optic nerve and causing loss of vision. In 2011, researchers reported that cannabis reduces pain and inflammation and promotes sleep, which may help relieve pain and discomfort for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

A recent study showed that marijuana use can control epileptic seizure as it was found out that the THC controlled the seizures by binding the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation. In addition, it eases the pain of multiple sclerosis as it stops negative neurological effects and muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis. It also soothes tremors for people with Parkinson’s disease. It helps with Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disorder that causes pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and more.
It decreases the symptoms of Dravet’s Syndrome that causes seizures and severe developmental delays. Moreover, it lessens side effects from treating Hepatitis C, and increase treatment effectiveness. One of the most common uses of medical marijuana is for people going through chemotherapy. Cancer patients going through chemo suffer from severe pains, painful nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. This can lead to further health complications. Marijuana can help reduce these side effects, reducing pain, decreasing nausea, and stirring up the appetite. The American Food and Drug Administration has approved two man-made cannabinoid medicines –Dronabinol to treat nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. The cannabidiol Epidiolex was approved in 2018 for treating seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

Medical marijuana is made of dried parts of the Cannabis sativa plant. Humans have turned to it as an herbal remedy for centuries and today people use it to relieve symptoms or treat various diseases. The chemicals in marijuana affect you when they connect with specific parts of cells called receptors. Scientists know that you have cells with cannabinoid receptors in your brain and in your immune system. Although FDA has not given its OK to marijuana for medicinal use, it has signed off on three related compounds as specific treatments. FDA does not oversee medical marijuana like it does prescription drugs and that means the strength of and ingredients in medical marijuana can differ quite a bit depending on where you buy it. TW


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