Health Benefits of Medical Marijuana
As medical cannabis becomes increasingly more popular, more people are using it to cope with issues like depression, pain management, and anxiety. Recent research indicates that both the use and abuse of prescription drugs like opiates are actually declining in states where either medical or recreational marijuana use is legal. So, a decline in opiate use is one of the many benefits of weed as supported by a study conducted by J Pain Res in 2017 which surveyed people that use cannabis. The survey was designed to see whether people were intentionally substituting marijuana for prescription drugs. The decreasing opiate crisis in certain states can undoubtedly be seen as one of the significant benefits of weed.
What are the benefits of Medical Marijuana?
In recent times, the potential medicinal benefits of weed and its components have become a subject of heavy debate across the United States. THC has proven its medical benefits in certain formulations and not long ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved two THC-based medications; Dronabinol and Nabilone. These medications are both prescribed in pill form to help cancer chemotherapy patients deal with nausea. They also help bolster the appetite in patients that are suffering from AIDS. Decreasing nausea and increasing appetite in patients with particular ailments demonstrate two more benefits of weed.
Aside from this, the FDA also approved another CBD-based liquid medication, known as Epidiolex. This medication is prescribed to treat two types of severe childhood epilepsy. Those types of epilepsy are Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. This medication is prescribed to patients in effective dosages using a reproducible delivery method.
Marijuana compared to Tobacco and Alcohol
In fact, marijuana is significantly less dangerous than both tobacco and alcohol, according to researchers in the study, so the focus should be on managing the risks of tobacco and alcohol rather than illicit drugs. Additionally, the low risk associated with cannabis suggests that government should use “a strict legal regulatory approach rather than the current prohibition approach” to manage the substance, the researchers write.
According to the Controlled Substances Act, the U.S. has five “schedules” for drugs and chemicals that can be used to make drugs. Marijuana has been classified as Schedule I for decades, along with other substances like heroin and LSD, because the Drug Enforcement Administration considers them to be the “most dangerous”. Tobacco and alcohol are exempt from the CSA, but cocaine is Schedule II.
Where would alcohol and tobacco be placed in the CSA if science dictated drug policy?
New York University professor Mark Kleiman, the co-author of Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know, has described alcohol and tobacco as Schedule I drugs.
Other Weed Related Studies
Many other weed-based medications are already approved, with others currently undergoing clinical trials for approval. One medicine, called Nabiximols, is delivered as a mouth spray. Nabiximols is now legal in Canada, the United Kingdom, and many other European countries. It is used to treat spasticity (muscle stiffness) as well as neuropathic pain that comes with multiple sclerosis. Nabiximols combine THC with another chemical found in weed called cannabidiol, also known as CBD. So, treating multiple sclerosis turns out to be one of the many benefits of weed.
Experts feel that medications like Nabiximols are better therapeutically than medicines that use the entire marijuana plant. These medications are also considered to be better than those that use weed’s cruder extracts. That’s because drugs like Nabiximols utilize purified chemicals that come from the marijuana plant itself. Although the many benefits of weed and marijuana medications are becoming increasingly more apparent, developing drugs from botanicals (including the marijuana plant) can be challenging.
These challenges arise from the fact that botanicals are infused with many unknown active chemicals making it problematic to develop a medication that features an accurate and consistent dose. Also, for those that smoke THC, that smoking does pose other risks. Regardless of these repercussions, many states are still legalizing the use of marijuana based on the many research-proven benefits of weed which is felt to outweigh the risks.