From Taboo to Treatment: The Evolution of Medical Marijuana

Monday, September 25, 2023


When a patient has a disease or illness that is surrounded by taboos, it can be hard to seek treatment. The same is true for drugs. Federal marijuana policy keeps tens of thousands of Americans from accessing a drug that could benefit their health. This policy must change. Changing the drug's classification from Schedule I, which excludes it from clinical research, is one step.


Despite the anecdotal claims of people who claim medicinal benefits from consuming cannabis, there has been little scientific evidence until recently. With the discovery of a specific set of receptors and ligands in the human brain, scientists now have the tools to validate these claims. Physicians who treat patients with AIDS, glaucoma, and other conditions report dramatic improvement when their patients use marijuana to manage pain, nausea, wasting syndrome, PTSD, and irritable bowel syndrome. They clamor for more research and the loosening of restrictions on the use of plant marijuana.

In the late 1970s, state governments began to respond to pressure from physicians and patients. The first was New Mexico, which enacted legislation that allowed physicians to prescribe marijuana for certain patients. The program was soon compromised by the FDA's requirement to follow the same rules as pharmaceutical drugs. Considerable friction developed between physicians and the people in charge of the program. Physicians were frustrated by the excessive amount of bureaucratic procedures that they had to undergo to obtain marijuana for their patients.


While the research on medical marijuana in Iowa and its constituents is ongoing, there is growing evidence that certain forms of cannabis can ease symptoms for people with serious illnesses. It is used to relieve pain, nausea, and loss of appetite, stimulate the growth of new cells in people with AIDS, and treat glaucoma, as well as reduce the number of seizures experienced by some people with epilepsy. Almost half of the participants in our study discussed experiencing stigma related to their use of medical marijuana. Sub-themes included stigma in clinical settings and in social judgment and prejudice, which was perceived to limit their freedom of expression. Many patients like Jennifer Collins and business owners are victims of a system that is inflexible, inconsistent, and often misguided. It is time for elected officials to transform the nation's medical marijuana laws into a system that is rational, functional, and informed by science. It will allow people with life-threatening illnesses a chance to live healthy, whole lives.


Medical marijuana has become more and more well-liked as a remedy for several illnesses in recent years. It can alleviate pain caused by chronic diseases and cancer, such as AIDS, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis (MS). It can also help people with glaucoma to feel hungry, as it lowers the pressure in their eyes. Hemp has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. It was advised by Galen and other medical professionals of the ancient and Hellenistic periods to treat fevers, sleeplessness, diarrhea, malaria, venereal illness, and even to sharpen the mind. Today, certain tribes still smoke it before childbirth to stimulate labor and cure a variety of illnesses, including HIV/AIDS and cancer.

Marijuana is anecdotally reported to treat some conditions, but medical evidence is limited. It is important to note that patients should seek advice from doctors specializing in their condition before starting any new drug. Many patients have trouble telling their physicians about their use of marijuana, fearing that they will be reprimanded or criticized for using unproven medicine. Some doctors refuse to give prescriptions for cannabis, leading to a lack of available treatments for those in need.

Side Effects

Physicians and patients who use cannabis for medical reasons say that it relieves pain from shingles, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, interstitial cystitis, and multiple sclerosis. It also alleviates nausea, stimulates appetite, and reduces spasticity. It reduces the number of other medications that patients need to take, including ibuprofen, codeine, and opiate painkillers.

Most of the 72 systematic reviews that have compared cannabis with placebo report both neurocognitive and non-cognitive outcomes. However, most do not conduct a narrative or quantitative synthesis and report results study by study.

Most of the reviews that compared cannabis with active drugs reported only non-cognitive outcomes, while many reports did not adequately assess methodological quality or undertake a meta-analysis. A few of the reviews compared cannabis with other treatments, including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and benzodiazepines, and a few compared it with a combination of different drugs, such as amitriptyline and secobarbital. However, these comparisons did not always include a control group. Moreover, some of these trials used a short-term design, making it difficult to determine whether or not the cannabis was effective.


While the FDA recognizes that unapproved cannabis and cannabis-derived products are being used to treat AIDS wasting, epilepsy, neuropathic pain, spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, and cancer and chemotherapy-induced nausea, those products have not undergone rigorous clinical testing. They are not safe or effective for all patients. It's still illegal to possess or grow marijuana in most places, and even doctors who support medical marijuana face scrutiny from the federal government. Some patients are reluctant to bring up marijuana with their doctor for fear of being reprimanded.

The story of Charlotte's Web has changed that. Families of children with debilitating conditions are now more willing to try marijuana as a treatment. That's good news, but it's not a substitute for proven treatments like surgery and chemotherapy that extend and save lives. Research into medical marijuana is needed, but that will require loosening of governmental restrictions on its study. It is one area where patients, physicians, and legislators can work together to push for change.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket photo googleplus.png

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love reading and responding to comments but in order to get my reply you must ensure you are NOT a no-reply blogger. If you are, here are some quick steps to change that!

1. Go to the home page of your Blogger account.
2. Select the drop down beside your name on the top right corner and choose Blogger Profile.
3. Select Edit Profile at the top right.
4. Select the Show My Email Address box.
5. Hit Save Profile.