Medicalcannabis should be legalized because it provides a number of medicalbenefits that can be proven by medical research. Medicalcannabis is legal in some countries and some states in somecountries. However, cannabis have been believed to cause mental anddevelopmental problems, and some communities have strongly rejectedthe drug. However, some traditional physicians recommended it fortreatment of digestive problems, pain relief and psychologicaldisorders (Stolberg3).This paper will explore the medical benefits of legalizing themedical cannabis.
Thelegalization of the medical cannabis is backed by research done byexperts in the field. One of the researches that this paper willexplore is the CompassionateInvestigational New Drug (IND) that proved the claim of the medicalbenefits of the cannabis. In other research by the Institute ofMedicine (IOM) in 1999,results on patients with HIV indicated that oral cannabis extracts(OCE) were effective in treating medical diseases.
Despitethe researched claim of medical benefits, there are social argumentsagainst the legalization of the medical cannabis. The main argumentagainst the legalization is that of the mental effects of cannabis.However, the argument does not prove fatal effects. To counter theargument, this paper will describe the effects of cannabis as thesame with allanalgesic treatments. With the highlight of medical benefits andlimited effects that can be controlled in a medical situation, it isworth to consider the legalization of cannabis for medical use. Thediscussion in this paper therefore focuses on the need to legalizemedical cannabis
Medicalcannabis should be legalized
Severalmedical experts and researchers have revealed that medical cannabisis an effective treatment for several diseases that the normal drugsare unable to treat. Early authors in the American medical journalssuggest the use of hemp roots and seeds for venereal diseases andseveral conditions and incontinence (Stolberg3).Medical cannabis is a remedy for multiple sclerosis, cancer, pain anddouble blindness among other conditions. Thediscussion in this paper illustrates that medical cannabis should belegalized.This paper examines the important medical benefits of medicalcannabis, which are a reason enough for the legalization of medicalcannabis.
MedicalResearch Support for Medical Cannabis
Theresearch carried out to establish the efficacy of medical cannabiswas released in April 2014. The research was focused on the treatmentof movement disorders, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis (MS). Theresearch was done in accordance with the American Academy ofNeurology therapeutic articles classification scheme. Among thepatients with MS, oral cannabis extracts (OCE) were found to beeffective. Tetrahydrocannabinol(THC) and nabiximols were found to be effective in a reduction ofpainful spasms, central pain and neuropathic pain. The drugs werefound to be effective in treating urinary dysfunction and reducedbladder voids (Kopel et al 1556). More studies revealed that patientswith spasticity, a multiple sclerosis disabling condition, weretreated using nabiximol. The result found that there was animprovement among the patients who previously had a resistance to thenormal anti-spasticity medications (Novatna et al 1124).
Anotherresearch was carried out to establish the results of the prolongeduse of medical cannabis among critically ill students who were underthe Compassionate Investigational New Drug (IND). The result revealedsmoking of cannabis, and even the crude low-grade product led to painrelief and reduced muscle spasms. Also, smoked cannabis was found toreduce intraocular pressure among the patients that could not reactto other forms of treatment before. The clinical cannabis reduced orcompletely eliminated the negative and side effects produced by othermethods of medication. Clinical cannabis produced a better quality oflife among the examined patients. NIDA’s profile of cannabis usersrevealed that chronic usage produces a mild pulmonary risk. There wasno malignant deterioration that was observed (Russo 54).
Thereis a consensus that medical cannabis is effective in treating somekeenly defined medical conditions. The Institute of Medicine (IOM)carried out a review in 1999, which conclude that medical marijuanais moderately effective stimulating appetite in patients with AIDSwasting syndrome. They also found that it helped to relieve pain,especially nerve pain, and helped to manage nausea and vomitingrelated to chemotherapy (Harvard Business School 1). However, the IOMrecommended the use of medical marijuana only when patients cannotregain relief after the application of the other medical procedures.More results revealed that medical marijuana, controlled use ofmedical marijuana are effective for treating psychiatric conditions.
TheCenter for Medical Cannabis Research at the University of Californiaconducted a number of clinical trials at random in 1999. The studywas approved by the Food and Drug Administration and the NationalInstitute on Drug Abuse. In the study, patients were allocatedcannabis cigarettes that contained between one percent and eightpercent of THC and another group of patients was allocated placebocannabis cigarettes where THC had been extracted. Patients with mixedneuropathic pain, HIV peripheral neuropathy, nervous system, centraldysfunction and spinal cord injury and traumatic facial nerve wereused in the study. The outcome revealed that the use of cannabiscaused a significant reduction in pain intensity. Patients reportedbetween thirty to forty percent pain reductions on cannabis ascompared to seventeen to twenty percent on the use of a placebo(Grant et al. 22).
Asignificant proportion of the patients, at least thirty percent,reported that cannabis helped them reduce in between forty-six tofifty-two percent. Only eighteen to twenty-four percent from thegroup using a placebo reported a decrease in pain. A thirty percentreduction in the amount of pain was related to improved quality oflife. When cannabis were allocated on medium doses (3.5 % THC), theireffects were similar to those under higher doses. A neuropathic pain,experimental model was tried on healthy volunteers. Some were exposedto medium doses and others at higher doses. Those taking higher dosesreported increased pain, but those under medium THC doses reportedanalgesia effects. Another study of patients puts under moderate dosefor fourteen days, three times a day, significant analgesic effectswere produced (Johnson et al. 168).
Cannabisextracts are equally effective in reducing pain among the cancerpatients. In a different study, analysis of change in pain usingcannabis extracts THC: CBD against placebo were measured using theNumerical Rating Scale (NRS). The outcome supported the use of THC:CBD. This study concluded that THC: CBD extract is significantlyefficient in relieving pain from patients with chronic cancer painthat could not be reduced using the normal episodes (Grant et al.19). Cannabis also has been found effective in postsurgicalneuropathic pain. Patients are inhaling a single dose of THC a dayexhibited a significantly decreased pain levels. Also, they werefound to well tolerated, and their sleep improved (Johnson et al.172).
Whencannabis was administered to patients with HIV-associated neuropathicpain, greater reduction in pain was achieved with smoked cannabis ascompared to placebo. Placebo attained only eighteen percent reductionwhile cannabis achieved forty-six percent reductions. When applied inconcomitant analgesic therapy, smoked cannabis appears to bewell-tolerated and immensely helps the patients with HIV-associatedneuropathic pain (Grant et al. 20)
Afew negative effects could result from the use of cannabis. The drugis known as a depressant for central nervous system that causesdizziness, confusion, dry mouth and increased sedation. Also, thedrug causes anticholinergics and addiction. However, these effectsare common to all analgesic treatments. There are no fatal effects ofoverdose use of medical cannabis that has ever been reported. Amongthe elderly psychiatric patients, THC can cause adverse side effects(Grant et al. 23).
Variousstudies have demonstrated the significance of medical cannabis. Itsbenefits are diverse and have been proved. The drug has negativeeffects only when it is misused and used for excessively for socialpurposes. The negative effects resulting from its use cannot matchthe various advantages it carries. It is not enough to focus on thenegative social effects and forget the medical significance of thedrug. Several patients, especially those with neuropathic painresulting from cancer or HIV suffer in hospitals because the medicshave no legal approval to administer the drug. Every nation shouldmind the health of its citizens, and it should do all that ispossible to save lives. Thus, legalizing medical cannabis will createa for the benefit of the world.
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