Marijuana as a Supplement?
The legalization of marijuana for medical purposes has been an extensive issue for many years now. Recent studies have found that medical marijuana is not only proven to alleviate symptoms and cure diseases but also prevent disease and promote health by stimulating and enhancing the cannabinoid system in the human body.
Sixteen states and DC have already made marijuana legal for medical use but it is now believed that it should be legalized for use as a supplement as well. This will explain the benefits of medical marijuana and why it should be legalized. Furthermore, the six main cannabinoids will be outlined and when used to stimulate the cannabinoid receptors in our body, the medical benefit of each and to show the wide variety of ailments, diseases, and symptoms that cannabis is effective for, with much fewer side effects than traditional medications (Sulak, 2011).
Why Should Medical Marijuana Be Legal?
In 1972, the US Congress considered marijuana to have no accepted medical use. In 1996 California became the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use followed by Alaska, Oregon, and Washington in 1998. Maine passed in 1999 along with Colorado, Hawaii, and Nevada in 2000. In 2004 Montana and Vermont would join in with New Mexico legalizing in 2007 and Michigan in 2008. In 2010, Arizona, DC, and New Jersey would pass and finally in 2011 Delaware would join the movement (16 legal, 2011). Due to the extensive testing and numerous conditions that cannabis treats, along with new studies that are finding that it also prevents disease and promotes health, more states are likely to follow.
After the recent discovery of the endogenous cannabinoid system, that very well may be the most important physiological system involved in establishing and maintaining human health, research has hit an all time high. With cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body, they are thought to be more numerous than any other receptor system. When these receptors are stimulated they cause a variety of physiological processes to ensue depending on what receptors are stimulated by which cannabinoids. Two different types of receptors have been discovered and are present in numerous systems and organs in the human body (Sulak, 2011). There are six main phytocannabinoids, which is cannabinoids found in plants, namely the cannabis sativa plant. These are CBD, CBN, CBG, THCV, CBC, and of course THC. The question here is which phytocannabinoids have what medical benefits.
First, CBD or Cannabidiol also known as “The Pain Annihilator” is effective in reducing anxiety, psychosis, seizures, convulsions, pain, inflammation, blood sugar levels, spasms, vomiting, nausea, and psoriasis. It also promotes bone growth and protects against nerve damage. As well as reduces the spread of certain cancers, the risk of artery blockage, and contractions in the small intestines. Furthermore, CBD is an immunosuppressant and kills surface bacteria (The Cannabinoids, n.d.).
Next is CBN or Cannabinol also known as “The Sleeper” which reduces pain, inflammation, spasms, and convulsions. CBN is also known to be an antioxidant that promotes good health. CBN does have a couple of side effects such as drowsiness and dizziness (The Cannabinoids, n.d.).
CBG or Cannabigerol is another of the six phytocannabinoids and is known as “The Tumor Beater.” Little research has yet to be performed on CBG but is known to promote bone and cell growth and kill surface bacteria. This particular cannabinoid is only found in trace amounts in marijuana, which would most likely the reason for fewer studies being performed (The Cannabinoids, n.d.).
THCV or Tetrahydrocannabivarin also known as “The Lean Machine” is a very interesting cannabinoid as for the past several years researchers have been used in human trials for the effect that it has on type 2 diabetes and obesity. More recent studies have found that it has the ability to reduce appetite (The Cannabinoids, n.d.).
Moving on we have CBC or Cannabichromene which is known as “The Fungal Fighter” and the benefits of it are it reduces pain and inflammation, kills bacteria and fungi, promotes bone and cell growth, and constricts blood vessels. CBC is another phytocannabinoid that is not well known yet (The Cannabinoids, n.d.).
Finally we have THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is also known as “The High Flyer.” THC is the most common cannabinoid and has the benefits of reducing pain from nerve damage and protecting against nerve damage. Also, THC is known to reduce anxiety, spasms, and convulsions as well as pain, inflammation, nausea, and vomiting. Furthermore, THC reduces the spread of certain cancers and reduces interocular eye pressure. Lastly, THC encourages eating and appetite while promoting growth of new nerve tissue and fighting free radicals in the bloodstream (The Cannabinoids, n.d.).
Opponents of the legalization of marijuana argue that it impairs the ability to drive, injures the immune system, and that other drugs make marijuana use unnecessary. Many prescription drugs impair the ability to drive and the fact that marijuana has much fewer side effects make it a safer choice compared to other drugs. Also, in light of the new findings of the benefits that marijuana has for the immune system does not give opponents much of an argument. “It is possible that medical marijuana could be the most useful remedy to treat the widest variety of human diseases and conditions, a component of preventative healthcare, and an adaptive support in our increasingly toxic, carcinogenic environment (Sulak, 2011).”
In conclusion, with so many medical benefits constantly being found in medical marijuana and the new findings of preventing disease and promoting health along with the minimal side effects that it has. Marijuana is clearly the smarter, safer choice.
16 Legal Medical Marijuana States and DC - Medical Marijuana - ProCon.org. (2011, May 13). Medical Marijuana ProCon.org. Retrieved May 21, 2011, from http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881
Sulak, D. (2011, January 21). Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System - NORML. Marijuana Law Reform - NORML. Retrieved May 21, 2011, from http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=8444
The Cannabinoids | Full Spectrum Labs. (n.d.). Full Spectrum Labs | Medical Cannabis Analytical Laboratory. Retrieved May 21, 2011, from http://fullspectrumlabs.com/learn/cannabinoids/