Chicago, IL -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/31/2013 -- The use of marijuana as both, a medicinal drug as well as a recreational drug, began around 3000 B.C. Since then, medical marijuana usage has become commonplace, albeit controversial owing to a number of misconceptions pertaining to its actual benefits, as compared with commercially-manufactured drugs which are approved by national medical associations. Medical marijuana uses extend to a number of illnesses where they have been proven to provide pain relief, increase in appetite among AIDS patients, and increase heart rate. The controversy surrounding medical marijuana uses, stem from assumptions and misconceptions regarding its allegedly addictive properties, as well as its apparent potential to encourage users to explore more illegal drugs. It is therefore important to take stock of documented evidence and facts which serve to highlight the benefits and ability of medical marijuana while shedding light on potential side effects.
Documented medical marijuana uses and benefits:
One of the key benefits among others pertaining to medical marijuana usage is its complete effectiveness at relieving health ailments without side effects. A study, carried out by the University of California, discovered its benefits at providing relief to patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy, which refers to post-traumatic nerve damage. Patients who smoked marijuana reported improved feelings of relaxation and comfort, and stated that they did not feel any side effects as they had previously felt, while ingesting powerful and addictive narcotics such as Morphine and Oxycontin.
The Institute of Medicine [IOM], which has been studying the effects and benefits of medical marijuana use since 1999, acknowledges the need for more research to be done on the benefits of marijuana, considering how resistant neuropathic pain can be to convention pain relieving drugs.
Between 1840 -1900, over 100 articles in medical journals were published in both Europe and America, which clearly stated the benefits and palliative potential of medical marijuana, and pushed for research to be carried out on the plant to ascertain additional benefits for other ailments.
Marinol, a pill containing synthetic THC [a cannabinoid or chemical constituent of marijuana], is approved as a commercial medicine which is used to treat nausea in AIDS and cancer patients; however it has reduced effectiveness due to the synthetic nature of the "approved" legal marijuana whereas smoking regular marijuana produces almost instant relief.
Most recently, a news report about a 7-year-old girl from Oregon who was suffering from cancer featured her steady improvement in immunity and increase in appetite after her mother administered a drop of cannabis oil to her on a daily basis for a year. Oregon is one of a few states within the US, where medical marijuana is legal.
Myths and controversy regarding prevalence of, and potential for addiction:
Among the many controversies which antagonize medical marijuana uses, is one which states that marijuana, unlike other legally-available substances, causes addiction and results in the user being attracted to harder, more addictive drugs. This has been proved to be untrue by a study conducted by the National Institute of Health, which states that only 9% of users become clinically addicted to smoking marijuana, as compared with 15% of cocaine users and 24% of heroin users. To counter the argument regarding this apparently high addictive status, it has been quoted by Narconon International, that over 2.1 million people abuse prescription drugs as compared with under 2 million who smoke marijuana. Long term effects of prescription drug addiction have been documented and proved, whereas there is yet to be any conclusive evidence which suggests that medical marijuana use, be it short term or long term, causes any harmful health complications.
In context with the aforementioned example pertaining to the palliative benefits of medical marijuana, categorized as illegal, when compared with the benefits of morphine, which is categorized as a legal drug, it should be mentioned that the incidence of morphine and heroin addiction extends to 20% of the population in the United States. A startling, but not commonly-known fact is that morphine is a derivative of heroin, and therefore presents a contradictory stand for those who advocate a legally-approved drug over medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana uses as compared with legal substances
Research has proved two things about medical marijuana use; the first highlights its effectiveness above legal substances, and the second brings forth the inconclusive nature of its apparently addictive properties while clearly highlighting the prevalence and health risks of legal substance addiction.
It can therefore be concluded that medical marijuana usage is more beneficial than legal substances and can be used to relieve and cure ailments with fewer side effects, if at all.
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