Medicinal Marijuana

To start things off, I will remind everyone that the term “Hemp” refers to strains of the Cannabis plant which contain miniscule amounts of THC. That is a chemical compound which confers Cannabis with its psychoactive effects. The highly fibrous, seedy and non-intoxicating strain of this plant is used only for industrial purposes. For clarity, the recreational/medicinal strains will be just referred to as ‘”Marijuana” or other derogatory terms referring to the substance that will get you high. To begin you are going to see a brief overview of the medicinal uses for this plant.

We all know that the Pot plant in particular situations has been approved for medical uses in some very limited conditions, but as you may have read in other articles, these restrictions that are in place on Marihuana and Hemp, stem more from moral panics and negative propaganda than from any practical or even remotely educated reasons.

One of the most well-known and initally talked about uses for this herb, is, at least for me the first one that comes to my mind. The use of Weed to reduce the pressure of the fluids inside the eye that build up, in a condition known as glaucoma. Although, in these circumstances it is supposed to be a medication used only as a last resort. Meaning that to use it the other more standard (man-made) medications must fail or not be sufficient, even in jurisdictions where it doesn’t need approval.

Other approved therapeutic uses for the cannabis plant are as a painkiller. It kills the pain through the following mechanism: similar to how capsaicin (the chemical that makes chili peppers hot) tricks the body into thinking it is suffering from heat damage and feels pain. Some of the chemicals in the Reefer plant do exactly the opposite. Thet counteract the painful actions of capsaicin with a similar (although significantly weaker) action as opioids such as morphine or heroin, which are very strong painkillers.

Another common medicinal use most folks relate to the use of Marihuana is for nausea and vomiting, especially when associated with chemotherapy treatments. The chemicals in the herb directly inhibit the vomiting center of the brain, (a place medically known as the Chemoreceptor Zone) to achieve these effects.

In all those respects, and many more that are currently being investigated, there are still several medications that are considered more potent and effective than this wonder plant, and are legal too. But there are plenty of situations where those pharmaceuticals fail. Sometimes, a doctor finds a patient with a case that is resistant to regular (man-made) treatments, and it is on these occasions when the medical use of Mary Jane indeed shines.

Also, notice how Pot is used medically on some very painful and debilitating conditions. Including such things as cancer and the adverse effects of it’s treatments. However, I may be the only one who is proposing to use Weed medicinally for common migraines. Even though Cannabis is a rather noble recreational drug, a deeper and more comprehensive review of those aspects would be a good topic for a different article. So let’s now focus on the clinical and thereputic uses of the Hemp plant.

As I always seem to mention, THC is the chemical responsible for the psychoactive and hallucinogenic effects of Pot, but it is not the only compound with effects over the mind. The second most important and relevant compound would have to be Cannabidiol, usually abbreviated as CBD. While CBD does not cause hallucinations and will not make the consumer laugh or feel euphoric, it does have many potential therapeutic applications and with its lack of recreational and euphoric effects this gives it an attractive advantage.

Strains of the Marijuana plant grow that contain very high amounts of CBD and miniscule amounts of THC. And depending on the source, such strains could also be considered hemp products, for they only have one use, which if for medicinal purposes, and is industrially processed to extract the compound. Right now, the use of CBD for clinical diseases is still experimental. It is not yet approved (mainly because of the legal prohibition existing in the United States which precludes large-scale investigations and clinical trials in humans). So until CBD is legally approved for the treatment of psychiatric conditions, strains of the Cannabis plants with an extremely high proportion of CBD and a tiny proportion of THC will not be widely considered Hemp.

As for the potential clinical applications of CBD. It has been found very effective in treating the most debilitating Social Anxiety Disorders and Agoraphobia, the most severe symptoms are when an individual can’t leave his or her house for any reason. It has also been found particularly helpful in treating Schizophrenia, without most of the adverse effects of the most commonly prescribed antipsychotics.

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