Medicinal Marijuana: The “Robin Hood” of Modern Medicine

Medicinal Marijuana: The “Robin Hood” of Modern Medicine

Marie Miguel

Marie Miguel

By Marie Miguel

The marijuana plant without a doubt is one of the most important medicinal plants that provides legitimate health benefits. However, in spite of its many uses and fewer side effects, there is still an existing debate whether it should be legalized or not because of its bad reputation and addictive tendencies.

Marijuana has been introduced as a plant that can make people high. It has been associated with substance abuse and banned from many countries including the United States. The medical use of the plant has been overshadowed by its negative effects, hence, it was made illegal.

Marijuana in modern medicine

Today, the use of marijuana plant has been legalized in 23 states in the United States and there is a certain amount of marijuana a person is allowed to carry per state. The limits are set to avoid drug misuse and addiction.

“Marijuana is touted as the cheaper alternative to expensive drugs for pain and other illnesses.”

According to research, marijuana contains a chemical called cannabinoids. It is found to be useful in alleviating the symptoms of many health conditions such as Childhood epilepsy. The plant has two main cannabinoids called THC and CBD.

TCH helps relieve nausea, swelling and pain. CBD on the other hand, can control epileptic seizures, reduce inflammation and pain and possibly treat addictions and mental illnesses.

While the sole use of marijuana plant is yet to be recognized by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA, the board has already approved two marijuana-based drugs (Dronabinol and Nabilone) which can effectively treat nausea and increase appetite.

The Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Tobacco smokers may benefit from it

Based on a study published on the Journal of American Medical Association, people who smoke marijuana are less prone to develop lung diseases. Unlike tobacco, marijuana increases the lung capacity and does not impair its function.

It can help relieve the symptoms associated with Dravet’s Syndrome

The severe seizure disorder that causes developmental delay can be treated with the use of medical marijuana which contains high cannabidiol and low TCH.  It helps cease the excessive activity inside the brain which triggers seizures.

Helps reduce anxiety

Patients undergoing chemotherapy sometimes have medical marijuana listed on electronic medical records as one of their treatment drugs since it is found to be effective in reducing pain and nausea. When taken in a low dosage, it helps improve the mood and prevents anxiety to develop.

Helps people with Alzheimer’s disease

According to a study from the Scripps Research Institute headed by Kim Janda, THC a chemical found in marijuana helps halt the amyloid plaques formation which kills the brain cells. THC blocks the enzyme which produces the plaque that speeds up the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Helps relieve the pain associated with multiple sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis is an immune-mediated disease. MS attack is accompanied by debilitating symptoms such as muscle contractions which can be painful and severe. Based on a study posted in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, THC found in medical marijuana may help ease muscles spasms and reduce pain.

The use of marijuana provides positive effect to health but when used excessively it may cause side effects that may impose danger to health such as cardiac problems, impaired judgement, anxiety attacks and impaired memory. Therefore, it must be taken in moderation and proper dosage must be observed.

Marie Miguel writes about social media marketing, healthcare and business. She has a college degree in Communication with Specialization in Integrated Marketing Communication.  Marie also likes to travel and her adventures allow her to have a broader world view. Finally, she has four kids, who inspire her with her work and her writing.

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Authored by: Marie Miguel

There are 7 comments for this article
  1. Yvonne E Jones at 1:18 pm

    Marijuana just passed in Pa . How to find a Dr. Who will prescribe it????

  2. Deb D at 2:01 pm

    I follow this closely. My husband is a “failed back syndrome” patient for 15 years. Five surgeries, MRSA, countless spinal injections, physical therapy, acupuncture, and long-term opiate treatment overseen by pain specialist. Now? Cannabis. As Oregon residents, we are lucky to have this option. He has been able to fully discontinue the methadone he needed after MRSA required removal of an implanted nerve stimulator. He has better control of his pain, and we are FREE of the ongoing “war on opiates.” It is lifechanging. The pain doc told him last year we had to go from every 3 month visits (he is a responsible patient) to 1 per month visits due to new fears from DEA. Bullcrap. Now we can grow our own medicine, and use it how he feels the best results. For him that is capsules prepared by a very knowledgeable dispensary. We have endured a family crisis because of this. Our son has decided we are no longer able to drive anywhere with the grandchildren due to their concern about safety, and they are concerned about “secondhand smoke.” We are not children or young adults–he is 68 and I am 60. Even after we explained how edibles and capsules are different than smoking. However, we are tired of living in the “Green Closet” so to speak, and I am no longer shy about talking about usage or how the benefits have improved our lives. It is time for patients to take more control of their pain conditions, and this has been one very effective way to do so. Also, we have told all of our physicians about the usage. And, the shocking part–ALL of them we have told so far (4 so far) are either neutral (but curious) or in favor of its usage, due to the decrease in other medications it has allowed. Maybe Pharmacist Steve is right that eventually this will change cannabis to a less restrictive listing. We will never go back to allowing someone else to manage pain medication. Guess it is our version of “just say no.” Only in this case, we are saying no to Big Pharma, Big Medical, and the DEA.

  3. Pharmacist Steve at 12:58 pm

    IMO… “MONEY” will move MMJ off the C-I schedule at the Federal level.. Right now we have several major insurance companies losing hundreds of billions on Obamacare/ACA pts and are threatening to drop out of the system.
    The Fed tax revenues are at historic highs yet we are spending 500 billion more than we take in.
    Moving MMJ to a OTC status.. will eliminate the requirement for insurance companies for paying for a lot of care and again the FEDS – via CDC and other alphabet agencies discouraging the prescribing of opiates.
    Insurance companies are doing a “bum’s rush” to aggressively implement “step-therapy” and many are recommending non-covered therapies as first step.. to be failed before the pt can remove up to a more expensive therapy – that may/will be covered by the pt’s insurance.
    The Feds/States slap a “sin tax” on MMJ.. just look at Colorado .. now collecting 3.5 million a MONTH in taxes/fees because of their legalization of MJ/MMJ.
    Just imagine all the $$ that could be generated by Feds/States in MJ/MMJ sin taxes and all the $$$ that could be reduced by insurance companies by forcing pts to first try some form of MMJ .. that they won’t pay for.
    Could put them in the financial situation that they won’t pull out of Obamacare/ACA and all the $$$ that could be saved by Medicare Part D.
    It could be the perfect storm. The for profit insurance companies makes more money.. the Fed/State bureaucracies gets a new inflow of tax revenue.. while less goes out of Medicare trust fund…
    The “stick in eye” will be to pts when they discover that there is going to be a HUGE…out of pocket costs to them.. that they were not expecting and may not be able to afford. A new version of DENIAL OF CARE ?

  4. Susan Dixon at 11:33 am

    Specifically what addictive tendencies? The most dangerous aspect has always been due to marijuana being illegal, it took people into the world of the illegal drug dealer to purchase it. Marijuana itself has never caused the usage of “harder” drugs, exposure purchasing may have, but “harder” drugs was used as one of the excuses for many years. Being in Colorado where we now have progressed from just medical use to recreational use, I’d like to see a long term study done, to see if the lack of exposure to the illegal drug world causes the use of “harder” drugs to go down.
    Scott Michaels comment of “if the drug works, who cares if it’s addictive” is exactly the point. That comment isn’t limited to marijuana (where being addictive is still debated), but to the world of medical opiate use. Millions of chronic pain patients aren’t able to function without the use of opiates. As we are completely aware of the dangers of addiction, as adults it should be with each of us to weight the side effects against the benefits and be “allowed” to have control of our own medical care. If it’s marijuana or opiates, it doesn’t matter, my right to a good quality life and the consequences should remain with me.
    A side effect of medical marijuana is that it allows many of the chronically ill to use less of their other medications. Surely that alone is a benefit.

  5. Franco Brockelman at 11:21 am

    Great article! My mother suffers from chronic pain and in an effort to help her and others, I’ve been creating an app to help. Releaf App assists medical cannabis patients in discovering, tracking and analyzing what works best in treating their ailments. We’re just about ready to release a beta build. Check us out at http://www.releafapp.com for more info, or sign up for our upcoming beta release here: http://www.releafapp.com/beta

  6. Jean Price at 8:16 am

    Your article brings to light the possible benefits, and the twenty three progressive states that approve usage…yet I wonder if those states are seeing any downsides. And I wonder how long these states have been allowing usage, and if it’s for the general public or only for medicinal use. The statement about over use, moderation, and proper dosage can be said of most any medication or even natural products and vitamins. So this really shouldn’t be a deterrent to legalizing it any more than it was for say…even insulin! One has to wonder if this is solely about money issues with the pharmaceutical companies and possibly the threat of teenage usesage becoming the norm if it’s legalized. Even as 60s teen, I never tried it, guess it was because I had a high legal ethic or more likely just fear of consequences. I once discussed this with a doctor who felt I wouldn’t like the extra sensations, yet from what I understand now, the hallucinogenic effects can be lessened by different preparations. So what is truly the biggest drawback for allowing patients to have this as an option? To try it to see if it works to lessen pain and give the hope of renewed function and easier daily care routines? To be able to have a little better stake in life, productivity, normalcy, and less doctor visits that end in despair? Seems as if once again the issue of addiction and the stigma of abuse hangs over the heads of people who are fighting to live with daily life limiting pain! How did this bizarre relationship grow…since medically it doesn’t hold water or make any sense at all?! Is this fear based, money driven, power plays, political shenanigans, or just plain cruelty? And why can’t our nation’s supposedly best and brightest see through all the craziness? I’m once again left in open-mouthed amazement of the ridiculousness of our systems and the people who orchestrate them! Is there nothing they are involved with that makes any sense?! Good sense, I mean…compassionate sense…medical sense…human sense! My doubts grow every day over this state of affairs…and how so few can hold the keys to unlock so many people’s suffering and refuse to see this and use them is beyond my ability to comprehend! Maybe it’s just the age old issue of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man…and that’s sick and wrong!

  7. scott michaels at 3:55 am

    addictive tendencies.. ive been hearing that term for some time now.. if a drug works, who cares if its addictive. If insulin was addictive you would not ban it, if any drug makes you feel better, whether its to reduce pain, prevent you from from becoming more ill, or just getting you out of bed in order to have a more productive life, free of pain, the addicti e traits of the medication should be irrelevant. That patient is most likely going to be on that drug for life. Any chronic illness that is incurable is a life sentence. A patient should have the right to decide if they want to take any addictive drug as long as the decision was made was educated and it was the only choice for a better quality of life. We have found over the past 20 years that patients that take long term opioid therapy, and use medical marijuana have been proven to lead a much happier life. why does this government allow any opposition to these treatments. If a doctor and patient choose this road to comfort who is anybody to deny another of this choice. I have been forced to wear a seatbelt, a bicycle helmet, and told i must pay a fine if i decide not to. I AM TOLD I CANT SMOKE IN MANY CITIES AND IN SOME CASES, NOT EVEN IN MY OWN RESIDENCE. When will these people mind their own bisiness and worry about their own lives. DO WE REALLY NEED TO CREATE ANOTHER VICTIMLESS CRIME. People will do what they want, especially if it makes them feel better. If the chronic pain community and their doctors were left alone to take the medication that works for them, who will be hurt? Nobody, that who. However if the govt choses to create guidelines and laws that forvid the use of these medications, our jails and prisons will continue to over flow. Rehab houses and groups like prop will make more money then they could dream of and lawyers will continue to flourish. WE ARE RELEASING ?URDERERS AND RAPISTS FROM PRISONS BECAUSE OF OVER FLOWING. SHOULD WE REALLY FILL THEM BACK UP WITH PATIENTS THAT WERE REFUSED A MEDICATION THAT HELPS THEM. I UNDERSTAND THEIR WILL ALWAYS BE PEOPLE tHAT RECREATIONALLY UsE DRUGS. We can not as a civilized country, a country built on freedom and trust punish our most vulnerable citizens because they only desire to live a life of reduced pain free from veing a prisonor in their own body and home..When will we ever realize when others want to inject their opinions and force other to live life their way, They are only doing so for profit and We as Americans are no different from North Korea. Soon we will be told what to wear, eat, watch on. tv and God is just nice story for us to feel better. ThINK ABOUT It BECAUSE ITS 345 AM I VOULDNT SLEEP BECAUSE I LIE HEAR IN PAIN BECAUSE SOMEONE TOLD MY DOCTOR it is in my best interest TO REDUCE MY PAIN MEDICATION. THEIR WILL BE NO WORK FOR ME TOMORROW, BECAUSE IF I TAKE A PILL NOW, I STAND THE CHANCE OF RUNNING OUT EARLY. IF I GO TO ANOTHER DOCTOR I WILL BE DROPPED FOR DOCTOR shOPPING. Doing nothing and enduring this pain is my only choice until 8am. I am quite sure those that wrote these guidelines and dictate gow to treat me are sleeping soundly, dreaming of another vacation aor how they can ruin anothers life by forcing them to live their way or no way at all.
    if there is a God, this God has a terrible sence of humor.