Name: Chelsea Perez
Professor: Rene Martinez
Course: Composition II – Rhetoric
Date: November 20, 2018
Because the US government considers marijuana a drug which means that it does not have any beneficial effect on health, it has not been possible to investigate the medicinal use of the plant in this country and what is it. This source will show, the benefits, medical use. These include glaucoma and lack of appetite caused by cancer and AIDS, and also, discusses how can be addicted, and what are they side effects.
Marijuana is a plant that has more than 500 chemical substances in its leaves and inflorescences, of which tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most important. THC is the substance responsible for changes in behavior that occur after smoking or ingesting it, while CBD is a substance with powerful antiepileptic effects. It is important to mention that recent discussions about the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes include the cultivation, processing and distribution of these two different types of substances The fact is that hemp was very popular throughout the 1800s and early 1900s, as it was very useful and easy to grow, and its by-products were very long lasting. But one day everything changed; He became illegal like his friend, cannabis (marijuana).
In Spain, cannabis is decriminalized and, socially, quite accepted, although activities such as trafficking or cultivation with the intention of selling are persecuted. In the United States, 29 of the states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Unfortunately, being an illegal substance for many years, studies on cannabis in health are scarce.
As general information, marijuana for medicinal purposes can be smoked and ingested in various types of food products. It is also found in drops, which require elaborate processes of processing and concentration and standardization of the amount of THC or CBD. Marijuana derivatives can reduce chronic and acute pain, not only in terminal diseases but in neuropathic pain (that related to the involvement of nerve paths) and that linked to inflammatory processes. Also in controlling pain in rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and migraine, among others; reduce nausea and vomiting in cancer and HIV treatments; stimulate the appetite; contribute in asthma cases and decrease intraocular pressure in open-angle glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a disease in which the pressure inside the eye increases, damaging the optic nerve and with risk of vision loss. Since the 70s there are studies that prove that the use of marijuana relieves intraocular pressure for several hours, and can be used for the short-term treatment of glaucoma. The treatment has the side effects of the use of marijuana, and is not better or worse than other medications on the market, so a more durable and less invasive treatment is being developed from the plant. Also besides treat glaucoma, Medical Marijuana can help for Treatment for epilepsy, Can slow the development of cancer and alleviate the effects of chemotherapy, Treatment of chronic pain, Treatment for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis, Treatment of post-traumatic stress and schizophrenia.
Marijuana does not seem to be particularly addictive either. To begin with, addiction is a psychological problem that does not necessarily depend on the substance, but on the emotional lack that the substance is supplying. According to statistics, 9% of people who smoke marijuana become addicted compared with 32% of those who smoke tobacco or 20% of those who snort cocaine. However, the percentage of addiction is doubled for those who start smoking in adolescence. It is in this age where the greatest risks of cognitive deficiencies and lower academic performance occur, hence the importance of regulating their use.
The regulatory situation is very changing. While the effects of possible legalization are being debated, some parliaments have opted for an intermediate step: to legalize their use for therapeutic purposes. In Europe they have done it Belgium, Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland, Macedonia, Croatia and recently Germany. But some have gone further and have legalized the cultivation and controlled sale of cannabis for recreational purposes. This is the case of Uruguay, which in 2013, under the presidency of José Mujica, became the first country to legalize the consumption, production and sale of marijuana under the control of a public body that authorizes plantations. It is allowed to grow up to six plants for self-consumption and buy up to 40 grams per month in pharmacies. In the United States, there are already seven states that have legalized it with different control formulas.
Like any substance, including water and common salt, cannabis has risks, but it may not be what you think. Marijuana seems to negatively affect concentration and memory, but studies have found that these effects are not permanent and disappear when it is stopped. However, the effects can be lasting if you start to use marijuana as a teenager. One study found that the cognitive abilities of subjects who had started smoking younger had been affected, but not so for those who started smoking as adults. This is not necessarily because of the drug, but because of the associated environmental factors.
But as with similar substances, cannabis can have side effects, such as drowsiness, disorientation, confusion and hypotension, which can be controlled by reducing doses. In many cases, these effects develop tolerance and disappear within a few days. No problems or deaths due to overdose have been demonstrated. Although the available evidence indicates that in places where the use of medical marijuana has been approved, consumption has not increased in the adolescent population, we should not ignore the concern that it could decrease the risk perception of the adolescent population, so that it is necessary to clearly delimit the conditions of use.
The most frequent physical side effects are: sedation, euphoria (“balloon”), dysphonia, and fear of dying, feeling of loss of control, impaired memory, altered perception of time, depression and hallucinations. In case these symptoms are intense, the patient should be moved to a place where he is comfortable and reassure him until the effects are over. The cognitive and psychomotor functions are attenuated and a discreet decrease in psychomotor capacity can be observed until 24 hours after THC administration. Other common side effects described are dry mouth, alteration in movements, muscle relaxation, verbiage, tachycardia and upright orthostatic hypotension and occasionally lipothymia (in this case the patient should be lying down), since in horizontal position a slight Increased blood pressure. Other more rare side effects are nausea and headaches.
Tolerance has been described for many of its effects, including psychic effects, psychomotor problems, the effect on the heart and circulation, the hormonal system, intraocular pressure and the anti-emetic effect. Tolerance means that the effects decrease with time during the use of cannabis and may appear after repeated consumption over the course of several weeks, at different doses and depending on the different effects. Cannabis has addiction potential, dependence should not be a relevant problem in the case of being used as a medicine but should not be given withdrawal syndrome. This syndrome has not been described in patients who have been treated with THC for a long time but in its recreational use, consisting of psychic symptoms (anxiety, irritability, insomnia) and physical symptoms (salivation, diarrhea).
The criminalization of marijuana in the United States had its first record in 1906, in the District of Columbia, with the first regulation regarding the cultivation of this plant. Later they followed Massachusetts (1911), New York (1914) and Maine (1914). While in 1913 California passed the first marijuana prohibition law and Wyoming (1915), Texas (1919), Iowa (1923), Nevada (1923), Oregon (1923), Washington (1923), Arkansas (1923), and Nebraska (1927) followed him. In 1932 the Uniform State Narcotic Act was created to invite state governments to join, without exception, this national campaign to criminalize or at least regulate the use of marijuana.
But it is possible to analyze what has happened in the 28 states in which the medicinal use of cannabis is allowed, some for years. An epidemiological study that has just been published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry observes that in the states in which therapeutic use has been regulated, which account for 34% of the population, illegal recreational consumption has also increased and in a greater proportion than in the rest of the states. The study compares data from 1991, 2005 and 2013. In that period, cannabis use has increased by an average of 3.6% in states that allow some kind of legal access, compared to 2.2% in those that do not. In the case of California, the increase was 5.3% and in Colorado 7%. This greater increase in illegal consumption is not explained as much by availability, which is high in all cases, as by the decrease in the perception of risk. And to this the propaganda of the therapeutic dimension undoubtedly contributes.
However, a possible solution for this global issue would be to allow people who can be benefited with the medicinal use of marijuana, be approved to abstain benefits and avoid going through great pain as any disease that may occur. Carrying out examinations to authorize who can consume it and who cannot, and also to know who can suffer from any side effects very soon.
In conclusion we know that marijuana has too many benefits as well as controlling several diseases and their chronic pains, the medical use benefits. On the other hand, legalizing marijuana is a never ending story. Taking the hand of not wanting to legalize it to avoid crime major problems such as overdose and addiction or any side effect.