Medicinal Marijuana: The Debate
Marijuana or Cannabis sativa is a natural grown plant in which the leaves, stems
and flowers contain delta-9-tetrahydro-cannibinal (THC). When smoked, THC gives the
user a type of euphoria or “high” feeling. However, many medical professionals and
patients claim that this drug also gives users medical benefits for various ailments;
and they are fighting to have this drug legalized for this reason. According to the National
Academy of Sciences (1999), “the high associated with marijuana is not generally
claimed to be integral to its therapeutic value. But mood enhancement, anxiety reduction
and mild sedation can be desirable qualities in medications, especially for patients …show more content…
During this five-week trial, 64 patients were
given either a whole plant extract aerosol of tetrahydrocannibinal and cannabidiol
(THC/CBD) or a placebo. The active treatment was delivered in a spray of 2.7mg/2.5mg
of the THC/CBD and the patients could increase their dosage to a maximum of 48 sprays
within a 24-hour period. On the final week of the trial, the mean total of daily sprays
taken by the patients using the THC/CBD was 9.1, compared to the 19.1 from the patients
using the placebo. (GP, p. 28) This study concluded that “those using the cannabis
extract spray were a quarter less likely to suffer pain and about 40% less likely to suffer
sleep disturbance, compared to those taking the placebo” (2003, p.28). In 2006 another
study was conducted in the U.S. by Martha Tetris, M.D., who is chief of urology at the
Augusta Veterans Affairs Medical Center and professor of urology at the Medical
College of Georgia. Tetris conducted a research of 52 men under the age of 60 that
had transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) and 104 men within the same age group that did
not have TCC. “Among the 52 TCC patients, 46 (88%) reported habitual use of
marijuana compared with 72 (69%) of controls”. Tetris (2003) states that “substances in
marijuana tends to stay in the bladder longer than the substances of cigarettes”. (p.
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Marijuana is composed of approximately over four hundred chemicals. According to the Mayo Clinic "Marijuana contains at least 60 chemicals called cannabinoids. Researchers are evaluating how effective some of these cannabinoids might be in controlling symptoms of certain medical conditions. For example: THC, an abbreviation for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is the main component responsible for marijuana's mind-altering effect. It also may help treat signs and symptoms such as nausea and vomiting that are associated with a number of medical conditions. Cannabinol and cannabidiol, these compounds have some of the properties of THC, but cause less psychoactive effects — the high. [...]” Medical marijuana can be used to treat a variety of illnesses ranging from anxiety to more life threatening diseases like cancer.
CBD is a non-psychotropic part that does not have the high. THC is a psychoactive part that gives one the ‘high’ (Greenwell, 2012). In 2012, there was a successful story of a little girl named Charlotte Figi who was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome had frequent seizures. Her first seizure was at three years old and by the time she was five years old she was having “up to 50 generalized tonic-clonic seizures per day” (Maa and Figi, 2014). By 5 years old, Charlotte was out of options. Her parents did a lot of research and found the Stanley brothers. They made a “rare, high CBD strain of cannabis” (Maa and Figi, 2014). Charlie started out on a low dose and increased the dosage. She “experienced seven consecutive days without a single seizure” (Maa and Figi, 2014). By the three months, Charlie had been weaned off her other antiepileptic drugs when she had more than a ninety percent “reduction in GTC seizures and had been weaned off her other antiepileptic drugs…and she has only 2-3 nocturnal GTC seizures” a month (Maa and Figi, 2014). The Figi family tried three times to wean her off of medical marijuana however the seizures returned more severe each time. The nonprofit organization the Stanley Brothers created addresses “the needs of other patients with catastrophic epilepsy syndromes by helping them gain access to consistent, high quality, lab-tested, high-CBD-content cannabis” (Maa and Figi,
According to the authors, recent studies have shown that there is another compound in marijuana that is increasing the attention of both scientists and medical marijuana providers known as cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD is not an intoxicating product, and does not produce a high when alone, but some researchers claim it may calm the anxiety produced by THC. Some research suggests that marijuana with a better balance between CBD and THC is less risky than the high-THC, low-CBD strains that now dominate the upper end of the marijuana market (Caulkin 9). With scientists discovering the new compound CBD, it makes them more interested in doing further research in order to discover more roles of other compounds
The topic of medical Marijuana brings much controversy when discussing amongst people that are for it or against it. Medical Marijuana has been the heated topic of discussion for the past few years now mainly for it’s medical benefits and the fight to decriminalize the herb.
Legalization of Marijuana has become a controversy in the United States. Medical marijuana has many benefits although recreational marijuana cannot yet be controlled. Many important medical improvements will be gained when marijuana is legal. There will be a time, within the near future, when it is legal federally. Today there are many states in the United States that have legalized marijuana for medical use. There are two states, as of November 2012, which legalized marijuana for recreational use. The federal government still states that marijuana, to be
Cannabis is in fact an extremely popular recreational drug around the world, just behind alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco. Tetrahydrocannabinol’s (THC) primary psychoactive effect is a state of relaxation, and to a lesser degree, forms of euphoria. Secondary psychoactive effects of THC are that of philosophical thinking, introspection, metacognition, in anxiety and paranoia cases. The psychoactive metabolite of THC produced in the liver (11-OH-THC)
Over the past decade, the debate over medical marijuana has heated up fiercely. What was once a fringe-issue has cemented itself in the foreground of American politics. As the laws currently stand, the plant is still considered illegal on the federal level. The Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, classifies marijuana in the same group harmful drugs like heroin and ecstasy by labeling it as a Schedule I substance. According to the DEA, Schedule 1 substances are “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.” (DEA).
The patient continued to use cannabis, alcohol, and cocaine, intermittently. His cannabis use continued to be regular and he was estimated smoking 1/4 to 1/2 oz. of marijuana a day.
Synthetic cannabinoids were created to bind the same receptors as the active compound in marijuana, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 to obtain the psychotropic effects such as euphoria. CB1 receptors are located within the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, basal ganglia, cerebellum, in addition to peripheral organs such as the lungs, liver, and kidney. CB2 receptors are noted to be located on immune and hematopoietic cells, therefore desired and toxic
Marijuana or Hemp is known to be one of the most abused drugs.Marijuana consists of dried and crushed leaves, stems, and seeds of cannabis plant. The Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also formally known around as THC, is one of the primary psychoactive/mind-altering ingredients within marijuana that produces the feeling of being high. Within my paper I will discuss a majority of the uses of marijuana, a lot of the effects when smoked, the history of where it started and the treatment methods for marijuana, also I will include bullets on the short and long-term effects.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the main psychoactive substance found in the cannabis plant. Cannabis isn’t just a single drug molecule, like alcohol or cocaine, but a mix of over 420 different chemical components. 61 of the called cannabinoids are unique to marijuana. THC is the chemical that triggers cannabis’ main drug action and effects in the body and brain. THC is like a feel-good chemical bomb that explodes on contact, and then breaks up into at least 80 different by products (or metabolites) before it’s eliminated from the body. The process starts as soon as THC enters the blood stream, and begins zeroing in on cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system Once it checks into the brain, THC takes its own time in checking out. Unlike many other drugs, which are excreted from the body within hours, THC metabolites stick around--stored
The medical use of marijuana has been a discussion that has been in the news and all around us recently. This is currently a hot topic of interest. There is an enormous amount of evidence that marijuana could be effect against many things. For example evidence shows it could be used to help relieve pain during chemotherapy, but along with this there is also evidence that at times marijuana can cause harm to someone as well. As nurses we must see each side of the debate to make our care for our patients sounder. One quote that directly applies to this topic, which is very important, was written in the Journal of Clinical Nursing: