People don’t know the extent that marijuana actually helps people who have certain diseases. Without it, people would be suffering constantly, with no escape. Think about the people dealing with Chemotherapy, going through every day dealing with pain and nausea. Marijuana helps them overcome these symptoms, which can lead to greater problems such as depression. Going through Chemo and feeling sick all the time, not being able to eat because it will most likely be thrown up, not being able to sleep because you’re in pain, one can start to think to themselves, what’s the point? It’s hard to keep hope in a situation like this and Marijuana can help a lot.
Doctors and researchers agree that Marijuana can subdue the nausea and pain, while giving an appetite, for people with cancer and HIV/AIDS. A big problem for these patients is that they can’t eat, and we all know Marijuana gives you the “munchies”. The reason we get these munchies is due to the fact that the main ingredient in Marijuana is THC (tetrahydrocannabinoid), can bind to the CB1 receptor, which is the main hunger promoter. This action triggers an increase in hunger. A study was done in 2007 at UCSF dealing with if Marijuana really helps with pain. Fifty participants were given either marijuana cigarettes or a placebo that smelled and looked the same. The people who were given the Marijuana had an average of 34% decrease in pain. An HIV patient, Phil Alden, says, “I started using it for my stomach, and by happy coincidence found that it removed the pain from my feet as well.” So as you can tell Marijuana is a great way to cope with the everyday struggle of being diagnosed with these diseases.
Another disease that researchers are finding that Cannabinoids, which are found in Marijuana, help is Glaucoma. One of the leading causes of legal blindness, Glaucoma doesn’t have many topical treatments. Through studies, it has been found that lots of the cannabinoid receptors in the ocular tissues. It has shown an experimentally proved neuroprotective effect on retinal ganglion cells. These cannabinoids can now be made synthetically, and should be used as a topical treatment for Glaucoma.
The big problem with this is that patients are getting trapped because as of 2010, only 16 states had legalized Medical Marijuana, and it is still not legal at all under the federal law. Many patients don’t even have the opportunity to ever try using Marijuana to help them with different symptoms. Other states need to start wising up to this new research and the facts right in front of them. That would be the first step, but many patients would still be harassed by the federal government. Jim Lacey, a 60 year old California is a Medical Marijuana user for pain relief, due to his arthritic hip, says he’s been threatened to be arrested at border control checkpoints near his home in Jacumba. And he’s not the only one getting mistreated (Oren Dorell, USA Today).
Its unfair and unjust. The facts are there. Marijuana has great medicinal use.
Oren, Dorell. “State, federal marijuana laws collide.” USA Today n.d.: Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 6 Apr. 2011.