Persuasive Research Paper: Medical Marijuana
Persuasive Research Paper: Medical Marijuana
Thesis: Medicinal marijuana needs to be legalized because it is overall less harmful to the human anatomy than prescription medicine, therefore it should be legalized and regulated in the same manner as prescription drugs.
For many decades, Cannabis has been regarded as one of the means for committing felony of individuals in the society. The different part of the Cannabis plant, such as its stems, buds, and leaves, undergo a process of preparation, to produce marijuana. When inhaled, marijuana produces a number of negative effects in the biological system of the user, such as distorted perceptions or hallucinations, increased heart rate and blood pressure, problems with memory, learning, thinking, and problem solving, and other brain, heart, and lung problems (). As such, it has been banned and considered as illegal and taboo in different societies. In this regard, studying the many different positive medical uses of marijuana or Cannabis has been neglected and not given much importance. Due to the lack of substantial evidence of its medical uses, it is harder for it to be known as a substance that would be helpful in treating a number of diseases and illnesses. With this problem at hand, this research paper would be presenting the different benefits of the use of Cannabis, and to be regarded as “Medical Marijuana”. The many diseases and illnesses that could be helped treated by the marijuana would be detailed, including its after effects on the patients. In this sense, such benefits would be helpful to support the stand that medical marijuana should be legalized and regulated, as any other prescription drugs in the market.
In order to further understand the different medicinal benefits of marijuana, it would be best to provide a glimpse of its use in the history of medicine in the ancient times. It has been reported that the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is nothing new, and has been used for millennia in the treatment of various medical conditions, with the earliest accounts of its use in China, India, and the Middle East. In later periods, it became an accepted medical remedy in Western countries, and found its way to the shelves in the pharmacies of the United States by the mid-19th century. The earliest recorded occurrence of the use of marijuana as a form of medical remedy dates back at least to the 3rd millennium BC, when the plant’s medicinal powers were investigated by the Legendary Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, popularly known as the “Father of Chinese Medicine”. In his account, marijuana, which was then termed as an “elixir of hemp”, was used for the treatment of malaria and rheumatic pains, among other ailments. It was then continued to be used in the 2nd century AD by Hua Tuo, a famous physician during that time, as an analgesic and an anesthetic. In India, marijuana has been used in Ayurvedic medicine, listed as an ingredient in numerous preparations in the Anandakanda, a 10th century Indian Medical treatise, and still used today by some Ayurvedic doctors. It is either called vijaya or bhanga, or used to treat a number of ailments, including diarrhea, diabetes, tuberculosis, asthma, elephantiasis, anemia, and rabies. Similarly, the use of marijuana as a medicinal remedy was observed and accounted for in the Middle East, and was first mentioned in the 7th century BC in religious texts. During the reign of the Roman Empire marijuana has been used as an analgesic and anesthetic, and used for treating migraines, syphilis and other medical problems. In Europe, the use of marijuana as a medicine was recommended and documented in several prominent medical texts. In 17th century texts, marijuana was promoted as a therapeutic agent, was recommended to treat depression, and recommended in the treatment of coughs, jaundice, joint pain, inflammation, and indigestion. In addition, in the 19th century, marijuana emerged as a mainstream medicine in the West, being found to suppress headaches, increase appetites, aid people to sleep, and as an anti-convulsive to canines. It has also been written and accounted to treat symptoms of opiate withdrawal, uterine bleeding, migraines, neuralgia, and epileptic spasms. The doctor of Queen Victoria, Sir John Russell Reynolds used a preparation of marijuana to treat the menstrual cramps and other related pains of the Queen. By the late 19th century, marijuana made its way to the United States, and was regarded to be successful in treating numerous afflictions, such as neuralgia, tetanus, typhus, cholera, rabies, dysentery, alcoholism, opiate addiction, anthrax, leprosy, incontinence, gout, convulsive disorders, tonsillitis, insanity, excessive menstrual bleeding and uterine bleeding, among others (). Based on such accounts, it can be perceived that the use of marijuana has been considered one of the most useful medicinal remedy over the centuries. From this, it can be supposed that if the people during that time, who have not been using the advanced education and technology we are using at present, were able to process and use marijuana in their advantage in terms of the field of medicine, then we can also do the same. Based only from the accounts and the history of the use of marijuana, its use for medicinal purposes must also be legalized at present time.
In addition, a number of accounts that supports the claims of the medicinal purposes of marijuana have been indicated and cited in the book of Bock, stating that, “Marijuana’s therapeutic uses are well documented in the modern scientific literature. Using either smoked marijuana or oral preparations of delta-9-THC (marijuana’s main active ingredient), researchers have conducted controlled studies. These studies demonstrate marijuana’s usefulness in reducing nausea and vomiting, stimulating appetite, promoting weight gain, and diminishing intraocular pressure from glaucoma. There is also evidence that smoked marijuana and/or THC reduce muscle spasticity from spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis, and diminish tremors in multiple sclerosis patients. Other therapeutic uses for marijuana have not been widely studied. However, patients and physicians have reported that smoked marijuana provides relief from migraine headaches, depression, seizures, insomnia, and chronic pain (135). In this regard, it can be understood that even in this generation, marijuana is still believed to be helpful in assisting the treatment of certain diseases. As such, in depth and more extensive research and study must be done in order to further support such claims. Moreover, recent studies have also supported the claims that marijuana can be used effectively in treating a number of diseases. It has been emphasized that one of the medical uses of THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main component for the mind-altering effect of marijuana, which is best supported by research is the treatment of nausea, by which it can improve mild to moderate nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy and help reduce nausea and weight loss in people with AIDS. In addition to nausea that is caused by cancer chemotherapy, marijuana can also help treat glaucoma, which is marked by an increased pressure in the eyeball, leading to the loss of vision or blindness. Glaucoma is deemed the third leading cause of blindness in the United States, and thus, through smoking marijuana, scientists discovered that the pressure in the eyes is being reduced. Scientists have also discovered that CB1 receptors found mainly in the brain or the receptors responsible for controlling body movement, balance and coordination, and memory and learning, are also found in the eyes, thus, providing clues for the effects of marijuana in the treatment of glaucoma. Likewise, as mentioned earlier, marijuana had been used in the earlier periods as an analgesic and anesthetic. In recent studies, cannabinoids has been found out to have analgesic effects, and thus, may work as well in treating cancer pain as codeine, or a mild pain reliever. Cannabinoids have also been found to enhance the effects of opiate pain medications to provide pain relief at lower dosages. Furthermore, researches also indicated results that cannabinoids are also useful in the treatment of the tremors, muscle spasms, and pain of multiple sclerosis. This is because marijuana was perceived to protect nerves from the kind of damage that occurs during the disease (). The wide range of diseases and illnesses that can be treated and helped improve using marijuana must be taken note off, in comparison to the number of diseases that can be treated by a single prescription drug. It has been mentioned earlier that certain brain, lung and heart side effects can be observed in constant and large dosages of marijuana. However, such side effects would be incomparable with the range of side effects that can be felt in using a number of prescription drugs in the treatment of a number of diseases. Marijuana is perceived to help in the treatment of cholera, uterine and menstrual bleeding, rabies, alcoholism, incontinence, insanity, nausea, glaucoma, pain, and multiple sclerosis simultaneously and using only a single type of drug. However, if one would be able to treat such diseases simultaneously, then a number of prescription drugs with different dosages would be given to a person, thus, increasing the risk for side effects and further damage to the biological system. The many different side effects of prescription drugs include skin and allergic reactions, anemia and/or depletion of certain vitamins and minerals in the body, pain in the muscles and bones, brain and mental side effects, gastro-intestinal disruptions, malfunctions in other vital organs, such as the kidney and lungs, and physical side effects including hair loss, weight and appetite loss, and loss of senses (). In this regard, given the many different medical uses of marijuana, it would be helpful and far better if it would be legalized and regulated as any other prescription drug. However, I believe that such legalization would entail in depth study of the proper dosages and prescription of marijuana that would be similar to how prescription drugs are being recommended.
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