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Medical consumption of cannabis has been traced back to more than two millennia ago, when ancient societies would use it to alleviate diverse body conditions. In recent times, research has shown that these ancient societies’ prescriptions of Marijuana as Cannabis was not farfetched and, in fact, have some basis rooted in science and medicine. Researchers have gone ahead and recommend the prescription of Marijuana for various ailments and conditions today. Besides, they insist that medicinal marijuana is and should be treated just like any other prescription drug. Though there is an opinion against the legalization of marijuana that points to the fact of high addiction rates. This can be countered with the fact that many other clinically recommended medications also exhibit high dependency within a short period of usage. It should also be noted that the use of any drug with the aim of pure enjoyment, recreation or just for the sake of using, is what should be termed as abusing the product and not a consumption aimed at alleviating a discomfort or some sort of suffering. In this regard, the aim of this paper is to provide an argument for the legalization of controlled and doctor prescribed use of marijuana. The paper will bring out the benefits of using marijuana for treatment of various diseases based on evidence.

Composition and Pharmacology. Cannabis is known to have four hundred and eighty three (483) compounds; of these at least 80 are known as cannabinoids, which form medical basis and scientific use of marijuana (Chapkis & Webb 24). They can act as stimulators for appetite, as antispasmodics or antiemetic, and have been shown to exhibit some analgesic effects. These cannabinoids can be broken down to individual compounds based on their functions, but that is beyond the scope of this paper. It is important to note that research has shown that Tetrahydrocanabinol, which is a prime compound, mostly associated with marijuana’s psychoactive effects and is termed to be an analgesic (mild one), exhibits antioxidant properties. It is known that it is normally associated with brain parts that control or play a part in memory regulation, sleep and pain receptors (Earleywine 58).

The Federal Drug Agency of the United States has licensed various extracts containing cannabinoids for use in therapies. Prominent among this is Cannasol – a drug prescribed for usage by patients suffering from Glaucoma and mostly by those in the late stage. It is widely regarded, as the pioneer of cannabis related drugs engineered for the mainstream market and among the few of the initial ones to gain legality in the American market. There are also other drugs of this kind including Dronabinol(Marinol), Sativex and Nabilone (Joy, et al 56). The modes of application range from oral to sprays and drugs are mostly recommended for adjunctive therapy. The indications are for a wide range of ailments: from chemotherapy associated nausea, pressure in the intraocular cortex, associated with glaucoma in the late stage, to aids related anorexia and multiple sclerosis associated neuropathic pain (Rudolph 102).

Clinical Usage. When applied under the supervision of qualified medical personnel, cannabis has been shown to provide relief for various symptoms associated with serious medical conditions. An example that clearly stands out is marijuana usage by patients undergoing cancer treatment, who have been put under the chemotherapy regime, and those suffering from AIDS. It has been shown to relieve nausea and reduce instances of vomiting, thus aiding in recuperation. In other instances, patients suffering from anorexia have reported increased levels of appetite after marijuana usage.  A study conducted on patients suffering from a very painful condition, which makes patients feel like their extremities (hands and legs) are on fire and/or are being repeatedly pierced with a razors, or  being probed with a needle, which doctors commonly refer to as peripheral neuropathy, showed remarkable results. Published in neurology Journal, this study, conducted by doctors from UCLA San Francisco, established the safety and effectiveness of marijuana in treating this condition, and easing the suffering undergone by the patients (Merino 103). These patients who were mostly suffering from diseases like HIV/AIDS, diabetes and Multiple sclerosis, and who had tried other conventional solutions for the pain, reported more than 30% incidence of pain reduction with the use of marijuana. This level for many of them translates into a quality of life that is bearable (Merino 98). It is important to note that this was a test carried out by government licensed medics, who used laid out designs for controlled trials. In other published studies it has been evidenced that patients, who smoke cannabis and use medication provided by doctors for certain ailments, have reported that the use of marijuana helped them in alleviating the side effects that came with the application of drugs in their prescriptions. In addition to this, patients have a higher incidence of dosage completion and, in many cases, have a direct bearing on their cure rate. This test was carried out on patients of the treatment regime for Hepatitis C Virus, which is known to induce nausea, vomit and lots of the other side effects that are noxious (Joy, et al 99).

It is worth noting that all presently available analgesics exhibit limited efficacy, when some types of pains are concerned. These limitations are sometimes caused by regulations of dosage amounts due to side effects and tendency to build tolerance or dependency. In these circumstances and others, such as the existence of a medical status, for which it has been proved more viable than any other medication available presently, or where its desirability is increased due to its character of being a broad spectrum clinically efficient medication, cannabinoids based analgesic is broadly recommended. Cannabinoids can also be preferred due to their matchless profile of side effects. The facts that it generates interactions with a synergistic bearing, when used with complementary analgesics and in interesting clinical situations, the side-effects associated with marijuana have been found to be desirable and useful.

Another important point to note is that mainstream analgesics based on opiates, examples are codeine and opiates, are quick to build tolerance, it has been proved that cannabinoids efficacy tends to be increased with increased tolerance to these opiates (Earleywine 105).

Cannabis can be indicated for the treatment of migraines, which is an extreme headache that sometimes lasts for hours and will sometimes cause disturbance in visual capabilities, that, as well as nausea, is accompanied by vomiting. It is usually a recurrent condition caused by stressful environs in all aspects of stress e.g. varying lighting, noise related pollution etc. In 1891 Dr. J.B. Mattison made an observation and concluded that, among the major applications, cannabis should be used for migraines treatment. This conclusion was made after a review of his personal experience as well as that of his earlier compatriots’ in the medical practice. He also came to the conclusion that cannabis not only blocks the resultant pain, but is also important in blocking the cause of pain attacks. This view later was supported by physicians of the 20th century. Individuals who have used and experimented with cannabis effect on migraines tend to insinuate that a little marijuana smoked just when the early warning symptoms of a migraine attack start manifesting themselves is enough to halt the progress of the attack (Gerber 134).

Another condition for which cannabinoids can be prescribed is Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It is a condition, in which normal operations of the brain and the Central Nervous System become disrupted mostly due to unnatural activity in the immune system attacks, which are very debilitating and lasting up to three weeks. It occurs and disappears in an inexplicable manner gradually deteriorating into disability (Earleywine 64). Due to its attack on the Central Nervous System, the effects are not localized and will be evidenced on any body part during any single attack. Patients will mostly complain about a tingling sensation accompanied by numbness and impaired vision. Speech becomes difficult, muscles start to uncontrollably spasm, balance and movement control becomes inhibited, fatigue ensues, and with lost control of the bladder comes urinary tract infections and ulceration of the skin and constipation (Merino 78). Like most patients, depression is a natural prologue to attacks, and this is compounded by the fact that there is no cure known to date. Studies on animals have shown that there is a high concentration of cannabinoids receptors in the motor sensors of the brain that are tasked with the control of movement, pointing to the possibility of marijuana may possess anti spastic capabilities. Indeed, it looks like marijuana produces an awe inspiring effect on the symptoms that arise with MS: it has been reported to improve control of the bladder, movement of the bowels, diminished spasms and tremors of the muscles. Patients have also claimed to have better balance control and restoration of speech capabilities. Due to reports that some patients who were earlier wheel chair bounded could walk after inhaling cannabis, it is now a widely held belief that cannabis can even hold down the advancement of Multiple Sclerosis (Chapkis & Webb 170). A committee formed in the House of Lords in Britain to investigate these claims, as made by the MS society, came up with the conclusion that more than 4% of the society’s members had significantly used Marijuana to alleviate the disease’s symptoms. The committee’s chairman pointed out that they encountered sufficient ground to warrant doctors, who advise a patient to use cannabis, and went on to point that mechanisms should be put in place to ensure that the penal code does not act as a stumbling block. The British Medical Association concurs and holds a view that synthetic extracts of cannabis like Dronabinol and Nabilone should be officially consented for prescription to Multiple Sclerosis patients (Earleywine 58).

Among the oldest uses of cannabis was an alleviating of the symptoms associated with menstruation commonly referred to as the Pre Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) and during the pain associated with labour (Chapkis & Webb 185). It was a widespread knowledge and even Queen Victoria herself had a prescription from her physician, J.R. Reynolds. Modern day supporters point out the fact that even though a fear has gripped society against drug use by pregnant women due to inherent harm to the unborn, cannabis increases the appetite for the women suffering from nausea as a result of pregnancy.

Marijuana has also been proved to increase appetite and helping to rebuild the bodies of AIDS sufferers who have progressed to the wasting stage that is evidenced by loss of body mass. It also helps alleviate the side effects of the mainstream anti retroviral drugs. Epileptics have also benefited from the anti-spasm properties linked to cannabinoids. Other diseases, conditions and ailments, for which cannabinoids have been indicated, include chronic or acute pain and side effects of chemo and radiotherapy for cancer victims (Joy, et al 150).

Those, opposed to Marijuana as a medical prescription, often point to factors, which in most cases can be pointed out in other abuse of prescription drugs, and also incorrect usage of most drugs with cannabinoids like properties. They often point out that short term memory may be impaired seriously, and that cognitive capabilities are diminished after a constant usage, but these are side effects associated with other recreational and non recreational drug like compounds. They also point out that smoking Marijuana may seriously jeopardize normal lung functioning and that cancer causing properties have been discovered in Marijuana Smoke, but they fail to point out that any smoke is bound to have similar results, and that other means or avenues exist, through which marijuana can be safely consumed. They also insist on the addictive risk inherent in Marijuana, but, as pointed out earlier, other analgesics that are as addictive, if not more, than cannabis exists and an example that easily stands out are opiates (Earleywine 212). Drug use in a pregnant woman is an issue that elicits so much uproar in society, but critics fail to point out that the benefits that a pregnant mother, who has regular bouts of nausea, may get from induced appetite using cannabinoids would probably by far outrank the associated risks.

Cannabis may face stiff competition in terms of how efficient it is in, but, as observed by the Institute of Medicine, whether cannabinoids extracts and cannabis are of a superior nature as opposed to other drugs in the same sector is a nonissue, the pertinent question is if there exists a group of whose utility, in terms of superior relief, can be improved by marijuana usage and cannabis based treatments.

Code: Sample20

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