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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Essay on Medical Marijuana

Marijuana (Cannabis sativa L.), a kind of herb, is a member of the Cannabaceae or hemp family. It is also known as Indian hemp since it is said to have originated in India specifically in regions north of the Himalayan Mountains. Marijuana has been cultivated by our ancestors for thousands of years because of its medicinal value. However, the use of marijuana has become controversial because of its psychoactive effect thereby leading to restrictions on its use in many regions of the world. Starting in the early 90’s, Cannabis use became criminalized in some parts of the United States. Later on, cultivation and farming was also prohibited. Marijuana was then categorized as an illegal narcotic in line with heroin, cocaine and morphine and gained a notorious reputation ever since. But recent movements have surfaced seeking approval of marijuana use in the medical set-up. In the write-up Medical Cannabis, health practitioners, who support such cause, refer to the parts of the herb used as a physician-recommended form of medicine or herbal therapy as medical Marijuana. Synthetic forms of specific cannabinoids are also considered as medical Marijuana.

Modern research, as written in Marijuana-Medical Use, suggests that Cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. It may be used as a pain reliever specifically in neuropathic pain which is a result of nerve damage. Marijuana may also relieve nausea and vomiting, spasticity, glaucoma (by lowering intraocular eye pressure) and movement disorders. Furthermore, in the article Marijuana-Medical Use, it was found that Marijuana use positively influences appetite among patients suffering from HIV, the AIDS wasting syndrome or dementia. Emerging research suggests that marijuana's medicinal properties may even protect the body against some types of malignant tumors and are neuroprotective.

Despite the health benefits attributed to Marijuana, its utilization remains a sensitive issue in the practice of medicine. The safety of its use is still being questioned and has not been FDA approved. Only a number of governments allow use of one or more specific low doses of synthetic cannabinoids in the treatment of some disorders. It remains illegal in most countries. Opponents of medical Marijuana argue that the herb is too dangerous to use especially because of its high addictive potential and that various alternatives are available in the market which makes usage of medical Marijuana unnecessary.

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