There has been a dramatic increase, in recent years, in the popularity of Marijuana. 29 states in the US have legalized medical marijuana with 10 of the states legalizing it for recreational uses—-all of which has made the drug, marijuana, less controversial.
And the American public seems to be more supportive of the legalization of marijuana than ever as the poll numbers show that 84% of the public is in favor of legalizing the drug, at least for medical usage. While 61% believe in its use for recreational purposes.
This huge support towards the legalization of marijuana has been fuelled by discoveries that point to the benefits of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes.
This post will mention a couple of the discoveries associated with the health impact of marijuana before discussing why society seems to be taking a given trend with regards to the drug.
1) National Institutes of Health:
Marijuana, according to the National Institutes of Health, has been used for over 3000 years to treat various health problems and ailments. Specifically, the Marijuana extract, cannabidiol oil (CBD), discovered in 1940, has been proven to treat many diseases and health issues including relieving pains from arthritis and depression.
Cannabidiol is an active ingredient in some drugs that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for some of these efficacies.
2) National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine:
A huge study, in 2017, was undertaken by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in which researchers looked at the many aspects of marijuana to answer a very simple question: Is marijuana good or bad for the health?
The study found, amongst the many positive aspects of the drug, that marijuana and related products, which contain cannabidiol, had the exact same effect on the pain receptors in the brain and helped relieve chronic pain, which is the number one cause of long term disability affecting more than 25 million adults in the US.
3) Clinical Psychology Review:
Another comprehensive report on the good and adverse effects of marijuana was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology Review.
The report revealed that the controlled use of marijuana can actually help one to fight against alcoholism or opioid addictions.
But keep in mind that the emphasis is on “the controlled use of marijuana,” which itself becomes very difficult especially in the case of individuals who are addicted to using marijuana especially at a very young age.
4) Food and Drug Administration:
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), In June 2018, approved the use of medical marijuana or products containing cannabidiol to treat two very rare and severe forms of epilepsy, which can be very difficult to control with other epilepsy medication.
Different studies have found that the use of cannabidiol is very effective at reducing the number of patients seizures by half.
5) US National Library of Medicine:
A study, published in the Journal Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine in the US National Library of Medicine, was carried out in 2014 to find a link between smoking marijuana and lung diseases.
The authors of the study concluded that there was no evidence that linked the use of marijuana to lung diseases, especially medical marijuana because of the very low dosage. But the authors discouraged the use of high doses of marijuana for recreational purposes as the effect was unclear, and would require more studies to draw a conclusion.
In a similar note, a 2017 federal advisory council report has indicated that the lung health impact of smoking marijuana appeared relatively smaller than that from smoking cigarette.
6) American Cancer Society:
The American Cancer Society has and is still encouraging the use of Cannabidiol to treat chronic pain associated with cancer and treatment, especially given some evidence which suggests that marijuana could limit the spread of cancer.
Regardless, the organization is still calling for further scientific research on the medical and recreational use of marijuana.
7) National Institute on Drug Abuse:
National Institute on Drug Abuse recently presented a list of medical uses of marijuana, especially due to at least two active chemicals, i.e., cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
CBD is believed to affect the receptors in the brain without resulting in a high and THC also has pain relieving properties but is also responsible for the high in folks that use them.
8) American Medical Association:
A study, published in the Journal of American Medical Association, also found some evidence that there is no link between the use of marijuana and lung diseases.
The study also notes that marijuana in addition to not harming the lungs helps increase the lung capacity for non-tobacco smokers.
9) National Eye Institute:
A study carried out in the early 1970s, by the National Eye Institute, showed that marijuana is effective in relieving pressure inside the eye. This attribute of marijuana can be used to treat the eye condition called glaucoma, in which pressure increases in the eyeball.
This, according to some school of thoughts, is perhaps one of the biggest drivers behind the legalization of medical marijuana.
10) California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco:
Researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco carried out a study in 2007 on the growth of cancerous cells.
And they found that cannabidiol can help prevent cancer from spreading. Many other studies have shown that both THC and CBD can help slow or shrink tumors if used in the right amount.
11) Journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence:
A new study published in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence has linked marijuana to a direct decrease in depression and anxiety.
But at the same time, the study shows how easy it is to go over the required dose needed for relaxation. They investigated the amount of cannabis that can transition someone from a relaxed state to an anxious state and recommended a pretty small quantity to achieve effective relaxation.
12) The University of Illinois at Chicago:
Emma Childs, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois, Chicago carried out a small research on the right dose of marijuana required for stress relief.
The professor performed an experiment in which two students were given different doses of marijuana and then given stressful tasks.
Dr. Emma Childs concluded from the experiment that low doses of THC helped student reduce stress in stressful situations while higher doses had the opposite effect.
Discussion And Conclusion
It may be easy to see the reasons why society may want to officially accept the drug given the many positives of using marijuana.
But this not to say that marijuana does not have its setbacks, such as schizophrenia, increasing the risk of traffic accidents, reduce birth weight in pregnant women, more frequent episodes of chronic bronchitis to triggering heart attacks especially for folks with increased risk of heart attacks.
There have also been contradictory facts about marijuana. Some have even denoted that using marijuana could create addiction and abuse for other substances such as alcohol and tobacco. Some also think that it can improve sperm count and concentration while some other studies denote the opposite.
All of these reasons are why more research into marijuana is required to better understand it and how it can be positively used in society.
But at this point, especially in some school of thoughts, it seems like the advantages of the drug seem to outweigh the disadvantages.
One, having said all of these, may be poised to draw the conclusion that marijuana is or may be in the nearest feature the favorite drug among the many drugs out there in society.
And this is, summarizing, given all of the many studies, with some still ongoing, even by government agencies, which seek to examine and understand the effects of marijuana both for medical and recreational purposes and in addition to the increasing popularity of marijuana in the USA and the globe.