There is no plant on earth more condemned and praised than the Cannabis sativa or the marijuana plant. Marijuana is easily the most common drug used in the United States. The main appealing factor of the drug is the delta-9-tetrahydrocannobinol, or THC.
Cannabis is usually broken down and smoked in various forms whether it is in a hand rolled cigarette (joint), pipe, or a vaporizer. Marijuana can also be mixed in food or brewed as tea. It’s all a matter of preference. When consumed, users often feel relaxed or high and they may experience hunger, or “the munchies”.
Although often abused and condemned as being a dangerous mind altering drug, Cannabis is actually one of the most powerful healing plants on the planet. It has proven to inhibit tumor growth and stimulate hunger in patients suffering from nausea.
Dr. Kirsten Mueller-Vahl of the Hanover Medical College led an investigation that proved that Cannabis temporarily soothes some of the symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome. Because marijuana is a muscle relaxant it also has been proven very effective for the treatment of seizures. A study done at USC showed that marijuana can be used as an alternative to Ritalin with none of the negative side effects of the pharmaceutical drug.
Former talk show host, Montel Williams helped to document the effects of marijuana on multiple sclerosis patients when he started using the drug to treat his MS. Marijuana stops the neurological effects and muscle spasms that accompany the disease. In the same way marijuana is used to treat IBS, it can also be used to treat the cramps and discomfort that cause PMS symptoms. Despite popular belief about its effects on the brain, Cannabis also helps to prevent Alzheimer’s by blocking the deposits in the brain that cause the disease. Medical marijuana use is legal in Montana Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan, Illinois, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.
Clearly marijuana should not be considered a dangerous drug, as is the case with heroin or methamphetamine. It has medical advantages and if used responsibly can be acceptable for recreational use as well. Marijuana is permitted for recreational use in only Washington and Colorado, but since marijuana use of any kind is illegal under federal law conflict often arises regarding the legality of the drug and regulation.
A report issued by the Beckley Foundation’s Global Cannabis Commission concluded that alcohol and tobacco use presents greater future risks than marijuana use. The research also reported that only two deaths worldwide could be directly attributed to marijuana each year while thousands die from alcohol and tobacco.
Needless to say, marijuana when used in moderation has more positive effects than negative. Perhaps in the future when all of the cannabis research has been sifted through, medical and recreational marijuana use will be more accepted.