Brief History Of Medical Cannabis
The use of Marijuana in one form or another has occurred for over 10,000 years. Records show that by 27 B.C., the Chinese cultivated "Ma" (cannabis hemp) for fiber, medicine, and herbal use. Between 8 A.D. and 18 A.D. Arab physicians and scientists utilized the medicinal properties of cannabis to treat a wide variety of conditions and illnesses, including ear and skin diseases, epilepsy, and pain.
During the mid-1800s, cannabis became an accepted therapy by Western medicine. By the beginning of the 20th Century, more than 1-- articles had been written on Marijuana and published by physicians in Western medical literature and recognized as a treatment for over 100 separate aliments.
Marijuana was officially removed from the U.S. Pharmacopoeia in 1942 after passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. This legislation severely limited the ability of physicians to prescribe the compound, and as a result, the American Medical Association became one of the most vocal opponents of the ban. Marijuana's illegal position was solidified after Congress passed the 1970 Controlled Substance Act, which placed it on Schedule 1, the same category with heroin and LSD; drugs deemed to have high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.
In 1978, after a young cancer patient named Lynn Pierson brought marijuana's medicinal value to the attention of the New Mexico State legislature, the nation's first law concerning medical cannabis was overwhelmingly passed. Many other states, by December 1991, Massachusetts Governor William Weld marijuana's potential as medicine. By 1991, 87% of legislators in 34 states had voted to end the prohibition of medical marijuana. However, many state efforts were effectively thwarted by federal drug agencies.
Medical Benefits of Cannabis
There are many medical marijuana uses for individual need, and society as a whole. To start, let's focus on the individual. Why would a person want to use medical marijuana?
The health benefits of marijuana are undeniable. Marijuana alleviates pain, and certain, disabilities illnesses and disease.
In California, a broad rang of illnesses, disabilities and diseases were approved to use medical marijuana as a treatment for therapy, and medication.
California has approved medical marijuana to effectively treat symptoms associated with cancer, muscle spasms associated with Multiple Schlerosis, chronic pain, symptoms associated with HIV and AIDS, anorexia, migraine, headaches, glaucoma, persistent epileptic seizure, nausea, Cachexia, and other reoccurring medical conditions.
This is only Californias approved list of medical marijuana user, however the heath benefits of marijuana are much greater, The list is still growing with research and time.
In addition to the below list marijuana can be a treatment for arthritis, Crohn's Disease, PMS, Bipolar Disorder, Tourette's Syndrome, ADD, ADHD, Insomnia, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, stress reduction, and many more.
Marijuana Medicinal Compounds
Cannabis contains over 300 compounds. At least 66 of these cannabinoids, which are the basis for medical and scientific use of cannabis. This presents the research problem of isolating the effect of specific compounds and taking account of the interaction of these compounds. Cannabinoids can serve as appetite stimulants, antiserums antispasmodics, and have some analgesic effects. Five important cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant are tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidol, cannabinol, β-caryophylene, and cannabigerol.
Indica strains are sedatives/relaxants and are effective for treating the symptoms of medical conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, muscle spasms and tremors. Indicas have a high level of cannabinoids than sativas, which results in a sedated body-type stone. Because indica strains may cause feelings of sleepiness and heaviness, many patients prefer to medicate with this type of cannabis at night.
Sativa strains are more of a stimulant and are effective in appetite stimulation, relieving depression migraines, chronic pain and nausea. Sativas have a higher level of THC than indicas, which results in a psychoactive and energetic mind-high. Because sativa strains may cause feelings of alertness and optimism, many patients prefer to medicate with this type of cannabis during the day.
Hybrids and cross-breeds of indica and sativa strains produce varieties that carry some characteristics of each parent. For example, adding sativa to indica strains adds mental clarity and decreases sedation effects. Adding indica to sativa strains can decrease or even eliminate the sativa tendency to stimulate anxiety.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. The compound is a mild analgesic, and cellular research has shown the compound has antioxidant activity. THC is believed to interfere with parts of the brain normally controlled by the endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter, anandmide. Anandamide is believed to play a role in pain sensation, memory, and sleep.
Cannabidol (CBD) is a major constituent of medical cannabis. CBD represents up to 40% of extracts of the medical cannabis plant. Cannabidol has been shown to relieve convulsion, inflammation, anxiety, cough, and congestion, nausea, and inhibits cancer cell growth. Recent studies have shown cannabidol to be as effective as atypical antipsychotics in treating schizophrenia. Because cannabidol relieves the aforementioned symptoms, cannabis strains with a high amount of CBD may benefit people with multiple sclerosis, frequent anxiety attacks and Tourette syndrome.
Cannabinol (CBN) is a therapeutic cannabinoid found in Sativa and Indica. It is also produced as a metabolite, or a breakdown product of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBN acts as a weakagonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors with lower affinity in comparison to THC.
Part of the mechanism by which medical cannabis has been shown to reduce tissue inflammation is via the compound β-Caryophylene. A cannabinoid receptor called CB2 plays a vital part in reducing inflammation in humans and other animals, β-Caryophylene has been shown to be selective activator of the CB2 reveptor, β-Caryophylene is especially concentrated in cannabis essential pil, which contains about 12-35% β-Caryophylene.
Like cannabidol, cannabigerol is not psychoactive. Cannabigerol has been shown to relieve intraoccular pressue which may be of benefit in the treatment of glaucoma.
Using Cannabis for Therapeutic Use