Since 28 U.S. states have already legalized marijuana for personal medical purposes, there have been heated debates concerning the benefits of medical marijuana. Amidst the fears concerning the use of marijuana as it is an addictive and illicit drug, it is still known to have multiple benefits for its users.
Popularly known as pot, weed or grass, marijuana is a mixture of dried leaves, stems, flowers and seeds of the plant Cannabis sativa. The medical use of marijuana has been established not by the federal law but by state laws in 28 U.S. states. Some of these states have allowed prescribed forms of marijuana either as Marinol or Cesamet for chemotherapy patients with nausea and loss of appetite. Marinol is also used for cachexia, a condition which is characterized by muscular atrophy, loss of appetite and weight loss.
Aside from these uses, marijuana is also used medically for patients with Multiple Sclerosis spasticity. Administered to patients in Canada, Europe, and New Zealand as an oral,sublingual spray, it can significantly reduce neuropathic pain in Multiple Sclerosis as well as cancer-related pain.
As Sativex, marijuana is also used to reduce the lower intraocular pressure in glaucoma, although it remains to be at par with other existing glaucoma treatments when it comes to effectiveness. Besides, it is not FDA approved for glaucoma treatment.
Perhaps though, one of the most popular uses of medical marijuana is for improving the conditions of epileptic seizures. The case of Charlotte Figi in 2013 shocked the public when marijuana reduced the seizures of this eight-year-old girl from Colorado. Although this convinced some medical experts about the potential medical benefits of marijuana, many still remain suspicious.
The bad reputation of marijuana comes from its addictive effects and complications. Aside from the addictive euphoric feeling, marijuana may bring about pneumonia, lung infections, psychosis, hallucinations, and complications with the heart, lungs and other organs. Any of these symptoms could either lead to death or the total degeneration of the mind.
Despite the potential benefits of medical marijuana for cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, epilepsy, glaucoma, cachexia, and even AIDS, its benefits are still questionable and are still being weighed against its harmful effects. Despite the use of marijuana for medical purposes and its legalization by 28 U.S. states, one should still use it at his own risk.