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Marijuana as Medicine

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Marijuana as Medicine


Perhaps the strongest argument for legalisation lies with the medical uses of cannabis. The British government is on the cusp of allowing its use to treat painful conditions, and in America an eminent medic has come out in favour. Professor Lester Grinspoon from Harvard Medical School believes that cannabis "is likely to be seen as a wonder drug of the 21st century."


Cannabis is widely known for its medicinal ability to ease a host of serious conditions:

# cancer: cannabis can suppress nausea brought on by chemotherapy

# AIDS: it can increase appetite and prevent weight-loss

# glaucoma (an eye condition): cannabis can relieve eye pressure

# muscular pain: it can ease muscle spasms and period pains



In the 19th century, cannabis was widely used to relieve muscle spasms and rheumatism. Even Queen Victoria was given it by her doctor to ease her period pains.


It was the invention of the syringe towards the end of the century that marked an end to its widespread medicinal use.


Injecting drugs meant they could take effect a lot faster. Cannabis cannot be dissolved in water, so it can't be injected.


Only recently have scientists began to scrutinize the chemical more closely, and have started to conduct clinical trials to test its medical effects.


Relief for multiple sclerosis sufferers

There are a total of 85,000 people suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) in Britain. This incurable debilitating disease manifests itself with a host of symptoms:

# balance problems

# muscle weakness and spasms

# incontinence

# pain

# tremors


Although pharmaceutical drugs are available to MS sufferers, the condition is difficult to control. Clinical tests performed by the Multiple Sclerosis Society showed that most patients responded positively to cannabis. The drug especially alleviated spasms, pain, tremor and increased bladder control.


In addition, a postal survey was conducted amongst patients self-medicating with cannabis in the UK and the USA. More than 90% reported a beneficial effect on their condition. Unfortunately, many patients end up obtaining cannabis illegally.


Legal high

Doctors have been allowed to prescribe capsules containing THC, the main active ingredient of cannabis, for years. Nabilone - a synthetically manufactured copy of THC - was licensed in 1982 for prescription use against nausea caused by chemotherapy.



However, some patients complain of the same side effect that many people state as the drug's main recreational attraction - it gets you stoned. Due to the complex relationship between THC and receptors in the brain, researchers haven't yet managed to separate the active medical ingredients from the brain-bending ones.


Cannabis aerosols

Patients taking the drug in capsule form are unable to control the dose as they can with careful inhaling. So the pharmaceutical industry has started developing THC aerosols and inhalers that don't harm lungs. This makes it easier for patients to control their dose and prevents them from getting too disorientated


BBC NEWS | Science & Environment

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Marijuana, the wonder drug

Lester Grinspoon The Boston Globe

Published: March 1, 2007


CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts: A new study in the journal Neurology is being hailed as unassailable proof that marijuana is a valuable medicine. It is a sad commentary on the state of modern medicine that we still need "proof" of something that medicine has known for 5,000 years.


The study, from the University of California at San Francisco, found that smoked marijuana was effective at relieving the extreme pain of a debilitating condition known as peripheral neuropathy.

Marijuana, the wonder drug - International Herald Tribune


Since the 1920s, supporters of marijuana prohibition have exaggerated the drug's dangers. In different eras, different claims have gained prominence, but few have ever been abandoned. Indeed, many of the "reefer madness" tales that were used to generate support for early anti-marijuana laws continue to appear in government and media reports today.

Exposing Marijuana Myths - A Review of the Scientific Evidence

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CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts: A new study in the journal Neurology is being hailed as unassailable proof that marijuana is a valuable medicine. It is a sad commentary on the state of modern medicine that we still need "proof" of something that medicine has known for 5,000 years.


The study, from the University of California at San Francisco, found that smoked marijuana was effective at relieving the extreme pain of a debilitating condition known as peripheral neuropathy.

First of all, medicine in the sense implied here have not existed for 5,000 years. Only a few centuries ago in Western Europe, the entrials of animals were still consulted to determine the cause of a patient's sickness, and the cure. Honestly, I don't care what 'medicine' thinks of mariuana, if that's the kind of medicine you're talking about.


The second point, that smoked mariuana is effective at relieving extreme pain, is more valid and useful, simply because it can be tested. But then we have to ask ourselves: The physical workings of mariuana simply plays around with the neurons and the synapses. It does absolutely bugger-all to the cause of the pain, and only serves to desensitize the smoker. This should come as absolutely no earth-shattering surprise. In such extreme cases of pain, morphine is used regularly. Morphine is also addictive, and there are rules and regulations against the free distribution of morphine for that very same reason. I don't see anybody running around protesting the legalizing of morphine. Now why would that be?


I'm not in disagreement with the legalizing of mariuana, not at all. The fact that we deem it illegal creates an artificial black market of an easily come by drug that serves as a stepping stone, or a point of entry, if you will, of the criminally inclined to the underworld. Legalize it, and the bottom will fall out of the market. Then mariuana usage can be attacked via the same methods that tobacco smoking is attacked. Which is just dandy with me. But if we want to legalize it, we should do it for the right reasons - not because of some misplaced notion of weed being the end-all and be-all of all wonder drugs.

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As a medical marijuana patient for many reasons, I can say that some people on this Earth really need cannabis in their lives.


Some people don't.


In California, I am legally allowed to grow, posess, and smoke cannabis because I went to the doctors one day and explained to them everything, and they helped me.


To me, and millions of other people, it is a wonder drug. There's nothing like it.


I'm a very unstable person. (If you didn't know that one already)

I suffer from severe depression. I can be anorexic. Sometimes I get so anxious I can't even sleep.

I experienece a lot of disconfort in my intestines that I at first thought was an ulcer, but the doctors could never figure it out.


I blamed it on Kundalini syndrome, and stopped doing Kundalini yoga, and the pain suppressed but it's still there. .


Marijuana helps me eat. Helps me sleep. Marijuana makes me happy. It calms me down.


I know this might sound pathetic to some of you sober and beer drinkers out there,


but this plant gives me reason to live.


Without cannabis, I would live a really menacing, painful life.


I am so glad I discovered this wonderful plant with her beautiful buds.


Marijuana should not be illegal. It's illegal because of greed, and tradition, and Dupont, and popoganda, but I don't want to get into that story, it makes me sad.


Marijuana is pretty much legal in some states who support medical marijuana, like Caliofornia.


I can walk into "Cannabis Clubs" and buy marijuana.


There's even a picture of Bill Clinton with his card! Hah!


So, in conclusion, I know my body better than anything else in the world.

Marijuana is a divine medicine, and although it may be illegal in some places,

it's legal in others, because everybody just KNOWS otherwise.


Thank you

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Amazing, humbling, post orbsycli

Thank you


I agree with a lot of what you say Boerseun


Herbal medicine has been used by Homo sapiens for c 60,000 years.

Chimps use herbal medicine; so the use of plants for medicine may go back even further into our primordial ancestory.


Morphine is a drug that is processed from the sap of a plant. In that process the 'medicine' becomes highly concentrated and toxic. It is physiologically addictive (eventually). It can kill, so no I would not vote for a free-for-all with supply of it.

I would however,vote for the registration and supply of heroin addicts under very strict medical supervision. This for a lot of reasons:- stopping the spread of blood born diseases, stopping police and public officials' corruption, emptying out our jails, reducing property crime, a greater possibility of rehabilitation and less deaths though inferior or adulterated (or sometimes too 'pure') opiates.


Too much paracetamol can kill too.


Our chemical armory against pain does not seem that good, although I think there are many herbs that could be investigated and I have written a little about the elsewhere but MJ seems to be a major player.


No pain-killer by definition "cures" a complaint. It just makes life a bit more bearable


Smoking anything burning is not good for you, (Including the smog of cities) but MJ does not kill you as quickly as opiate addiction.

Perhaps eating MJ dissolved in fats, such as butter in cookies, may be a better way to go.


From what orbsycli says, some people have very few choices.

At least you have an enlightened system in California. Here the law is getting 'fuzzier' by the minute.

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I wouldn't classify/ register Marijuana as "medicine"

It has a great number of medicinal uses.

Here is a link to links (!) both pro and con

Medical Marijuana - Master Reference

Amazon should have a few books on the subject too


This is from our "Liberal" federal government. This guy was just promoted this week too. No wonder kids don't believe the Government about drugs when they peddle crap like this.

Australia: Health Minister Says Marijuana as Dangerous as Heroin -- Calls for National Toughening of Laws 5/19/06

Australia: Health Minister Says Marijuana as Dangerous as Heroin -- Calls for National Toughening of Laws


Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Health Christopher Pyne announced Monday that all state and territorial governments had signed on to a federal plan to create a tough, uniform set of marijuana laws as part of a crackdown on cannabis.

Australia: Health Minister Says Marijuana as Dangerous as Heroin -- Calls for National Toughening of Laws

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Marijuana's only contribution to the medical world is as a painkiller. It achieves this by the not-so-groundbreaking technique of desensitizing the user. So, too, does a lot of other legal medicine. Serious humdinger painkillers, like morphine, is controlled because of their addicitive nature. Nobody's yelling for the legal control over morphine to be removed.


Whether you're pro or con marijuana is irrellevant. Fact is, the discussion of how unfair it is to have this 'wonder drug' controlled and declared illegal because of it magical mystical medical properties, is a trojan horse. Marijuana is no great medicine. But it will bullshit you in believing that it magically whisked the pain away by desensitizing you. As easy as that. Once you come off your high, badabing badaboom! The pain is back. So you have to roll another one to get the pain sorted. Ascribing medical virtues to marijuana is a simple misunderstanding of cause and effect. Marijuana does nothing for you except bullshit you in believing the pain's going away. Treat the cause, and treat the pain with existing legally controlled drugs. Or, if you shout for the legalising of MJ for medicinal purposes, then be consistent and shout for the free availability of morphine, too.

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Marijuana is no great medicine for you, Boeseun,


but for others, like me


it's the best medicine I've ever ingested.


THC is not a pain killer. It's a muscle relaxer. (An many other things)


Marijuana cures a different kind of pain,

One you are blessed not to know,

for if you did your eyes would be just as glazed as mine.




There's no other medicine, especially in legal super amazing pill form that can:

1. cure my anorexia

2. and my depression

3. and make me really creative

4. and help me sleep


All at the same time. And all I have to do is smoke a little bit of herb.

There are many other uses for it, although those are mine.


You are lucky to have such a stable body, Boerseun.


Please stop trying to tell me our medicine is bullshit.


Sat nam

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Marijuana's only contribution to the medical world is as a painkiller.

No not true.

unfortunately many researchers find it hard to contain all the variables when looking at the complex chemistry of a plant. So i have mainly given you research here on synthetic THC the so-called "active ingredient" of marijuana. All this research is post 1985 when the drug was first marketed.I have mainly relied on scholarly and medical journals using synthetic THC.


About 30%+ of Americans over 12 have used marijuana.


Marijuana is no great medicine.

Not true

Treat the cause,

Painkillers, by definition, do not treat causes. Am I repeating myself here?

shout for the free availability of morphine, too.

OK if you want.

Personally I would like to go back to 1945 when you could buy opium poppy heads from the chemist (Boots UK) to help you sleep and as an analgesic. Refined morphine can be dangerous as the dose between a therapudic and a deadly one is small. But, hey, we could always let the buyer beware?

Evidence supports the selective use of pure THC preparations to treat nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy and to stimulate appetite.

Annals of internal medicine

Medicinal Applications of Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Marijuana

right arrow Eric A. Voth, MD, and Richard H. Schwartz, MD

15 May 1997 | Volume 126 Issue 10 | Pages 791-798


There are lots of books this was trying to look just at the science not at all the socio-cultural issues.

Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base

The medical use of marijuana is surrounded by a cloud of social, political, and religious controversy, which obscures the facts that should be considered in the debate.This book summarizes what we know about marijuana from...

More about this book

Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base - Google Book Search


Dronabinol is a synthetic form of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active ingredient in marijuana that was first approved in 1985 for nausea

and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy.

Dronabinol (Marinol®) is a schedule III controlled substance that contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a major active ingredient found in marijuana.

Average montly costs for patients is c $500 per month.

Dronabinol is approved for appetite stimulation in AIDS-related anorexia and ..treats nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy

Dystonia .Multiple Sclerosis..

Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting

On pain

The authors concluded that cannabinoids, as oral THC 5-20 mg, oral synthetic nitrogen analogue of THC 1 mg, or IM levonantradol 1.5-3 mg were found to be as effective as codeine 50-120 mg, but have depressant effects on CNS that limit their use. Two studies reported that 20 mg THC was roughly equivalent to 120 mg codeine. However, the THC 20 mg was highly sedating and produced mental effects prohibiting its use..

Glaucoma - Smoking marijuana may cause the reduction of intraocular pressure (IOP) on average, by about 25% (range, -45% to +5%). Duration of its effect on IOP reduction is about 3 to 4 hours,



"Our research suggests dronabinol may reduce agitation and improve appetite in patients with Alzheimer's disease, when traditional therapies are not successful," said Joshua Shua-Haim, M.D., lead investigator in the study and medical director of the Meridian Institute for Aging, a continuum of senior health programs and services in Central New Jersey affiliated with Meridian Health System. "In the study, dronabinol appeared to be safe and effective for these patients. The results point to a promising direction for future research."

cannabis.net : dronabinol ( Marinol ) a synthetic marijuana compound


Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Dronabinol Reduces Signs and Symptoms of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension: A Case Report

Feb 2006, Vol. 22, No. 1 : 68 -75

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. - Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics - 22(1):68



Inhaled Dronabinol is in development for use in multiple indications.

"Some oral medications are broken down by the liver before reaching the bloodstream, which limits the amount of the parent drug that is systemically available.

Inhaled Dronabinol : Nektar


Use of dronabinol for treatment of side effects of hepatitis c therapy

Use of dronabinol for treatment of side effects of hepatitis c therapy patent invention

Finally a note on the whole plant from NSW parliment


Legislative Council Hansard (Extract)

The Hon. ANN SYMONDS [6.30]: I wish to express support for the doctors and health workers who this morning in the Sydney Morning Herald called for marijuana to be used for medical purposes. It is unfortunate that a valuable therapeutic substance is being withheld from patients with a variety of medical conditions which respond favourably to its administration. There is a growing body of evidence that cannabis has a beneficial effect on a number of chronic conditions. Conditions such as glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, depression, epilepsy, paraplegia, quadriplegia, and chronic pain all respond to marijuana. In addition to being beneficial in the treatment of such chronic conditions, cannabis also assists to control the nausea and vomiting that result from chemotherapy when all other remedies have failed. This has been known for more than 20 years. In the United States Dr Lester Grinspoon encouraged some of his medical colleagues to conduct a scientific study on the use of cannabis, and their results were published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in 1975.

Medical Use Of Cannabis - 13/11/1995 - ADJ

Michael .

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Marijuana is the only drug I have ever heard of that will not kill you, meaning you cannot overdose. The only way I can think of it possibly killing you is from asphyxiation, you're in a room, closed, no new air.

And the other thing is it's disorienting sometimes, and causes short term memory loss, but doesn't almost every other drug(prescription and illegal) out there?

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