By: Michelle Dierna
Marijuana consists of dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, which contains the psychoactive (mind-altering) chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as well as other similar compounds. Marijuana is currently the most widely used illegal drug in the United States. Its use for medicinal and recreational purposes has been hotly debated. Starting with California’s Proposition 215 in 1996, several state governments have been approving the use of marijuana if recommended by a physician. Recently, the state of Colorado became the first to legalize recreational marijuana use, and more states are joining including New Jersey; where cannabis is legal for medicinal purposes. In order to get cannabis for medicinal treatment one must be approved by a doctor and follow strict regulations implemented by the law of the state. As cannabis becomes more prominent issue in our society, it is important to consider the potential effects its use could have on one’s health. With the legalization marijuana spreading through the states it’s easy to see that there might be major advantages of Marijuana use:
Some Advantages of Marijuana use:
- Cancer patients suffering terrible symptoms from chemotherapy use marijuana to relieve the pain and nausea that the chemotherapy creates. It also helps with loss of appetite.
- MS patients may experience reductions in pain and spasticity as a result of Marijuana use (National MS Society)
- Marijuana may have anti-seizure properties and is used for relief by some patients suffering from epilepsy and other seizure disorders. (Jones et.al)
- Certain strains of the cannabis plant have anxiety-reducing effects and may improve for some patients suffering from insomnia.
- Marijuana can cause reduction in depressed mood and encourage positive affect in patients suffering from Major Depressive Disorder (Spiegel), Some doctors recommend the use of it to reduce symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). (Ellison)
- Marijuana has been shown to help pain relief in patients suffering from Fiber Myalgia
- Cannabis can lower intraocular pressure to treat glaucoma if traditional medicines do not work (Glaucoma Research Foundation)
There are many mixed opinions when it comes to the topic of cannabis, and whether it actually benefit people overall or if it’s just as dangerous as other drugs in its class. If you or someone you know is experiencing medical issues and feels that cannabis could be a solution, and live in a state where it’s medicinally legal and distributed, Discuss your diagnosis with a doctor. Discuss whether it complies with the rules of your state and whether you can be prescribed medical marijuana. Speak with a therapist or doctor to see if it could potentially be the answer for you or a loved one.
Feel free to contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists for an evaluation to see if you should move forward with meeting someone who specializes in Marijuana cases in the state you currently live in or if there are other alternatives.
To see the Disadvantages of Cannabis use continue reading the post above!
1.Ellison, Katherine.”Medical Marijuana: No Longer Just for Adults.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 21 Nov. 2009. Web. 22 May 2014.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/health/22sfmedical.html?_r=0>.
2.”DrugFacts: Marijuana.”National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2014. .drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana>.
3.psychologytoday.com/blog/mind-tapas/201303/medical-marijuana-psychiatric-disorders – Spiegel
4..Dobman & Kleiman. “Journal of Clinical Oncology.” Marijuana as Antiemetic Medicine: A Survey of Oncologists’ Experiences and Attitudes. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2014. jco.ascopubs.org/content/9/7/1314.short>.