The topic of whether to legalize marijuana or not is a controversial one all over the world. Some countries have danced to the tune by legalizing marijuana but placing a few restrictions on it. The US has not federally legalized Marijuana but 25 states have legalized it producing state dispensaries to access it. History has it that Marijuana was very effective as a medicine in China, India, and some parts of Africa. But until the computer age where it was outrightly banned.
Scientists have begun to see the other side of Marijuana, known as medical Marijuana, as they conduct experiments and studies to explore its health benefits of Marijuana. More research is still needed to know the extent to which the benefits would go. Though some are still focused on the social impact, the health impacts and benefits cannot be ignored, hence the need to consider legalizing Marijuana.
Health Benefits of Marijuana
As much as there are other benefits of Marijuana, the health benefits are one reason why the government has to legalize marijuana. Some terminal diseases that have been written off as incurable are showing signs of treatment when Marijuana is administered. So, let’s explore these health benefits.
Relief of Chronic Pain
Marijuana is made up of lots of chemical compounds that are very helpful in relieving pain. The Cannabinoid, CBD, is an effective pain relief for chronic pain due to diseases. Hence, Medical Marijuana is used for the relief of pain for patients after chemotherapy. Also, Marijuana has a way of reducing pain or permanently stopping it.
Prevention of the growth of cancer cells.
Cancer has been a source of pain and terror for most families over the decades, so if there is a slight chance that marijuana could be the cure, the government ought to start putting things in place to legalize marijuana. Also, it was found in a study that Cannabidiol has the ability to stop cancer by turning off a particular gene in the body.
In 2007, Scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco reported that CBD may prevent cancer from spreading. The researchers experimented on breast cancer cells in the lab that have a high level of Id-1 and treated them with cannabidiol.
The outcome was rather positive, the cells had decreased Id-1 expression, and were less aggressive spreaders. In fact, the American Association for Cancer Research has found that marijuana actually works to slow down tumor growth in the brain, breast, and lungs.
Prevention of Alzheimer’s diseases.
A study at the Scripps Research Institute discovered that the cannabinoid, THC, present in Marijuana actually slows down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. THC slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. These plaques kill the brain cells and potentially lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
Treatment of Glaucoma.
Glaucoma increases the pressure on the eyeball thereby affecting the optic nerve leading to loss of vision. The National Eye Institute confirms that marijuana helps to reduce the pressure on the eyeball. This means that marijuana can help prevent blindness as well.
Relief of Arthritis.
In 2011, researchers reported that cannabis reduces pain and inflammation, and promotes sleep, which may help relieve pain and discomfort for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Researchers of the rheumatology units at several hospitals gave their patients Sativex, a cannabinoid-based pain-relieving medicine. After two weeks, patients on Sativex had a significant reduction in pain and improved better sleep quality compared to placebo users.
Control of Epileptic Seizures.
Studies have shown that marijuana also helps to control seizures from epilepsy in the body. In a 2013 study, marijuana was administered to Epileptic rats and the drugs stopped the seizures for over 10 hours. The results published in the journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics shows that THC controlled the seizures by binding the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation.
Relief of the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis.
Studies have shown they Marijuana helps to ease the pain and muscle spasm that has to do with multiple sclerosis. Sativex, a recent drug made from Marijuana, is being administered for the treatment of muscle Spasms and other symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. The THC in Marijuana bonds the receptors in the nerves and muscles to relieve pain.
Elevates tremors from Parkinson’s disease.
Recent studies from Israel shows that smoking marijuana remarkably reduces pains and tremors and improves sleep for Parkinson’s disease patients. What was impressive about the research was the improvement of the fine motor skills among patients.
Israel has made medical marijuana legal, and a lot of research into the medical uses of weed is done there, supported by the Israeli Government.
Social benefits of Marijuana
We could go on and on about the health benefits of Marijuana as a major reason why the government should legalize marijuana. Asides the health benefits, there are also a few social and recreational benefits of Marijuana;
- When under the influence of Marijuana, people feel free to express themselves. Hence they open up, reveal their thoughts, and share ideas.
- Marijuana improves your senses. It improves your taste of food and taste in music as well.
- For a lot of People, Marijuana is a way for them to enter into their creative world. Some confirmed that it helps to feel artistic, creative, and energized. When it interacts with the brain, it provides an out-of-the-box thinking process.
- It can bring out the child in you, and this feeling of lightheartedness can be quite helpful in overcoming everyday stress and anxiety.
- You may feel as if you are a completely different person after using cannabis. Some people, who are introverts and naturally shy, can overcome this social disadvantage, and become more confident and outgoing in social settings.
As much as there are benefits of Marijuana, there are also side effects. Most of these side effects can be controlled by effective research on the uses of Marijuana. Before a government can legalize marijuana, structures have to be put in place to control excess use.