Medical cannabis, medicinal marijuana, medical mary jane – no matter how you refer to it, cannabis has been demonstrated in an increasing amount of studies to be medically useful!
by Elizabeth Seward – Staff Writer
Although the plant was once thought to be a troublesome gateway drug in mainstream America, recent polls show that 80% of Americans now support the use of medical marijuana. An overwhelming majority of Americans, 75%, would prefer that recreational marijuana use is punished with a fine only and not jail or prison. And nearly 60% of Americans now favor complete legalization of cannabis for both medical and recreational use.
While Americans are just beginning to collectively understand the potential value in cannabis use and tolerance, this knowledge isn’t new. The use of this plant for physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being has been found to go back thousands of years. Ancient Chinese shamans used it – in fact, mummies excavated in China were found buried with marijuana. Archaeologists believe that these mummies were shamans. Cannabis was used throughout ancient Africa as medicine. It was used to treat pain, loss of appetite, tetanus, delirium tremens, infantile convulsions, hay fever, asthma, skin diseases, nervous disorders, and many other conditions. And so the exploration of “weed” as medicine continues today.
A recent study out of the University of South Carolina has provided evidence that the chief ingredient found in cannabis, THC, might be useful in treating those who have autoimmune disorders. The lead authors of the research have shown that cannabis can suppress inflammation and play an instrumental role in fighting inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.
The study was originally published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Researchers injected lab rats with THC and proceeded to analyze their MicroRNAs. MicroRNAs are small molecules that regulate gene expression and are influenced by THC. Thirteen of the 609 MicroRNAs examined by the researchers were highly influenced by THC. Marijuana has been shown to possibly help in the treatment of autoimmune disorder.
Medical Marijuana Legalization In The USA And Beyond
This news is just the latest in a field that is continually studied these days, especially with the success of medical cannabis legalization campaigns and even the success of recreational legalization campaigns in the states of Colorado and Washington. Medical cannabis is now legal in 22 states in the USA as well as the District of Columbia. The conditions medically-approved weed is approved to treat vary state by state, but include chronic pain, cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, severe nausea, anorexia, HIV/AIDS, and PTSD, among many others.
Medical marijuana is also legal in Canada, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, Israel, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Medical cannabis has been proven to treat severely debilitating and/or life-threatening conditions and endless anecdotal stories support the medicinal power of weed. Controversy still surrounds the legalization of medical marijuana in the USA, especially when used to treat children. This VICE short documentary explores what happens when a child undergoes medical cannabis treatment and is worth watching.
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