Pros and Cons in the Medicinal Use of Marijuana

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The ideology of marijuana has been controversial in the past decade, for some it’s uses are frowned upon in society, and for others it is generally accepted. This paper is going to take an in-depth look on the uses of marijuana from a medicinal perspective. We will also take a look at the benefits it holds with individuals suffering from various medical diseases with cancer being one of the key points of discussion. Keep in mind all information obtained to write this paper is from multiple scholarly journals both medical and general. Marijuana has been around longer then I myself have been, of course with anything there are the positives and negatives. Therefore, we will discuss both sides to establish a strong counterargument. This paper will not only be unbiased, it will come some of the general laws that are either against the use or with the use of marijuana primarily in the past couple of years. As briefly stated above we know marijuana is a compound and has shown positive medical benefits for patients who suffer from cancer and other diseases, we will discuss in detail the effects in has on the human body both externally and internally. The information regarding this will be recent versus outdated as new research is always provided which will give us the best general idea and information regarding cancer treatment tied to the use of this drug. Moving forward, there are cons too. This includes smoking, as we know smoking it not limited to what it comes from, marijuana just like cigarettes is harmful for our bodies lungs and can in fact induce cancer itself. And lastly, the mental effects of marijuana which could shy users away from using this substance from a non-medical perspective.

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So, with the news laws being implemented in respects to 2018, we know that prop 64 was just passed in Los Angeles, California. However, this legislation is not limited to only the non-medical uses of marijuana, it has expanded medicine as well, with pharmaceutical companies making medicine from this drug from extract of the main ingredient in marijuana THC (Tetrahydrocannabinols). Cannabis or in other words marijuana has been extremely judged by society, it has been under the category of a class 1 drug for centuries. Keep in mind, our technology and scientific research was far less advanced in the 1900’s with gave very little justification and or proof as to why cannabis itself was considered such a dangerous substance. In more present times with research becoming more advanced medical professionals all around the world have been retaught in a sense to the benefits of marijuana for cancer patients, sadly for the victims of the past they were not able to see the pros to cannabinoids. A very recent study done by, Sean D. McAllister, Rigel T. Christian, Maxx P. Horowitz, Amaia Garcia and Pierre-Yves Desprez, gives us an ample amount of information, this information shows the medical benefits marijuana use has in correlation to cancer patients whom use it. However, this study is not only generalized for cancer itself but for many other medical problems as well, cannabis has been linked to reducing inflammation in the human body, reducing stress levels which overtime improves heart function and is classified as an Anti-nausea compound. It has even been shown to reduce fevers in many patients.

The uses are not limited to cancer as stated above, they can be used for far more diseases. Some examples include hypertension, depression, and anxiety. Another study done for cannabinoids benefits was conducted by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. His study showed the benefits and outstanding remission rates of patients suffering from malignant cancer and use chemotherapy has a counter argument. Chemigraphy is a horrific experience for any patient, patients found using chemotherapy experienced vast amounts of pain and showed hardening of cardiac heart muscle over a long period of exposure to chemotherapy, however these effects were all avoiding with the use of cannabinoids and we found a higher success rate in the patients on this drug. Studies done by American journal of medicine found that the extract found from marijuana was not only Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) but also contained Cannabidiol which has been linked to protecting patients against epileptic episodes and seizures. With all this new information and research more and more healthcare professionals are looking into the benefits of these extracts and implementing this in their course of treatment for their patients. Keep in mind with the rate of technology advancing the rate of research will as well. Pg.1 The Department of Laboratory Medicine. Did a study on a THC on a molecular level, they reduced in down to a molecule which is two joined atoms together, keep in mind THC is the single main component of cannabis itself. This extract is highly effective for treating abnormal tumors in the human body. Think of kryptonite for superman, same rule applies for THC, once THC is exposed to a tumor it becomes an antagonist and shrinks it in the process. How this process works is that the component (THC) reacts with the body’s natural inflammatory response, the result of this reduces the inflamed area and over constant exposure leads to shrinking of the cancerous tumor. The effects of inflammatory response when uncontrolled in the human body has been linked to the spreading and or causing of cancer. The benefit of this study is that is looked at (THC) on a molecular level which avoids the risk of inhaling or ingesting the substance to avoid the risk of developing lung cancer and any other medical disorder in the process as it was injected as an extract in the test subjects. This is a remarkable stepping stone for the use of cannabis and THC as it reduces the risk of using the drug and focuses more on the benefits.

The article also mentions that these so-called drug companies are aware of this medical advancement but refuse to mimic the chemical substance for the extract as it considered to exploratory and the cost of manufacturing is far too high. They have made a slightly similar drug but it is nowhere as effective as the one created by the Department of Labatory Medicine. These drugs were explained and given later I the article on pg.4 some examples are Synthetic Delta-9 THC, and marinol, which were created by Valeant pharmaceuticals international. With these laboratories working day and night the unfortunate topic of discussion still remains with the risks tied to inhaling the smoke from marijuana and the indication that it in fact can cause induce or cancer versus treating it, however the main argument here is these laboratories do not have the necessary funding to establish the extract method which was created by The Department of Laboratory Medicine the cost is far too high. Also, with the argument of money aside, the amount of THC consumed via needle injection is far less than inhaling, which causes some controversy for users, also not everyone likes the idea of having to poke themselves with needles so this is another important factor to consider. The overall concentration of THC is 1/3 in extract versus a full 3/3 from smoking the substance. The pill method is far less as scientists have not yet found a way to extract an ample amount of THC into pill form which leaves users having to take multiple pills parodically thought-out the day which is not ample choice for most. Also, pills are generally monitored by the prescribing physician or facility in which prescribed it to the patient which means there is a boundary on the amount you can receive per month which is another issue for users.

In addition, we have another descriptive article written by Kristen Muller-Vahl MD, he states and quotes ” cancer is an aggressive disease, many of our attempts to treat cancer at an early onset is with the use of cannabinoid extract versus the standard pharmaceutical approach.” Certain illnesses can be treated with this method too, for example muscle atrophy, decrease in the mass of the muscle; it can be a partial or complete wasting away of muscle. Unfortunately, the symptoms and the illness itself has no cure, however, with the use of cannabinoid extract it can be used to comfort the patient in correlation with their symptoms of constant pain, their loss of appetite, and of course the loss of muscle fiber and tissue. It is important to make a patient as comfortable as possible and scientific evidence from various articles listed have proven this to be sure in respects to cancer and muscle illness and the symptoms that come along with this life threating diseases.

Moving forward, taking a look at the various studies on marijuana and its medicinal uses, it was always labeled in general terms as “a treatment for cancer” however, as longitudinal studies increase over the years we realize it’s uses for a wide variety of disease and the end result is showing people with little to no hope and fighting chance. So, with all this being said, we can see the tremendous benefit marijuana can have under the dictation of a medical professional. Sometimes medicine can fail us, or not be as effective as we’d like it to be, THC extract has been proven in multiple studies to treat conditions were medicine failed to do, or at least make the condition bearable for the patient suffering from the illness, refer back to the example listed earlier about muscle atrophy.

The Cancer news article made a statement, ” the use of this drug is both a dilemma and a blessing, it presents a constant challenge for health care professionals and the patient whom are being treated”. The cancer news article 2017 Looking an abstracting this statement in a more in-depth manner, we can see that there are pro’s along with the cons. They go on to mention that the use of this substance regardless if it can treat or have a possibility to treat cancer has multiple side effects that are potentially life threatening on their own. Common symptoms include, loss of consciousness, rapid heart rate, paranoia, dehydration, and confusion. The list goes on but the biggest concern listed above, rapid heart rate can lead to possible heart abnormalities and heart rates and could put a patient at risk to suffer from a heart attack. Smoking cannabis can have the same effects as cigarettes causing smoke to consume the deposits in the lung and might induce lung cancer itself over a long-term use. “Any gaseous compound when inhaled is dangerous, it is not limited to one specific substance, they are all potentially life threating in their own nature.” Samuel Ho, MD.

In conclusion, we looked at both sides on the pros and cons in the medicinal use of Marijuana. cannabis, THC extract, and so forth. We looked in-depth to the medical benefit of using the drugs and the perceived diseases is it capable of counterattacking. We looked at various studies which showed how it can subside a illness with no cure, how it can shrink a tumor, however, the medical benefits are life changing and can give people a second chance at life. As we know times have changed, the prop 64 which had passed put marijuana off the market for medical use and derived it for recreational use; which Is what people have been doing regardless but their underlying reasoning if you ask an individual refers back to medicinal. The passing of this law could shine the light on this drug more and give researchers and physicals alike more optimism towards the topic and would open the window for more studies to be done over a wide variety of the population. With all good things come bad, as we know the cons are a given. Smoking regardless of what it is can cause cancer, pregnant women using this drug can cause adverse effects for their children, the use of marijuana and pregnancy has been linked to having children born with down syndrome as well, and from an ethical perspective it is frowned upon. Lastly, if you compare this substance to various amount of other street drugs on the market today they are not nearly as bad, no deaths have been reported from the use of this substance, however multiple cognitive impairments have been over a very long time period of using. With this being said everything in moderation is okay but an excess amount can cause potential harm.

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