Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

Medicinal Marijuana

Marijuana also known as cannabis or weed comes from the plant Cannabis sativa. Marijuana is considered to be a prohibited drug in most parts around the world, but slowly countries are beginning to come to terms with the use of this illicit drug.  Recently the Victorian government in Australia have legalized the use of marijuana for its medicinal purposes. Medicinal cannabis or medicinal marijuana is used as a treatment for pain relief, nausea, and to induce appetite in some of its patients. When compared to opiate drugs, which are drugs prescribed to treat pain; marijuana is considered to be less harmful.

Marijuana isn’t associated with as many risks, and when compared to opiate drugs it can be useful in treating many medical conditions, without having to worry about the potential deaths that can occur with overdosing. It’s devastating to see that each year around 69,000 people die from overdosing on opiate drugs such as morphine, tramadol and oxycodone http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/information-sheet/en/. Opiate drugs such as oxycodone can form addictive behaviour, and if consumed in large doses can lead to respiratory depression and death from suffocation. http://www.drugs.com/oxycodone.html.Because no deaths have been linked to taking large dosages of marijuana, http://www.leafscience.com/2014/08/26/can-you-overdose-on-marijuana/ I see no reason why it should be prohibited for medicinal purposes, as it is a much safer alternative.

Overdosing on marijuana may not lead to death, but taking too much can cause acute psychosis. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a chemical present in marijuana, and when introduced into the body binds to cannabinoid receptors present near the brain, which in turn inhibits the mental functioning of an individual. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/how-does-marijuana-produce-its-effects. THC is the chemical present in marijuana that gives you the “high” feeling. However, it is a beneficial chemical as it helps to stop nausea and induce appetite in some of its patients, and shouldn’t be underestimated in the medical community.

THC and similar chemicals found in marijuana are beginning to be used in the medical profession. The two major chemicals present in marijuana include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD has fewer side effects than the chemical THC, and for this reason it is advantageous for medical purposes https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine.  THC containing drugs such as dronabinol and nabilone have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These prescribed drugs are used to treat nausea in cancer patients using chemotherapy and to induce appetite in individuals who have AIDS. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine. Drugs containing high amounts of the chemical CBD, lessens seizures in children who are suffering from epilepsy.  It can be seen that when used as a medicine , marijuana can often benefit the health and well being of many individuals suffering from illnesses.  When taken in proportion and in correct dosages prescribed drugs containing chemicals associated with marijuana should do more good than bad. Medicinal marijuana is  efficient and has the potential to allow us to discover and develop new and improved drugs which can help treat medical conditions today and in the near future.

References:

Abuse, N. I. o. D., 2016. How does marijuana produce its effects?. [Online] Available at: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/how-does-marijuana-produce-its-effects [Accessed 29 Apr. 2016].

Drugs.com, 2016. Oxycodone. [Online] Available at: http://www.drugs.com/oxycodone.html [Accessed 29 Apr. 2016].

Organisation, W. H., 2014. Management of Substance Abuse. [Online] Available at: http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/information-sheet/en/ [Accessed 29 Apr. 2016].

Science, L., 2014. Can You Overdose on Marijuana. [Online] Available at: http://www.leafscience.com/2014/08/26/can-you-overdose-on-marijuana/ [Accessed 29 Apr. 2016].

Drugabuse.gov. (2016). Is Marijuana Medicine?. [online] Available at: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine.%5BAccessed 29 Apr. 2016].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One comment on “Medicinal Marijuana

  1. lizkawka
    May 2, 2016

    The legal use of marijuana solely for medicinal practices has been a debate in many countries for quite some time now. This blog drew attention to me as I’ve read cases in which hospitals prohibited the use of this drug to patients that had the potential to give positive benefits to those who needed treatment. There was a story of an 8-year-old girl and she was having seizures of up to 60 a day until her mother started giving her liquid cannabis (http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/desperate-parents-turn-to-medical-marijuana-in-lastditch-effort-to-improve-their-childrens-lives/story-fni0fit3-1226799787147). Her overall cognitive performances were significantly improved. If marijuana is able to prevent death in extreme circumstances and improve the lives of individuals, I believe that it should be implemented for medicinal practices that haven’t legalized it already.

    It is tragic that that many people each year die from overdosing from opiate drugs considering that these are prescribed drugs. This statistic proves that even prescribed drugs can form addictive behaviors that can lead to irreversible consequences. Yet, in some places the legalization of marijuana is not allowed even though there has been no direct links with death from the use of this drug. The abuse of drugs is not to be tolerated; they need to be used for their primary purpose – that is to treat the patient in order to improve their health – and not to be taken out of proportion. If marijuana is taken care in the hands of professionals working in medicinal practices, it should not have to be an issue to be used upon patients that need the treatment. It’d be interesting to know the science behind why overdosing on marijuana does not lead to death, maybe you can mentioned that somewhere.

    Since Australia has recently legalized marijuana for its medicinal purposes, why is it in some countries they haven’t legalized it? Perhaps are there any other countries that have legalized marijuana and why?

    Your blog is very informative and you have provided sufficient evidence to support your view of the advantages of marijuana and hence it kept me intrigued. You could possibly mention a case of an individual regarding how the medicinal use of marijuana improved their health, so that you can provide further evidence to prove to your audience that the science behind marijuana provides positive effects to patients.

    Like

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This entry was posted on May 2, 2016 by in Burwood - Thursday 2pm, Uncategorized.

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