Marijuana – Medicinal Benefits and Risks

Marijuana is a subject that can be quite explosive.  Let’s leave out the emotional opinion, and look at what studies have proven about the medicinal benefits, as well as the risks of consuming this drug.  Although States are approving medicinal and even recreational marijuana, this drug is still not legal to use by the Federal Government.

According to the NIH, the National Institutes of Health, and Harvard Medical School the Marijuana plant contains chemicals called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemicals related to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana’s main mind-altering ingredient that makes people “high”.  This plant contains more that 100 cannabinoids.  There are two cannabinoid chemicals (THC and CBD) that have led to two FDA-approved medications in pill form, dronabinol and nabilone, used to treat nausea and increase appetite usually for AIDS and Cancer patients.  The United Kingdom, Canada, and several European countries have approved nabiximols (Sativex), a mouth spray containing THC and CBD.  It treats muscle control problems caused by Muscular Sclerosis, but isn’t FDA approved in the United States.

Epidiolex, a CBD-based liquid drug to treat certain forms of childhood epilepsy, is being tested in clinical trials but isn’t yet FDA-approved.

THC increases appetite and reduces nausea.  It may also decrease pain, inflammation, and help with muscle control problems.

CBD is a cannabinoid that doesn’t make people “high”.  It may be useful in reducing pain and inflammation, controlling epileptic seizures and possibly even treat mental illness and addictions. Researchers, including those funded by the National Institutes of Health, are continuing to study the uses of THC, CBD and other cannabinoids for medical treatment.

There are risks to using Marijuana.  Smoking marijuana can irritate the lungs and lead to breathing problems.  It is not clear if smoking marijuana is linked to lung cancer.  Marijuana use during pregnancy can harm a baby’s brain development.

The biggest health risks appear to be in those who start using as teenagers or young adults when their brains are still developing.  Studies have shown deterioration in their learning and cognitive thinking that persists into adulthood, even after they have stopped using this drug.

When using marijuana do not drive, or use heavy equipment.  It does impair thinking, judgment, coordination, and memory.

Consult with your doctor if you want to use marijuana for medicinal purposes.  Check with your State laws on the legality of using this drug.

Here’s to your Health!

Kim Lowrey, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist

Colon Hydrotherapy Center, Fayetteville, AR




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