A Psychiatry Researcher Explains the ‘Real and Urgent Need’ for More Research into Medical Marijuana

Marijuana has been linked to treatment of pretty much every single major medical disease, from skin cancer to Alzheimer’s. However, despite all of the claims and the evidence there is little definite proof as to how effective marijuana is at treating all of these conditions. It is a safe bet that marijuana helps with appetite, relaxation, sleep and pain relief. As such this is a good start to helping at least the symptoms of many severe conditions. But as to the treatment of advanced cases there is little historical research undertaken. Which stands to reason, as medical marijuana is a relatively recent phenomenon. There is a worry within the scientific community that some of the claims are a little overhyped and that too many people are going to falsely believe that cannabis is going to be a magic cure for any disease which they may have. This is not the case and studies need to be undertaken as soon as possible.

How Marijuana Works

The beneficial effects attributed to cannabis are due to the THC content. THC acts like an endocannabinoid in the human body. THC then binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain which stimulates neurological activity. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for appetite, mood, sleep, temperature, metabolism, pain and pleasure. THC acts like a substance naturally produced in the body, which is why it is harmless and beneficial. Aside from THC there are numerous other beneficial compounds such as CBD which have many therapeutic properties. Even the leaves of the cannabis plant are superfoods which are bursting with vitamins.

Patients lacking this endocannabinoid will suffer from a variety of different illnesses. A poorly functioning endocannabinoid system has been linked to a number of different conditions, including schizophrenia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. And this is one reason why cannabis is claimed to treat these conditions, though evidence is either conflicting or nonexistent at this early stage of cannabis legalization. Many of the online claims in relation to marijuana treatment have not been substantiated with scientific studies.

The fact is that scientists do not actually know how marijuana works in the brain to produce its effect. They have theories at present, but it is not possible to say for certain how anyone is going to react and what they are going to experience after ingesting marijuana. There are just too many variables, including the strain of marijuana, the mindset of the individual, the particular condition, the environment and how the marijuana was ingested.

Not Much Proof

Despite the fact that pain and PTSD are among the most commonly prescribed uses of medical marijuana, two research reviews suggest that there is not much proof that cannabis works for either of these conditions. The two research findings declare that there is not enough high-quality research to produce conclusive evidence as to the benefits or harms of cannabis for pain or PTSD. Psychiatry researcher Sachin Patel stated that:

“The current studies highlight the real and urgent need for high-quality clinical trials in both of these areas… If cannabis is being considered for medical use, it should certainly be after all well-established treatments have failed,”

The research team noted that one out of ten adults in the USA use cannabis. Medical marijuana is currently legal in 29 US states. And over 50% of people seeking medical marijuana do so for pain relief. After examining 27 previously published studies on the subject they found little evidence that marijuana alleviates pain at all. The researchers also concluded that among the general population people who smoked marijuana would have an increased risk of car crashes, psychotic episodes and cognitive impairments. There are many other risks associated with cannabis use and there has not been enough research to examine the long-term effects. Both studies were commissioned and funded by the Veterans Health Administration.

The medical uses of cannabis are currently being explored by a number of different research groups. One avenue of exploration is that it may help to ease mental health problems that can lead to suicide among veterans. Cannabis is also being investigated for its ability to treat nausea, epilepsy, muscle spasms, Lumens, skin cancer, bi-polar, schizophrenia and much more. But despite all the research no conclusive evidence has been found for any of the major diseases.

Scare Tactics

There are many conflicts of interests in the world of big pharma, medical research and marijuana. To say that there is no evidence that marijuana alleviates pain is ridiculous given that the plant has been used by millions of people for thousands of years mainly to alleviate pain. That is quite a lot of evidence.

Either millions of people are completely delusional or this study was deliberately designed to point out that marijuana is not as good as other forms of medication, provided by big pharma with marijuana is only to be used as a last resort or in conjunction with It also happened to mention that marijuana might cause car crashes and adversely affects cognitive impairment. This is aside from the fact that marijuana legalization has without fail resulted in less car accidents in states following legalization.

Marijuana may not be a cure all but in terms of relaxation and pain management it is the best natural remedy out there with the least amount of side effects. It should be used as a first line of treatment against major diseases with pharmacy remedies as a last resort.

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