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Medical Cannabis Research Papers

A Marijuana Discovery

❶As clinical research into the therapeutic value of cannabinoids has proliferated so too has investigators' understanding of cannabis' remarkable capacity to combat disease.

Marijuana-Based Drugs

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Whereas researchers in the s, 80s, and 90s primarily assessed marijuana's ability to temporarily alleviate various disease symptoms -- such as the nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy -- scientists today are exploring the potential role of cannabinoids to modulate disease. For example, scientists are investigating cannabinoids' capacity to moderate autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis , rheumatoid arthritis , and inflammatory bowel disease , as well as their role in the treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis a.

Investigators are also studying the anti-cancer activities of cannabis, as a growing body of preclinical data concludes that cannabinoids can reduce the spread of specific cancer cells via apoptosis programmed cell death and by the inhibition of angiogenesis the formation of new blood vessels.

Researchers are also exploring the use of cannabis as a harm reduction alternative for chronic pain patients. According to the findings of a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a non-partisan think-tank, "[S]tates permitting medical marijuana dispensaries experience a relative decrease in both opioid addictions and opioid overdose deaths compared to states that do not. Specifically, they determined that overdose deaths from opioids decreased by an average of 20 percent one year after the law's implementation, 25 percent by two years, and up to 33 percent by years five and six.

For a comprehensive summary of relevant studies finding that legal cannabis access is associated with decreases in opioid use, abuse, hospitalization, and mortality, please see NORML's fact-sheet, Relationship Between Marijuana and Opioids. Arguably, these recent discoveries represent far broader and more significant applications for cannabinoid therapeutics than many researchers could have imagined some thirty or even twenty years ago.

Cannabinoids possess a remarkable safety record, particularly when compared to conventional prescription drugs. Most significantly, the consumption of marijuana -- regardless of quantity or potency -- cannot induce a fatal overdose.

States a World Health Organization review paper , "There are no recorded cases of overdose fatalities attributed to cannabis, and the estimated lethal dose for humans extrapolated from animal studies is so high that it cannot be achieved by The use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes is also rarely associated with significant adverse side effects.

A prominent review of clinical trial data "did not find a higher incidence rate of serious adverse events associated with medical cannabinoid use" compared to non-using controls over a four decade period. A more recent review of the relevant literature concludes that among the average adult user, the health risks associated with marijuana "are no more likely to be dangerous" than many other behaviors or activities, including the consumption of acetaminophen the pain relieving ingredient in Tylenol.

That said, cannabis should not be viewed as a 'harmless' substance. Its active constituents may produce a variety of physiological and mood-altering effects. As a result, there may be some populations that may be vulnerable to increased risks from the use of cannabis, such as adolescents , pregnant or nursing mothers , and patients who have a family history of psychiatric illness or who possess a clinical high risk for developing a psychotic disorder.

Patients with a history of cardiovascular disorders, heart disease or stroke may also be at an elevated risk of experiencing adverse side effects from marijuana, particularly smoked cannabis. As with any medication, patients should consult thoroughly with their physician before deciding whether the medical use of cannabis is safe and appropriate.

As states continue to approve legislation enabling the physician-supervised use of medical marijuana, more patients with varying disease types are exploring the use of therapeutic cannabis. Many of these patients and their physicians are now discussing this issue for the first time and are seeking guidance on whether the therapeutic use of cannabis may or may not be advisable.

This report seeks to provide this guidance by highlighting some of the more relevant, recently published scientific research on the therapeutic potential of cannabis and cannabinoids for a variety of clinical indications. In some of these cases, modern science is now affirming longtime anecdotal reports of medical cannabis users e.

In other cases, this research is highlighting entirely new potential clinical utilities for cannabinoids e. For patients and their physicians, this report can serve as a primer for those who are considering using or recommending medical cannabis. For others, this report can serve as an introduction to the broad range of emerging clinical applications for cannabis and its various compounds. News Laws Donate MenuPop.

Recent Research on Medical Marijuana. Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System Read more. Alzheimer's Disease Read more. Chronic Pain Read more. Diabetes Mellitus Read more. Gastrointestinal Disorders Read more. Hepatitis C Read more. Huntington's Disease Read more. The first was Commissioner Harry Anslinger, the newly named commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics who happened to be appointed by his uncle-in-law, Andrew Mellon, who was the Secretary of the United States Treasury.

Not surprisingly he was working from a text which he had not written himself but which had been written for him by a New Orleans District Attorney. Reading directly from this text Commissioner Anslinger told the Congressmen at the hearings, "Marihuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.

The second body of testimony to testify at this congressional hearing were industrial spokesmen. The first of these spokesmen was, believe it or not, a man representing the rope industry. This industry representative testified that it was cheaper to import from the Far East the hemp needed to make ropes and therefore the United States no longer needed to grow any more hemp to make rope.

Interestingly, five years later, in , the United States was cut off from its sources of hemp in the Far East and, since we needed a lot of hemp to outfit our ships with rope for World War II, the Federal Government went into the business of growing hemp on gigantic farms throughout the Midwest and the South.

The only industrial spokesperson who objected to the Marihuana Tax Act at all was the birdseed representative who sung the praises of hemp seeds for the birds coats. Based on this objection the birdseed industry got an exemption from the Marihuana Tax Act for "denatured seeds.

The third body of testimony were two representatives of the medical field. The first testimony came from a pharmacologist who claimed that he had injected the active ingredient in marihuana into the brains of dogs, two of which died. When asked by the Congressmen if he choose dogs for the similarity of their reactions to that of humans the answer of the pharmacologist was, "I wouldn't know, I am not a dog psychologist.

The second testimony on behalf of the medical field came from the Chief Counsel to the American Medical Association, Dr. Woodward was the hearing to testify at the request of the American Medical Association.

His exact quote to the congressmen was, "The American Medical Association knows of no evidence that marihuana is a dangerous drug.

The act did not itself criminalize the possession or usage of marijuana but instead levied a tax of approximately one dollar on anyone who dealt commercially in marijuana. The intended result and indeed, the result of the Marihuana Tax Act was to effectively make it too risky for anyone to deal in the substance.

During the war years the Bureau chose to concentrate on opiates and abandoned responsibility for most marijuana law enforcement to the states. In the post-war years, however, there was found to be a significant increase in narcotic drug abuse and the public began to be concerned with the spread of narcotic addiction, particularly among young persons.

Congressional furor was aroused by the assertion that the use of marihuana inevitably led to the use of these harder drugs, particularly heroin. It was at this time, for the first time in federal drug legislation, that marijuana and the narcotic drugs were lumped together, since the Act provided uniform penalties for the Narcotic Drugs Import and Export Act Boggs Act, ibid.

The states followed the federal lead. Then, in , Congress passed the Narcotic Control Act, escalating the penalties still further. Once again the individual states followed suit. The current Controlled Substances Act CSA , Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of is a consolidation of numerous previous laws regulating the manufacture and distribution of narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids, and chemicals used in the illicit production of controlled substances.

The CSA places all substances that are regulated under existing federal law into one of five schedules. This placement is based upon the substance's medicinal value, harmfulness, and potential for abuse or addiction.

Schedule I is reserved for the most dangerous drugs that have no recognized medical use, and, of course, is the current classification of marijuana. Just one year's savings would cover the full cost of anti-terrorism port security measures required by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of A further comprehensive study which reports and analyzes national arrest data between and is, "Crimes of Indiscretion: This report includes a detailed examination of the fiscal costs associated with the enforcement of marijuana laws at the state and county level.

FN22 The findings include but are not limited to the following: However, these increased arrest rates have not been associated with a reduction in marijuana use, reduced marijuana availability, a reduction in the number of new marijuana users, reduced treatment admissions, reduced emergency room mentions of marijuana, any reduction in marijuana potency, or any increases in the price of marijuana.

Decriminalization saves a tremendous amount in enforcement costs. Any discussion of marijuana should begin with the fact that there have been numerous official reports and studies, every one of which has concluded that marijuana poses no great risk to society and should not be criminalized.

There are many conflicting views on how marijuana affects the mind and body. That in itself speaks volumes. It is also interesting to note that, to the best of anyone's knowledge, not one person has ever died from a marijuana overdose. That most definitely cannot be said of alcohol. The La Guardia Report is a treasure trove of information regarding the affects of marijuana on a person sociologically, medically, psychologically and pharmacologically.

LaGuardia appointed a special committee to make a thorough sociological and scientific investigation upon the advice of The New York Academy of Medicine. This study is viewed by many experts as the best study of any drug viewed in its social, medical, and legal context. The committee covered thousands of years of the history of marijuana. In , a Congressionally created commission called the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, whose members were appointed by then-President Richard Nixon, completed one of the most comprehensive reviews ever undertaken regarding marijuana and public policy.

A Signal of Misunderstanding," proclaimed that "from what is now known about the effects of marihuana, its use at the present level does not constitute a major threat to public health," and recommended Congress and state legislatures decriminalize the use and casual distribution of marijuana for personal use.

Another important study was conducted by Dr. Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles, a pulmonologist who has studied marijuana for 30 years. This recent study, the largest of its kind, unexpectedly concluded that smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer. Tashkin indicated that the findings "were against our expectations We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.

Although I could go on and on quoting different studies done by well-respected doctors, government appointed committees, etc. In any which way, the effects most definitely do not warrant total prohibition. California's Proposition was the first statewide medical marijuana voter initiative adopted in the USA. A To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person's health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.

B To ensure that patients and their primary care givers who obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction. C To encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana.

Further, Senate Bill which passed on September 20, , was signed by the Governor on October 13, , and which became effective on January 1, , added an Article 2. Among other things, Article 2. Public opinion on the medical value of marijuana has been sharply divided. Some dismiss medical marijuana as a hoax that exploits our natural compassion for the sick; others claim it is a uniquely soothing medicine that has been withheld from patients through regulations based on false claims.

Proponents of both views cite "scientific evidence" to support their views and have expressed those views at the ballot box in recent state elections. This study was supported under Contract No.

This report summarizes and analyzes what is known about the medical use of marijuana; it emphasizes evidence-based medicine derived from knowledge and experience informed by rigorous scientific analysis , as opposed to belief-based medicine derived from judgment, intuition, and beliefs untested by rigorous science. After their nearly two-year review, the investigators affirmed: Except for the harms associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana use are within the range tolerated for other medications.

So many people who are ill must resort to using marijuana for medicinal purposes. Many of these people have never used marijuana previously, thereby quelling the theory that the use of marijuana for illness is just an "excuse" to smoke pot. The list of diseases which cannabis can be used for includes but is not limited to: There are over 60 chemicals in marijuana which may have medical uses.

It is relatively easy to extract these into food or beverage, or into some sort of lotion, using butter, fat, oil, or alcohol. One chemical, cannabinol, may be useful to help people who cannot sleep. Another is taken from premature buds and is called cannabidiolic acid. It is a powerful disinfectant. Marijuana dissolved in rubbing alcohol helps people with the skin disease herpes control their sores, and a salve like this was one of the earliest medical uses for cannabis.

The leaves were once used in bandages and a relaxing non-psychoactive herbal tea can be made from small cannabis stems. As stated before, marijuana is classified by the federal government as a Schedule I drug, a reservation for the most dangerous drugs that have no recognized medical use. Although many states have legalized medical marijuana, possession, use and cultivation is still illegal on the federal level. There have been past attempts to reclassify marijuana.

The government declined to initiate proceedings on the basis of their interpretation of U. The Court ruled against the government and ordered them to process the petition.

After continuing to rely on treaty commitments in their interpretation of scheduling related issues concerning the petition a Court decision made it clear that the CSA requires a full scientific and medical evaluation and the fulfillment of the rescheduling process before treaty commitments can be evaluated.

In , Francis L.

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Medical marijuana is quickly becoming a hotly debated topic in society as it presents clear medical value with little to no drawbacks if used in the correct way. While abuse of the substance shows clear definitive issues, the same can be said about any substance including alcohol. The free Marijuana research paper (Medical Marijuana essay) presented on this page should not be viewed as a sample of our on-line writing service. If you need fresh and competent research / writing on Marijuana, use the professional writing service offered by our company.