On August 18, 2008 A La Times medical reporter interviewed a group of doctors that were researching the benefits of medical marijuana. The discussion on whether or not marijuana is a drug that should be considered dangerous and put into the same category as drugs like PCP and heroin, or whether it’s a miracle herb with a treasure trove of health benefits that the government is secretly trying to suppress is all contingent upon whom you ask–or could it possibly be something that straddles the line of both fences: a plant with medical benefits as well as drawbacks that should definitely be worth exploring into.
While the political arguments continue over medical marijuana, a group of researchers continues to investigate the effects of inhaled marijuana to treat muscle spasms, nausea, and pain.
The researchers point out that all drugs carry risks–when you look into most medicine cabinets in American households, you will find them filled with aspirins, antihistamines, and pain killers. What doctors try to do is weigh the positives versus the negatives of what the medicine can do and from there they reach a decision–why not for marijuana as well, some researchers are asking.
Researchers say that their findings show that marijuana does have medical benefits– for chronic pain syndromes, cancer pains, AIDS wasting syndrome, nausea associated with chemo therapy, and multiple sclerosis. The research is hindered so progress is slow as they try to harness and understand all of the plants benefits. Another discovery has been that although there are real risks attached to marijuana, they are generally small.
Dr. Donald Abrams, chief of hematology and oncology at San Francisco General Hospital and professor of clinical medicine at UC San Francisco sees cancer patients in pain, not eating or sleeping well, experiencing nausea and vomiting from treatment, and being depressed about their situation.
He notes that he finds joy that he resides in California where the use of medical marijuana is permitted by state law, even though federal enforcement continually raiding cannabis shops in the state and also scrutinize physicians who accept cannabis as a form of treatment for the patient.
“I can talk to patients about medicinal cannabis [and] I’m often recommending it to them for these indications,” Abrams says.
Medical marijuana use has a history stretching back thousands of years. In those times, the herb was used as medicinal tea in China, a stress remedy in India and a pain reliever for situations like earaches, childbirth and more throughout Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Medical researchers have recently began to investigate marijuana’s effects on various kinds of pain such as damaged nerves in people with HIV, diabetes and spinal cord injury; to cancer; and from multiple sclerosis.
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For the past three plus decades, Dr. Myriam Rosshauckler has researched the medicinal effects that marijuana seeds have been used in history. She has a web site full of information on the marijuana seed and the many uses it has had throughout man’s civilization.
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