Rise of Cannabis in Modern Medicine

Rise of Cannabis in Modern Medicine

Cannabis has been considered as an evil drug for a very long time. The possession or use of cannabis is illegal in most countries. However, modern medical practices have seen a huge growth in the use of medical marijuana. During the 19th century, many doctors prescribed cannabis indica to their patients for various ailments including nervous disorders, asthma, labor pains, etc. Many researchers were out-blown seeing the incredible results on health conditions of many patients. But in 1937, the use of medical marijuana for personal or medical use became illegal.

Again, for the last 5-10 years, medical marijuana is rising as the hottest topic of discussion among different medical practices. Many types of research proved its amazing benefits for curing some serious ailments. Campaigns are being run in many countries and states to legalise its use in medical practices. Many US states have legalised its use after being prescribed by a registered doctor for some serious ailments. Some have made it legal for recreational use also. With this movement rising, many countries are thinking to legalise its use in the medical industries.

The numerous medicinal properties of cannabis have been known for many years in various subcultures who use it as a ‘herb’ rather than a drug or narcotic substance. With this change in cultural perception it is becoming possible for the scientific community to openly delve into this once forbidden plant and verify the claims that many have made of its healing properties over the years.

Cannabis has been used medicinally for millennia yet it was not until the late 1960s that the active ingredient Δ9- Tetrahydrocannabinol, (THC), was isolated. It soon became available as a synthetic for research but it was not for another decade that many of its properties were discovered, when Munson ,amongst others, discovered that cannabinoids suppress lung carcinoma cell growth in 1975.

Organic cannabinoids, the active ingredients in unrefined cannabis, are the most widely known but a multitude of synthetic cannabinoids (pharmaceutical compounds often derived from organic cannabinoids), have been developed over the years and are undoubtedly interesting and novel approaches to treatment for the modern medicinal community  (despite their long historical cultural use) and are providing new approaches to a variety of pathologies: “Cannabinoids is a blanket term covering a family of complex chemicals (both natural and man-made), that lock on to cannabinoid receptors – protein molecules on the surface of cells.”

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of medical marijuana in curing various ailments;

Increase in autophagy rate to fight cancerous cells - Autophagy refers to the process by which cells breaks down their internal waste products. When the cells’ functioning or autophagy works faster, the affected cells start to die faster than normal. This death occurs in a controlled manner and hence no toxic substance is released and cells get destroyed before they turn cancerous. It is proved that cannabis leads to early death of death by the process known as apoptosis.

In some cases like leukemia or colon cancer, it kills the cancer cells and with them, the tumor and its growth is also destroyed. Some research leads to the discovery of Cannabidiol, the first isolated cannabinoid that didn’t produce any so-called “high” effects associated with smoking marijuana. Later, it was discovered that it is highly effective in slowing down the progression of tumors in lung cancers and breast cancer.

Tourette’s syndrome - Tourette’s dystonia refers to the uncontrollable and repetitive contraction of muscles. Cannabis is found to produce some anti-dystonic effect on the human body, but it may also increase tremors in Parkinson’s. Cannabinoid manipulates other transmitter systems in the basal ganglia.

Alzheimers’ treatment - Medical marijuana inhibits the enzyme (AchE) responsible for the malformation of proteins associated with the Alzheimers. It acts as neuro protector and should be used at the early stages because Alzheimer's take up to 30 years to show its symptoms. The consumption of cannabis through regulated medicines can stop Alzheimer's at an early stage.

Psychiatric disorders - It has been noticed that with the controlled dosage, cannabis shows improvement of mood in reactive depression. There are other studies which prove the benefits of cannabinoids in curing various other psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, and bipolar disorders. Moreover, the dosage should not exceed more than the prescriptions. If failed to do so, there are possibilities of development of serious side effects.

The debate over the legalisation of usage of medical marijuana is endless. Some research favors it use while some prove only its side effects. However, there are significant theories and outcomes to conclude that if consumed in controlled dosage, cannabis can be beneficial in curing various ailments.