The Straight Dope On Medical Marijuana
Just a few short years ago, the idea of medical marijuana was a pipe dream. Now, clinical studies have been done and the overwhelming opinion of the medical community is that it's got its benefits for those who need it. Drug companies are already lining up to offer their own pot-based products. Medical marijuana may be the norm in a few years.
The Benefits Of Medical Marijuana
Studies have shown that medical marijuana can work well as a pain killer and anti-emetic (anti-nausea). It also helps to induce appetite. These qualities are helpful for patients suffering from cancer, especially after getting chemotherapy. These qualities can also help AIDS patients. Drugs that treat AIDS have side effects, and medical marijuana is effective in taking the edge off of them.
Specifically, THC may help patients who suffer from glaucoma. Studies show that it lowers intraocular pressure, thus giving a small bit of relief to those who suffer from the disease. It may also help folks who suffer from multiple sclerosis. It relieves pain and treats spasticity, and the latest trials show that it may help in preventing the neurodegeneration associated with the disease.
Another plus is that it's relatively safe. While it's not true that the drug is completely safe with no side effects, it is safer than many prescription drugs. It carries no risk of physical addiction, no risk of death, and the only physical health effects are due to the fact that it's smoked. Many experts feel that marijuana is safer than alcohol.
Why All The Interest Now?
The idea of medical marijuana has been around for years, but only now is it finally being taken seriously. Why the sudden interest? In general, society's attitude toward the drug has softened as the war on drugs focuses on more harmful drugs like crystal meth, crack cocaine and heroin. This trend goes along with a decrease in the stigma associated with the drug. It was once thought of as a drug for hippies and degenerates, but now it's just as likely your next door neighbor may smoke it!
Clinical trials continue. There is a lot we still don't know about how the drug works. The United States has been slow to accept the idea of medical marijuana, but in the coming years it's sure to become an everyday reality all the time.
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