Canada Legalizes The Sale of Medical Cannabis
Wikipedia: Definition of Cannabis
A genus of flowering plants in the family Cannabaceae. The number of species within the genus is disputed. Three species may be recognized: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis; C. ruderalis may be included within C. sativa; or all three may be treated as subspecies of a single species, C. Sativa. The genus is widely accepted as being indigenous to and originating from Central Asia, with some researchers also including upper South Asia in its origin.
Cannabis, also known as marijuana among other names, is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant used for medical or recreational purposes. The main psychoactive part of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol, one of 483 known compounds in the plant, including at least 65 other cannabinoids. Cannabis can be used by smoking, vaporizing, within the food, or as an extract.
Cannabis is also known as Ganja, grass, Hashish, Hemp, Indian hemp, marijuana, Pot, reefer, weed.
Cannabis contains the chemical compound THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol), which is believed to be responsible for most of the characteristic psychoactive effects of cannabis.
The dried leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant are known as marijuana, which can be smoked (through a pipe or bong or hand-rolled into a joint) or taken orally with food (baked in cookies).
The resinous secretions of the plant are known as hashish, which can be smoked or eaten.
The fiber of the cannabis plant is cultivated as industrial hemp with uses in textile manufacturing.
Bob Marley was buried with his Bible, his guitar, and a bud of marijuana.
Scientists have found that a marijuana compound can freeze and stop the spread of some types of aggressive cancer.
Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew hemp on their plantations. The British crown even ordered the colonists to grow the plant.
DMHP is a synthetic version of marijuana. Developed by the U.S. military in 1949, the effects of the drug can last for days.
In college, Barack Obama was a member of the “Choom Gang,” a group of boys who played basketball and smoked pot.
Since 2015, marijuana has become the fastest growing industry in the U.S. If marijuana becomes legal in all 50 states, the industry will become larger than the organic food market.
“Bhang”, is an Indian milkshake whose main ingredient is marijuana.
The first item sold over the Internet was a bag of marijuana over 40 years ago. Stanford students used Arpanet (an early form of the Internet) to buy weed from their counterparts at MIT.
Marijuana is the most common illegal drug used in the United States. Approximately 100 million Americans have tried marijuana at least once, and more than 25 million have smoked it in the last year.
According to the U.N., 158.8 million people around the world use marijuana, which is over 3.8% of the world’s population.
According to one national survey on drug use, each day approximately 6,000 Americans try marijuana for the first time.
The name marijuana comes from a Mexican slang term for cannabis and is believed to have derived from the Spanish pronunciation of the names Mary and Jane. (The two names were also common Mexican military slang for a prostitute or brothel.) Marijuana came into popularity as a name for cannabis in the U.S. during the late 1800s.
Men are over twice as likely as women to use marijuana in the U.S.
In the United States, marijuana use is three times higher than the global average. However, the rate of use is about the same as other Western democracies.
Several studies indicate that both alcohol and smoking are more harmful than marijuana. Marijuana is also much less harmful than other “hard” drugs, such as cocaine and heroin.
The primary active ingredient in marijuana is THC (delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol). It is this chemical that produces marijuana’s mind-altering effects.
Cannabis seeds were used as a food source in China as early as 6000 B.C.
The first recorded use of marijuana as a medicinal drug occurred in 2737 B.C. by Chinese emperor Shen Nung. The emperor documented the drug’s effectiveness in treating the pains of rheumatism and gout.
During the temperance movement of the 1890s, marijuana was commonly recommended as a substitute for alcohol. The reason for this was that the use of marijuana did not lead to domestic violence while alcohol abuse did.
In October 1937, Samuel Caldwell was the first U.S. citizen arrested under the Marihuana Tax Act for selling marijuana without paying the newly mandated tax. He was fined $1,000 and sentenced to four years of hard labor in Leavenworth.
Paraguay is believed to be the world’s largest producer of marijuana.
Rastafari developed in Jamaica during the 1930s. The Rastafari religion considers marijuana to be one of its sacraments.
From 1850 to 1942, marijuana was listed in the United States, Pharmacopoeia as a useful medicine for nausea, rheumatism, and labor pains and was easily obtained at the local general store or pharmacy.
In 2003, Canada became the first country in the world to offer medical marijuana to pain-suffering patients.
In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to legally allow medical marijuana for patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation.
There is a difference between hemp and pot. While hemp plants are the same species as marijuana plants, they don’t produce the psychoactive ingredient (THC) that is in the pot.
The energy needed to produce 2.2 pounds of marijuana indoors is equivalent to the amount of energy required to drive across the U.S. five times in a car that gets 44 miles to the gallon.
After Tupac Shakur’s murder, members of his music group mixed Tupac’s ashes with marijuana and smoked the concoction.
Common terms for marijuana include reefer, pot, herb, ganja, grass, old man, Blanch, weed, sinsemilla, bhang, dagga, smoke, hash, tar, and oil.
Marijuana increases the heart rate, which means it could negatively affect those suffering from heart disease.
Someone would have to smoke over 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about 15 minutes to die of a lethal overdose. In other words, dying from a weed overdose is nearly impossible.
Researchers discovered that chocolate produces some same reactions in the brain as marijuana.
The ropes, sails, and caulking of the Mayflower were all made from hemp fiber.
Betsy Ross’s first flag of the U.S. was made of hemp.
Over 120,00 pounds of hemp fiber was used to rig the U.S.S. Constitution, “Old Ironsides,” the oldest Navy ship in America.
Since the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, highway fatalities have hit a historic low.
Seattle, Washington offers marijuana vending machines. Called ZaZZ, these machines take cash or coins, since the federal government doesn’t allow people to buy marijuana with credit or debit cards.
The first two drafts of the United States Declaration of Independence were written on paper made from hemp.
Researchers note that cannabis may effectively treat a number of different physical and mental ailments, including post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, and depression.
Spiders high on marijuana built messy webs were easily distracted and gave up easily. Spiders high on LSD, on the other hand, spun highly geometric webs, even more so than when they were sober.
Health Benefits of Cannabis:
Slow and stop cancer cells from spreading.
It was found in the study, published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, that Cannabidiol has the ability to stop cancer by turning off a gene called Id-1. In 2007, researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco reported that CBD may prevent cancer from spreading. The researchers experimented on breast cancer cells in the lab that had a high level of Id-1 and treated them with cannabidiol.
The outcome was rather positive, the cells had decreased Id-1 expression, and were less aggressive spreaders. In fact, the American Association for Cancer Research has found that marijuana actually works to slow down tumor growth in the brain, breast, and lungs considerately.
THC, the active ingredient present in marijuana slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a 2006 study led by Kim Janda of the Scripps Research Institute found out. THC slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. These plaques kill the brain cells and potentially lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
Marijuana can be used to treat glaucoma, which increases the pressure in the eyeball, injuring the optic nerve and causing loss of vision. According to National Eye Institute, marijuana lowers the pressure inside the eye, “Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.”
These effects of the drug can prevent blindness.
In 2011, researchers reported that cannabis reduces pain and inflammation, and promotes sleep, which may help relieve pain and discomfort for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Researchers of the rheumatology units at several hospitals gave their patients Sativex, a cannabinoid-based pain-relieving medicine. After two weeks, patients on Sativex had a significant reduction in pain and improved better sleep quality compared to placebo users.
Control Epileptic seizure.
A 2003 study showed that marijuana use can control epileptic seizures.
Robert J. DeLorenzo, of Virginia Commonwealth University, gave marijuana extract and synthetic marijuana to epileptic rats. The drugs stopped the seizures in about 10 hours.
It is found out that the THC controlled the seizures by binding the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation. The results were published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Marijuana works to stop the negative neurological effects and muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association suggests that marijuana may ease painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Jody Cory Bloom studied 30 multiple sclerosis patients with painful contractions in their muscles. These patients didn’t respond to other medications, but after smoking marijuana for a few days, they reported that they were in less pain. The THC in the pot bonds the receptors in the nerves and muscles to relieve pain.
Recent studies from Israel shows that smoking marijuana remarkably reduces pains and tremors and improves sleep for Parkinson’s disease patients. What was impressive about the research was the improvement of fine motor skills among patients.
Israel has made medical marijuana legal, and a lot of research into the medical uses of weed is done there, supported by the Israeli Government.
Help with Crohn’s disease.
Cannabis may be helpful with curing Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disorder that causes pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and more.
But a recent study in Israel showed that smoking a joint considerably reduced Crohn’s disease symptoms in 10 out of 11 patients, and caused a complete cancellation of the disease in five of those patients.
Of course, this is a small study, but other researches have shown similar results. The cannabinoids from cannabis seem to help the gut control bacteria and intestinal function.
Decrease the symptoms of Dravet’s Syndrome.
Dravet Syndrome causes seizures and severe developmental delays. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the renowned chief medical correspondent for CNN, is treating a five years old girl, Charlotte Figi, who has Dravet’s Syndrome, with medical marijuana strain high in cannabidiol and low in THC.
During the research for his documentary “WEED”, Gupta interviewed the Figi family, and according to the film, the drug decreased her seizures from 300 a week to just once every seven days. Forty other children are using the same medication, and it has helped them too.
The doctors who are recommending this medication say that the cannabidiol in the plant interacts with the brain cells to quiet the excessive activities in the brain that causes the seizures.
Lessen side effects from treating Hepatitis C, and increase treatment effectiveness.
Treating Hepatitis C infection has severe side effects, so severe that many people are unable to continue their treatment. Side effects range from fatigue, nausea, muscle pains, loss of appetite, and depression- and they last for months.
A 2006 study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology discovered that 86% of patients using marijuana successfully finished their therapies, while only 29% of the non-smokers completed their treatments, maybe because marijuana helps to lessen the treatments’ side effects.
Cannabis also helps to improve the treatment’s effectiveness. 54% of the Hep C patients smoking marijuana got their viral levels low, and kept them low, compared to the only 8% of the non-smokers.
In 2010, researchers at Harvard University suggested that another of the drug’s benefits may actually be reduced anxiety, which would improve the smoker’s mood and act as a sedative in low doses.
Beware, though, higher doses may increase anxiety and make you paranoid.
In January 2012, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that marijuana improved lung functions, and even increased lung capacity. Researchers looking for risk factors of heart disease, tested on 5,115 young adults, over the period of 20 years, and found out that only pot users showed an increase in lung capacity, compared to the tobacco smokers who lost lung function over time.
It is believed that the increased lung capacity is due to the deep breaths taken while inhaling the drug, and not from a therapeutic chemical in the drug.
Reduce severe pain, and nausea from chemo, and stimulates appetite.
One of the most common uses of medical marijuana is for people going through chemotherapy. Cancer patients going through chemo suffer from severe pains, painful nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. This can lead to further health complications.
Marijuana can help reduce these side effects, reducing pain, decreasing nausea, and stirring up the appetite. Also, there are other FDA approved cannabinoid drugs that use THC, for the same purposes.
Improve symptoms of Lupus, an autoimmune disorder.
Medical marijuana is used to treat the autoimmune disorder called Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, which is when the body starts attacking itself for unknown reasons.
It is believed that some chemicals present in cannabis are responsible to calm the immune system, which may be the reason to help deal with symptoms of Lupus. The rest of the positive impact of marijuana is probably from the effects of pain and nausea.
Protect the brain after a stroke.
Research (done on rats, mice, and monkeys) from the University of Nottingham shows that cannabis may help protect the brain from damage caused by a stroke by reducing the size of the area affected by the stroke.
This isn’t the only research that has shown neuroprotective effects from cannabis. Some research shows that the plant may help protect the brain after other traumatic events like concussions.
Marijuana is approved to treat PTSD in some states in America. In New Mexico, PTSD is the number one reason for people to get a license for medical marijuana, but this is the first time the U.S. Government’s Department of Health and Human Services has approved a proposal that incorporates smoked or vaporized marijuana.
Naturally occurring cannabinoids, similar to THC, help control the system that causes fear and anxiety in the body and brain.
Control other types of muscle spasms.
Other types of muscle spasms respond to marijuana too.
Dr. Gupta’s patient, Chaz, has a condition called myoclonus diaphragmatic flutter (also known as Leeuwenhoek’s Disease). This causes non stop spasming in the abdominal muscles which are not only painful but interfere with breathing and speaking.
Chaz has been using medical marijuana to treat this disease because other very strong medications were unable to treat him properly.
Smoking marijuana is able to calm muscle spam attacks almost immediately, relaxing the muscles of the diaphragm also.
Just like Crohn’s disease, patients with other inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis could benefit from marijuana use, studies suggest.
In 2010, the University of Nottingham researchers have found that chemicals in marijuana, including THC, and cannabidiol, interact with cells in the body that play an important role in gut function, and immune system.
THC like chemicals made by the body increases the permeability of the intestines, allowing bacteria in. The plant-derived cannabinoids in marijuana block these body-cannabinoids, stopping this permeability, and making the intestinal bond tighter together.
Help eliminate nightmares.
This is a bit complicated because it involves both positive and negative effects. Marijuana may disturb the sleep cycle by interrupting the later stages of REM sleep.
However, people who suffer from serious nightmares, especially patients with PTSD, can be helpful. Nightmares and other dreams occur during those same stages of sleep.
By interrupting REM sleep, many of those dreams may not occur. Research using a synthetic cannabinoid, like THC, showed a decrease in the number of nightmares in patients with PTSD.
Marijuana may be a better sleep aid than some other medications or even alcohol because the latter two may potentially have worse effects on sleep, though more research is needed on the topic.
Protect the brain from concussion and trauma.
A recent study in the journal Cerebral Cortex showed possibilities that marijuana can help heal the brain after a concussion, or other traumatic injuries.
In the journal, it was said that the experiments were done on mice, and that marijuana lessened the bruising of the brain and helped with healing mechanisms after a traumatic injury.
Harvard professor emeritus of psychiatry and marijuana advocate Lester Grinspoon recently wrote an open letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall, saying that NFL should stop testing players for marijuana, and instead should fund for research on marijuana plant’s ability to protect the brain.
Cannabis Side Effects:
Long term effects of heavy use can include irritation to the lungs, risk of developing chronic bronchitis, and an increased risk of developing cancer of the respiratory tract (more likely to do with smoking). Decreased sex drive in some people. Chronic use can lower sperm count in males and lead to irregular periods in females (resolved if cannabis use stops). People with any cardiovascular that cannabis increases the heart rate significantly. Decreased concentration levels, reduced short-term memory, and difficulties with thinking and learning, (resolved if cannabis use stops).
Cannabis can become addictive. Like with many legal drugs there is a warning which I think is based on common sense.
Do not operate machinery.
Do not drive.
Mixing cannabis with alcohol or other psychotic will cause adverse effects.
Legal Cannabis is in its infancy and like anything else, if abused will cause addiction, possible legal problems such as impairment while driving. Common sense demands you apply the same rules, as you would follow with the drinking and driving laws.
I suffer from depression, anxiety, seizures, diagnosed as bipolar, and I do have panic attacks. This morning I was looking at all the side effects of the medication prescribed to me by the medical profession. I do plan on listing the side effects of taking these medications in another segment.
Please be responsible and adult. Respect your health and respect the well-being and safety of others.
Always Consult with Your Doctor First
Thank you for reading,
Comments are welcome