So it’s finally here...the day has come where Australia makes inroads into the legalisation of medical marijuana. What do I have to say about this? It’s about fucking time. Having spent what feels like a life time running clinical services, as well as continuously researching the international use of medical marijuana; I’ve been waiting for the day where marijuana cements it’s place in Australian healthcare. But is it a cure-all miracle drug? Put simply, no. But it still has its place. So before we get unrealistic expectations of marijuana curing ‘Aunt Mariam’s’ stage 4 cancer, let’s dispel some myths.
To understand the benefits of medical marijuana, we need to understand it’s chemistry. Let’s do some ‘science’. There are two main chemical compounds we refer to in marijuana, the first being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the shit that gets you high, and cannabidiol (CBD). Both of these compounds (among others), are collectively called ‘cannabinoids’ and can have both desirable and undesirable effects (dependent upon the person😏)
When cannabis is consumed, THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system and the immune system. Once this occurs, the resulting effects are pain reduction, relaxation and sedation, and increased appetite. Studies have shown THC to have significantly effective pain relieving abilities, treating conditions such as; chronic pain, fibromyalgia, endometriosis and HIV-related peripheral neuropathy. Studies have also shown the ability of THC to treat conditions such as insomnia (inducing sleep), multiple sclerosis (improving spasticity), Tourette Syndrome (reducing ticks) Alzheimer’s (stimulating the appetite, causing weight gain and inhibiting neurodegeneration), anxiety (improving the scale of mood) and arthritis (suppressing joint destruction).
Then there’s CBD. Unlike THC, CBD is a ‘non-psychoactive’ compound, this means it can’t get you high :( ....CBD has shown to be beneficial in treating pain and inflammation, as well as regenerating the nervous system. CBD is currently being used to treat people with acne, ADD, anxiety, arthritis, depression, epilepsy, glaucoma, Huntington’s Disease, mood disorders, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. CBD has also been shown to stop the spread of cancer cells. It does this by blocking and inhibiting the receptors and cells which cause angiogenesis (a process where new blood vessels are formed, allowing tumours to grow and spread)
As for whether or not marijuana causes mental illnesses such as schizophrenia; the jury’s out. There is yet to be any conclusive evidence to substantiate these claims (in fact, data is now beginning to show the opposite), as well as little data to prove its long term effects, effects on consumers during adolescents or any ability to ‘overdose’
So what’s my verdict? Do whatever the fuck you want. You’ll hear me say this a lot, but question everything. Question the media, question the government, question the experts, question your parents, question your one annoying friend ‘Vanessa’ who seems to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of all facts that are tedious AF.... Know your resources, do your research and make up your own mind; cause that’s the only mind that matters.
Stay lit 😎