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Marijuana Use: Reclassification To Further Scientific Study Of The Drug Suggested

By Allan Alforte , Jan 14, 2017 05:16 AM EST
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SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 13: A worker at the Alternative Herbal Health Services cannabis dispensary packages medicinal marijuana July 13, 2006 in San Francisco. San Francisco city planners are deciding July 13 if they will issue a permit to allow Kevin Reed to open the Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary right in the middle of San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf area, a popular tourist destination. (Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Marijuana use in medicine is now a growing study. However, the classification of marijuana as a schedule 1 drug which means that there is no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse is hindering further study of the drug and its medical use. A report released on January 12 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine calls for expanding research on cannabis and its chemical components called cannabinoids.

There is much to be learned from the study of marijuana and its potential as a drug in the use of treating illnesses. The report recommends reclassifying the schedule 1 study so researchers can have better access to cannabis, making it easier to study. The recommendation from the 16-member committee that authored the report comes at a time where marijuana is more widely accepted.

In a survey from 2015, it is reported that around 22 million people in the U.S. ages 12 and above ingested some form of cannabis mainly as a recreational drug. Around 10 percent reported using the cannabis solely for medical use and 36 percent reported a mix of medical and recreational use of marijuana.

According to Marie McCormick, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health pediatrician, there is a growing acceptance, accessibility and use of cannabis and its derivatives. McCormick and her committee colleagues have studied 10,700 abstracts of studies between January 1, 1999 and August 1, 2016.

According to the studies, marijuana use in medicine has great potential. Evidence indicates that cannabis reduces chronic pain in adults. Multiple sclerosis patients who ingested pills of cannabis derivatives reported temporary relief of muscle spasms. Cannabinoids also help patients tolerate chemotherapy drugs better by reducing nausea and vomiting in adults as reported in an article by ScienceNews.

Sachin Patel, an associate professor of psychiatry at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine who studies cannabinoids as mediators of stress resiliency said that he would be satisfied with a modest change of rescheduling of marijuana. Rescheduling the drug as Schedule II will allow the researchers to get the job done and determine whether the drug is going to be a good medicine. Patel has been researching the drug for 15 years according to an article by PBS Newshour.

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