The term medical marijuana raises to using the whole natural marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat some diseases. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet recognized or permitted the marijuana plant as medicinal agent.
However, scientific study shows that the chemicals in marijuana, called cannabinoids, has led to two FDA-approved pills that contain cannabinoid chemicals form. Continued research may lead to more medicinal solutions. Because the marijuana plant comprises chemicals that may help treat a variety of illnesses or symptoms, many people claim that it should be legal for medical purposes only. In fact, as of now, there are growing number of states legalizing marijuana for medical use with prescription from a doctor.
Why Isn't The Marijuana Plant An FDA-Approved Medicine?
The FDA requires prudently conducted studies (clinical trials) in hundreds to thousands of human subjects to regulate the benefits and risks of a possible medicine. So far, researchers have not conducted sufficient large-scale clinical trials that show that the welfares of the marijuana plant (as opposed to its cannabinoid ingredients) overshadow its risks in patients it is meant to indulgence.
What Are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are chemicals associated to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana's main mind-altering ingredient. Other than THC, the marijuana plant contains more than 100 other cannabinoids. Scientists as well as illegal producers have produced many cannabinoids in the lab. Some of these cannabinoids are tremendously powerful and have led to serious health side effects when abused.
The body also produces on its own cannabinoid chemicals. They play a role in modifiable pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, body movement, awareness of time, appetite, pain, and the six senses (taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight).
What Is CBD?
There is growing curiosity in the marijuana chemical cannabidiol (CBD) to treat certain situations such as childhood epilepsy, a disorder that causes a child to have violent seizures. Therefore, experts have been specially culturing marijuana plants and making CBD in oil form for treatment purposes only. These drugs may be less looked-for recreational users because they are not heady.
How Might Cannabinoids Be Useful As Medicine?
Currently, the two main cannabinoids from the marijuana plant that are of medical awareness are THC and CBD. THC upsurges appetite and reduces nausea. The FDA-approved THC-based medicines are used for these purposes. THC may also decrease pain, inflammation (swelling and redness), and muscle control problems.
For instance, recent animal test studies have shown that marijuana extracts may help kill certain type cancer cells or reduce the size of tumors. Indication from one cell culture study recommends that purified extracts from whole-plant marijuana can slow the growth of cancer cells from one of the most serious types of brain tumors. Exploration in mice showed that treatment with cleansed extracts of THC and CBD, when used with radiation, amplified the cancer-killing effects of the radiation (Scott, 2014).
Scientists are also accompanying preclinical and clinical trials with marijuana and its extracts to treat numerous diseases and settings, such as the following list below:
- autoimmune diseases (diseases that weaken the immune system):
- multiple sclerosis (MS), which causes gradual loss of muscle control
- Alzheimer's disease, which causes loss of brain function, affecting memory, thinking, and behavior
- substance use disorders
- mental disorders