Medical Marijuana History

By March 5, 2009articles

Plants have always been used as a source of medicine, so why not use medical marijuana to help patients?

If we are honest, most of us think of marijuana or weed, ganja, chillums, cannabis, pot, skunk, and any number of alternative names (see marijuana slang) as a drug that induces feelings of happy tranquillity. The truth is that the most active constituent of marijuana, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), has some very useful medicinal effects.

For instance, its ability to inhibit vomiting makes it extremely useful for treating patients receiving chemotherapy, while its tendency to increase appetite bestows great potential in the treatment of eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa.

Considering that cannabis contains over 60 psychoactive compounds, it ia a little wonder that some of those will be potentially useful in the treatment of various medical ailments.

In fact, you could argue that it would be negligent not to investigate the plants potential to make medicine, do not forget that many of our most effective medicines are plant based, aspirins chemical name is salicylic acid, and it was discovered after noting that many ancient cultures chewed willow bark for pain relief; the cardiac drug, Digoxin, was discovered over 200 years ago when English physician, William Withering, noted that the foxglove plant could help patients suffering from dropsy (fluid retention).

Why do you think society has been so anti medical marijuana, yet many other plants have been used for medical reasons?


Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Adam Harris Adamson says:

    Marijuana is probably the most useful plant to humans (individually) and society as a whole. smoking the marijuana plant has none of the health risks associated with smoking tobacco. as stated above, prohibition is causing society to disapprove as well as creating a ‘gateway affect’ to harder drugs.

    i know because i see it all around me all the time. i am a regular smoker of marijuana and while i do not use it for medicinal purposes it is very good at relieving stress, getting rid of head aches and so on (much more effectively than paracetamol and the like). In our day to day life we often use herbs to enhance ourselves and the things around us. like other herbs marijuana can be used to enhance our mental and physical well being can have a positive influence on our way of life.

    To deny patients the right to smoke ganja and to arrest and imprison people for using and trading marijuana buds as well as wasting police resources using helicopters to find locations where plants are being grown is completely and utterly ludicrous. the sooner we have some sensible policy regarding the use of marijuana, the better.

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  • Jeffrey Dach MD says:

    Although cannabis was a medicinal plant for thousands of years, its medical use was suppressed and banned throughout most of the 20th century in the US. During this time, major scientific breakthroughs were made in Israel, Spain, Italy and Brazil. These breakthroughs are propelling the natural plant compounds called cannabinoids into the “wonder drugs of the 21st century”.

    13 states have already legalized medical cannabis.

    More on this topic…
    Cannabis, Miracle Drug of the 21st Century

    Jeffrey Dach MD

  • Weed Information says:

    #1 I think it has to do with the method of delivering medical marijuana. While smoking marijuana is enjoyable society seems to look down upon smoking focusing on health effects. Quoting long term health issues such as lung cancer these people neglect the fact that some cancer patients and MS patients live day to day.

    #2 I also think it has to do with the underground market created by the prohibition on marijuana. Modeled after the alcohol prohibition in the 20’s and early 30’s prohibition of marijuana lets the cartels rise just as bootleggers did in the 20’s. This associates the drug with things such as violence, guns, and death. These are things people normally don’t like in a medical supplement.

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