Restrictions On Marijuana Research

Despite the fact that many studies in the past have demonstrated the usefulness of marijuana, outdated regulations and attitudes have thwarted legitimate marijuana research. This is evident from the fact that even though marijuana’s usefulness can be gauged from the fact that it has been made legal in many states of the United States of America, there are many states that still term it as a Schedule 1 drug, alongside LSD and heroin.

The worst part is that marijuana has been defined as having no medical use and potentially additive in nature even though medical studies have proven that medical marijuana is one of the best drugs for treating health complications such as arthritis, neuropathic pain, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, movement disorders, malignant tumors, HIV, the AIDS wasting syndrome, or dementia. Medical marijuana is also second to none when it comes to providing relief to patients suffering from health diseases, including hepatitis C, incontinence, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes mellitus, fibromyalgia, Huntington’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome.

If that was not all, the marijuana provided by he National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is regarded as less potent when compared to the marijuana often easily available on the street. Furthermore, studies that emphasize on finding the positive benefits of marijuana smoking are not easily funded, while those highlighting negative effects of marijuana get easy funds.

California’s Research Into Medical Marijuana

In 1999, the legislators of California decided to fund a research that was supposed to figure out if marijuana was effective therapeutically.

The research has suggested that marijuana is highly effective for easing some types of pain and could be useful for muscle spasticity from multiple sclerosis, according to the official report from the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, based at the University of California, San Diego.

The center has funded 15 clinical studies, since it was founded in 2000, including seven trials.

It was argued by the report that marijuana may have a “novel mechanism of action not fully exploited by current therapies.” The drug may also have an effect on multiple-sclerosis patients’ spastic motions “beyond the benefit available from usual medical care,” the report says.

The report also flagged some mild effects, such as dizziness and cognition changes. The opponents of marijuana would however probably say that the studies were not long term in nature and good enough to indicate the potential downsides of chronic use. The center has made these findings in a document that is supposed to reach the general public.

Research Facility Opens In Clio, Focusing On Medical Marijuana

A health and wellness center was formally opened in Clio that would the home of a marijuana research institute keen to change the negative stigma associated with marijuana.

Eric Gunnels, the Co-Founder of All Natural Health & Wellness Center, said marijuana is a drug that has been vastly misunderstood and it has no additive properties. Gunnels further remarked that there has been no recorded death with the use of marijuana in the history of mankind.

All Natural Health and Wellness Center, the first patient care facility in Michigan to allow use of marijuana for gathering drug research, will be emphasizing on educating the general public about the medicinal benefits of marijuana through its non-profit Cannabis Research Institute. Rob Lapeen, the Co-Founder of All Natural Health & Wellness Center, said the center will help public find different ways to use their medicines and get a doctor’s appointment for new patient approval.

The center is expected to bring an end to the marijuana black market and will be providing protection dog training for medical marijuana care-givers who want to guard their homes.

Marijuana & Our Brain

The effects of marijuana reach different parts of the body along with the brain, irrespective of how it is used.

Since marijuana includes hundreds of chemicals, it leads to hundreds of additional compounds when burned. When abused or used indiscriminately, marijuana use may lead to side effects such as memory and learning problems, loss of coordination, paranoia, panic attacks, problem solving difficulties, and distorted perception. It is important to note that marijuana use is not lethal when compared to alcohol. Since the initial effects of marijuana wear off on their own after an hour or two, the use of marijuana is relatively safer than of other drugs.

But, marijuana chemicals remain in the body for much longer and this may mean that marijuana may still be present in your body after four days if you had taken one milligram of THC, the primary ingredient of marijuana.

However, medicinal marijuana has been found to be great value for stopping convulsions, reducing muscle spasms, eliminating menstrual pain, stimulating appetite, and to treat health complications such as HIV, AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy. This is just one of the reasons why marijuana has been considered as the best and safest drug known to the mankind as the drug has never taken a life on its own in the history of human beings.

How Marijuana Works?

As soon as a user of marijuana smokes a cigarette filled with it or ingest marijuana in any other form, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary ingredient of marijuana) and other chemicals make an entry into their body. Both THC and chemicals make their way into the human body through the bloodstream and then move to the brain and thereafter the remaining of the body.

When marijuana smoke is inhaled, THC goes directly to the lungs that lined with tiny air sacs (alveoli) where exchange of gases takes place. These air sacs have a significant surface area, which is about 90 times greater than of the human skin, which makes it easy for marijuana ingredients to enter the human body after the smoke of marijuana is absorbed by the lungs in a matter of just few seconds.

When eaten, marijuana enters the human body to find its place in the stomach where it is absorbed by blood. Thereafter, marijuana is carried by the blood to the liver and the remaining body. It is important to note here that THC is slowly absorbed by the stomach when compared to the lungs and therefore the THC levels are lower and effects last longer when marijuana is eaten.

Research Shows Marijuana Has Promise

Marijuana or cannabis has the potential of a promising treatment for specific, pain-related medical conditions, according to California researchers who presented an update of their findings to the California Legislature and also released them to the public.

‘I think the evidence is getting better and better that marijuana, or the constituents of cannabis, are useful at least in the adjunctive treatment of neuropathy,” Igor Grant, MD, executive vice-chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California.

”We don’t know if it’s a front-line treatment. I’m hoping the results of our studies will prompt larger-scale studies that involve a much more varied population.” ”This [report given to the Legislature] sets the stage of larger-scale studies,” he says.

The researchers said in the report that five studies that have been published in peer-reviewed medical journals demonstrate the usefulness of marijuana for pain-related conditions.

•    According to a study appearing in Neuropsychopharmacology, pain in HIV patients can be significantly reduced with smoked cannabis.

•    A study on the similar lines appeared in the journal Neurology and indicated that cannabis offered more benefits than placebo.

•    A study appearing in the Journal of Pain suggested that marijuana was useful for reducing neuropathic pain in people suffering spinal cord injury and other conditions.

•    A study that was published in Anesthesiology suggested that medium doses of marijuana may be effective in minimizing pain perception and it was found that the higher the dose, the greater the pain relief.

•    In a study appearing in the Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, it was revealed that vaporized marijuana can be safe.

All in all, the five studies suggested that the use of marijuana has merit and marijuana could be an effective drug for treating specific, pain-related medical conditions.

FDA Blocks Marijuana Research For Veterans

A pilot study aimed at examining the benefits of marijuana for veterans with treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been blocked by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The study would have been conducted by Dr. Sue Sisley of the University of Arizona at Phoenix and was sponsored by the non-profit research organization, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

In a statement, MAPS said hundreds of veterans in states (that have legalized medical marijuana) have reported benefits of using marijuana for controlling their post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. The large numbers of treatment-resistant veterans and growing number of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with combat-related trauma indicate the pressing need for research into additional treatments for PTSD.

The request of researchers to obtain licenses to grow marijuana was denied by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that claimed that the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) can be the only one to supply marijuana for Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated research.

Medical Marijuana Discouraged By Researchers In Studies

The U.S. federal government is still finding new ways to deter popularity and usefulness of medical marijuana despite the fact that the Obama administration has offered tacit support and giving hints and doing things to promote liberal medical marijuana laws. However, the Federal government is ignoring and delaying the legalizing process to make marijuana available for research.

This can be evident from the fact Lyle E. Craker, a professor of plant sciences at the University of Massachusetts, applied nearly nine years ago to get permission from federal authorities and the Drug Enforcement Administration has refused permission. The worst part is that this was after the agency’s own administrative law judge ruled in 2007 that the application of Dr. Cracker should be approved.

The fact that the federal government is trying every way is also evident from the comments made by a spokesman for National Institute on Drug Abuse. Shirley Simson said, “As the National Institute on Drug Abuse, our focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuana use,” and added, “We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana.

It is worth noting that marijuana is the only major drug for which the federal government controls the only legal research supply, for which the government needs a special scientific review.

Studies in the last few decades, especially the last few years, have shown that marijuana may improve appetite and relieve nausea among cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The drug also has the potential to alleviate the numbness and aching that are experienced by HIV and AIDS patients. Dr. Igor Grant, director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego recently said that there are strong hints that the drug can ameliorate some of the neurological problems associated with degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis.

50% of the USA favors Marijuana Legalization

According to a survey by Gallup, a record high fifty percent of the United States population says that the use of marijuana should be legalized.

The use of marijuana was favored by 12 percent of the American population in 1969 and 84 percent opposed its legalization. From the late 1970s to the mid 1990s, the support for marijuana legalization remained in the mid-20s but it went to 30 percent in the year 2000 and 40 percent of the US population supported marijuana legalization in the year 2009.

Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In 2009, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health disclosed that 16.7 million Americans aged 12 or older used marijuana at least once in the month prior to being surveyed to suggest an increase over the rates reported in all years between 2002 and 2008.

Marijuana is the third-most-popular recreational drug in America, behind only alcohol and tobacco, according to claims made by the advocacy group National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. While some states in the United States of America have legalized use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, many officials have made a call to the federal government to legalize marijuana.

The survey also disclosed that the support for legalizing marijuana is directly and inversely proportional to age. While the topic of marijuana legalization was characterized by approval of 62 percent of those 18 to 29 down, the approval rate was 31 percent among those 65 and older. While the Liberals are twice as likely as conservatives for favoring marijuana legalization, Democrats and independents are more likely to be in favor than are Republicans.

How To Use Marijuana?

Marijuana, also known as cannabis and marihuana, is the most used illicit drug in the world that is used for varying purposes such as recreational drug, religious rite, spiritual rite, and medicine. It can be easily seen growing in homes, in the suburbs, farms, and in the city.

The drug is known by many names such as airplane, dank, astro turf, black bart, charge, dagga, Aunt Mary, boom, bud, weed, herb, chunky, endo, ganja, haircut, Mary Jane, Yellow submarine, matchbox, and Zambi. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) is the major psychoactive compound in cannabis while the list of other 400 compounds in the plant includes cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV).

Marijuana is one of the most used and sought after drugs in the United States of America and is believed to be smuggled into the country from Mexico, Cambodia and Thailand, among other countries.

The drug can be consumed in several ways and the way in which it is used identifies the amount of chemicals that get transferred into the body.

•    Cigarette: Buds of dried marijuana are rolled into a cigarette before it is used. It is believed that around 10 to 20 percent of THC, the primary ingredient in marijuana, gets transferred into the body when marijuana is used in the form of a cigarette.

•    Pipe: Some users of marijuana prefer to smoke marijuana with a pipe. Nearly 40 to 50 percent of THC gets transferred into the human body when marijuana is used through a pipe.

•    Cigar: Some marijuana users open a cigar and remove the tobacco and put marijuana to use the drug.

Marijuana is also baked into food products like brownies and some users even brew it as tea.

It is worth noting here that the use of marijuana is not limited to a single demographic group but extends of all races and countries. However, the use of marijuana is the highest among younger people.