Cannabis – a drug or medicine

The ability of the active substance of cannabis to suppress nausea and stimulate the appetite in patients with AIDS and malignant tumors is best studied.

Healing properties of cannabis

Paracelsus knew 500 years ago that the distance between poison and medicine was measured only by dosage. It makes no sense to talk about what the human liver thinks about the difference between a glass and a bottle of wine. However, how easy it is to provoke violent indignation in medical and near-medical circles, saying that the same situation is with the famous cannabis (Indian cannabis sowing, Cannabis sativa), from which no less famous marijuana is made, we are better known under the name hemp or weed.

Cannabis is the light

Meanwhile, in this case, the situation is the same: low doses of this plant material can be an excellent remedy. The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is rooted in the medical traditions of ancient China, India and Egypt, says the chairman of the society “Cannabis in medicine”, a doctor from Cologne, Franjo Grotenhermen. By the way, the aforementioned society is a union of German-speaking doctors, pharmacologists and, most importantly, patients who are in favor of allowing the use of cannabis for medical purposes. They justify their performance with a desire to help many patients suffering from the side effects of traditional medicines.

History of cannabis in medicine

But back from the rally supporters of the legalization of marijuana to the history of the issue. In the medical textbooks of European doctors, cannabis came in the middle of the XIX century with the filing of British physicians who brought knowledge of the medicinal herb from at that time still colonial India. They appreciated the analgesic, sedative and anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis.

cannabis root

The main problem was only that the concentration of the active substance in hemp is quite unstable, although the dosage must be observed very accurately. Today, pharmacologists already know exactly what is useful in cannabis: of the 480 currently known chemical compounds, the main active ingredient (from the point of view of pharmacologists) is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabiol (Δ9-THC, Δ9-THC).

What diseases cannabis helps?

But at this discovery, scientists did not calm down: 25 years ago, having combed the human body from top to bottom, they were still able to describe the specific cannabinoid receptors found in the brain, in the immune system, and in some other organs. Especially many of these receptors are present in those parts of the brain that are responsible for the perception of pain. That is why hemp is often used in chronic pains (migraine, degenerative changes in the musculoskeletal system, nerve damage, etc.).

THC‘s ability to suppress nausea and stimulate appetite in AIDS patients and cancer patients is best studied. Thus, patients with severe malignant tumors often suffer from the effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, the most common of which is nausea. It is so strong that patients often simply cannot eat. And since the substances contained in cannabis, in addition to suppressing the feeling of nausea, also stimulate the appetite, their use could hamper the increasing weight loss of patients (add: in case of permission to use cannabis).

The positive effect of cannabis in case of ocular diseases associated with an increase in intraocular pressure has also been clinically studied and confirmed (under the influence of cannabis, the pressure inside the orbit is reduced by 50%). As for cannabis overdose, this state is dangerous only for the patient’s psyche, since in the vital centers of the medulla oblongata cannabis receptors are absent. Despite these benefits, cannabis is officially banned in most countries.

Attitudes towards cannabis in the modern world

However, stubborn cannabis sprouts make their way to the light through all prohibitions, and since 1985, the use of synthetic THC – Dronabinol (under the trade name “Marinol”) has been allowed in the United States for medical purposes. A little later, the same thing happened in Canada. As for the countries of Western Europe, currently undergoing research of the therapeutic effect of substances contained in hemp. In particular, three clinics in Berlin are undergoing a study in which synthetic THC, hemp extract or placebo is offered for AIDS patients to relieve pain.

It seems that even in conservative Europe, the ice has also broken: the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled that patients of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Parapharmacy in Berlin have the right to apply for the use of medicines containing THC. However, the officials took this decision too literally: you can ask, but never get a positive response to the petition! In any case, until this day, all petitions have been rejected.

However, in neighboring Switzerland there are already similar drugs on sale, so if necessary it does not cost anything to cross the border in search of the right drug. In Russia today, the issue of using THC-containing drugs is not relevant, in any case, there is no discussion on this topic. In addition, the folk tradition to treat most diseases with strong drinks is unlikely to allow in the near future to introduce the experience known since ancient times to our harsh soils.

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