Marijuana is medicinal extracts from a plant known as Cannabis sativa. Cannabis sativa contains psychoactive cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, and cannabinol amongst others. The presence of cannabinoids in Cannabis sativa gives it medicinal and scientific importance.
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The use of marijuana for therapeutic purposes is very controversial as many countries consider it an illegal drug while others consider it a medicinal and legal substance. Current scientific studies have proved that marijuana can effectively cure Alzheimer’s disease, lung cancer, breast cancer and brain cancer.
Moreover, cannabinoids improve appetite, enhance blood circulation, control sleep, and is a potent analgesic. Therefore, pharmacological use of marijuana to meet safety and efficacy standards will give optimum therapeutic benefits and minimal side effects.
Since cannabinoids cause psychoactive effects, it is not quite accurate to determine the effectiveness of cannabinoids psychologically. Effective psychotherapy analysis of cannabinoids effects requires thorough understanding of their mechanism of action.
Research studies have found out that tetrahydrocannabinol accumulates in the brain fatty tissues and binds to its receptors thus producing its effects. These receptors are found in large numbers in the cerebral cortex, which is the seat of human consciousness and in areas involved in the control of skilled movement ” (Coon & Mitterer, 2008, p. 211).
The Angel’s story that marijuana helped in movement and sped up healing process, hence medically effective, is not true since tetrahydrocannabinol stimulated brain receptors. The stimulated receptors interfered with consciousness and controlled the movement.
Marijuana is medically effective in relieving chronic pains associated with cancer and traumatic injuries. To determine the effectiveness of marijuana in relieving chronic pains, I would first consider legal, ethical, social, and medical aspects of the study.
On the study, I would select 12 patients who are suffering from chronic pain and divide them into three groups; one group administer with conventional analgesic, another to administer with marijuana and the last group to administer with a placebo.
“Precautions to insure neutrality of drug, set and setting, including use of a double-blind procedure as an absolute minimum, are vitally important if the object of investigation is to measure real marijuana-induced responses” (Well, Zinberg, & Nelsen, 1968, p. 1236).
Comparative studies of the conventional analgesic and marijuana effects will prove the effectiveness of marijuana as analgesic while comparative studies with placebo effect will give the extent of psychological illusions. This study will give credible findings regarding marijuana as analgesic.
Regular use of psychoactive drugs such as marijuana would cause adverse side effects. Mental side effects such as paranoia, dizziness, and hallucinations occur when an individual takes high and regular doses. According to Mohamed, “…smoked or oral marijuana doses or even ordinary doses taken by a sensitive, inexperienced, or predisposed person can produce transient anxiety, panic, feelings of depression and other dysphoric mood changes, depersonalization, bizarre behaviors, delusions, illusions, or hallucinations” (2006, p. 12).
The feelings of hallucination make one to lose consciousness and feel as though in very different world that is full of bliss. Another potential side effect is cardiovascular and automotive effects. “A consistent, prominent, and sudden effect of marijuana is a 20 to 100 percent increase in heart rate lasting up to 2 to 3 hours” (Mohamed, 2006, p. 13).
Increased heart beat rate predisposes hypertension and heart attack. The real world examples are the Rasta people in Jamaica and all over the world who consider marijuana as medicine and source of inspiration in their religion. This has predisposed them to hallucinations and cardiovascular diseases.
Coon, D., & Mitterer, J. (2008). Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to the Mind and Behavior. New York: Cengage Learning.
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Mohamed, B. (2006). Cannabinoids in Medicine: A Review of Their Therapeutic Potential. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 105 (2): 1–25.
Well, A., Zinberg, N., & Nelsen, J. (1968). Clinical and Psychological Effects of Marijuana in Man. Science, 162. 1234-1242.