Lifestyle, Opinions

Weed health benefits outweigh risks

Growing up, I believed the war on drugs propaganda that I learned in school and from my parents. I bought into it until I started using pot myself in college to treat my anxiety disorder. 

Since I started consuming cannabis, my panic attacks have become nearly non-existent. My personal experience has opened my eyes to several uses of the plant. 

This plant has medicinal qualities that cannot be ignored and could be key to helping people around the world. 

Confusion about marijuana along with a history in America of fear-mongering against drugs has lead to restrictive and draconian laws against users.  

“It is still quite unclear from a molecular perspective how exactly CBD works in the brain and body with cannabinoid receptors,” said Long Beach State biochemistry teaching associate Lee Macklin. 

American federal cannabis laws desperately need to be changed in order to allow more thorough scientific research to be conducted. 

Marijuana is known around the globe for its popular psychoactive effects and users are often painted as lazy people only seeking a high, while the medicinal benefits are usually overlooked. 

The possible applications of this plant are still being researched today. The two main chemicals in pot are tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, and cannabidiol referred to as CBD. 

Most users of CBD are not seeking a high, but medical benefits from the plant. Users put it in smoothies, coffee, lotions, oils, baked goods, and bath bombs. They usually do this in order to seek pain relief or alleviation from ailments. 

THC is the main chemical in marijuana that gets users high, while CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical but is what scientists say to be the most medicinally beneficial aspect of the plant. 

Producing and using CBD is different from smoking the whole marijuana flower, which is the most common way of ingesting it.

Robust research into the properties of the drug has been slowed due to the confusion surrounding its legal status. It varies state by state, often depending on if the CBD is derived from hemp or marijuana.

While some states allow it to be produced and distributed, CBD that is derived from marijuana is illegal at the federal level, but CBD that is made from hemp is federally legal, according to CBD Central. 

However, studies conducted have shown that the use of CBD in human patients can relieve pain. The drug has also been successful in alleviating symptoms from dangerous health issues such as seizures. 

“Many anecdotal testimonials and many preliminary scientific reports have suggested that CBD has several potential medical benefits, specifically in the context of neurological disorders, inflammatory disorders, pain management and more,” Macklin said. 

THC is considered to be moderately dangerous to certain patients due to its psychoactive nature, but CBD has more scientific evidence supporting its medicinal effects, according to ProCon.org. 

Despite the potential risks marijuana use may have, the benefits outweigh the negatives for many patients in comparison to using outrageously expensive and often ineffective pharmaceuticals. 

CBD is becoming more popular to treat a variety of illnesses, and while the science isn’t conclusive on how it affects every disease and ailment, many people are turning to it as an alternative to potential negative side effects of prescription drugs. 

“It is still quite unclear from a molecular perspective how exactly CBD works in the brain and body with cannabinoid receptors,” Macklin said.

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