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Cannabis Blessing or Curse

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Cannabis, the word itself is a taboo. This topic has been debated for many years. There have been numerous researches conducted on the good and bad effects of cannabis.

Cannabis is a plant of the Cannabaceae family and contains more than eighty biologically active chemical compounds. The most commonly known compounds are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the component that produces the “high” associated with marijuana use.  Dopamine is produced when THC links to the cannabinoids in the brain. Dopamine is the chemical produced by the brain when we get pleasure in doing things.

Cannabis has medical benefits for ailments such as slowing the Alzheimer’s disease, treating glaucoma, fighting cancer and reducing side effects of cancer, relieves anxiety, reducing chronic pain, regulates diabetes, treat depression, regulate seizures, etc. Many kinds of research have been conducted on the physical and psychological benefits of cannabis. There have been some researches that support that THC boost the immune system. Also, studies have been conducted on using Cannabis/ marijuana for reducing chronic pain as cannabis has fewer side effects than opioid painkillers. The use of cannabis has been used for treating nausea and vomiting of cancer patients.

A school of thought considers cannabis as a social medicine, wherein it reduces anxiety and stress, thereby calming people down. Governments of various countries are changing their policies and rules to allow the use of cannabis for medicinal purpose but with limited access.

Research from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine has tried to fill in gaps on the questions that arise on Cannabis. The findings are not alone on Cannabis but on most cannabinoids. The report found “moderate evidence” that Cannabis is useful for “improving short-term sleep outcomes in individuals with sleep disturbance associated with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis.” It also found “limited evidence” for cannabis’s ability to treat appetite and weight loss associated with HIV/AIDS, improving Tourette syndrome symptoms, improving anxiety symptoms in individuals with social anxiety disorders, and improving PTSD. 

There are few organizations that are dealing with products related to Cannabis. The products range from Cannabis oil for pain relief, anxiety, Cannabis based chocolates, chewing gum, beauty products and pet products as well. The market for Cannabis is growing in terms of the products that have medical benefit as well. The Research and Development works are conducted to come out with Cannabis-based products that are safe. 

Cannabis and addiction have often been used together.  The addiction element of Cannabis is compared to alcohol and tobacco. Some researches have proved that Cannabis is much less addictive than alcohol or tobacco. But there is a line of thinking that Cannabis treatment for other substance addiction holds promise not just for harm reduction but also as a treatment for addiction symptoms per se, such as withdrawal and cravings. 

Cannabis overdose has adverse effects such as developing respiratory issues; develop schizophrenia, heart attack, bipolar disorder, etc. Also, there is less evidence on the dosage consumption of Cannabis.

The school of thought that opposes the use of Cannabis states that it has no medicinal value and its usage leads to addiction. It has health effects on the teenagers, during adolescence, there are changes that a child undergoes and during this time the child can come under the influence of any substance that gives him/her the calming effect. Children are not wise enough to differentiate between what is right or wrong and the use of the substance has ill effects on their brain. Once a child gets into the addiction of the substance, it gets challenging to get him/her out of it, and there is also a social stigma attached to it.

The researches conducted on the use of Cannabis for medicinal use and otherwise point various aspects that lead to this debate of whether Cannabis is a blessing or a curse but certain elements are still untapped majorly because this substance was illegal in most countries and still is. 

There have been plenty of trails, but there is no conclusive outcome because of the lack of collaborative efforts between the agencies that consider it as blessing and others which treat it as a curse in terms of

structured, well-collated data from reputed agencies. There is, however, a lot of learning’s that one will have when one goes ahead in the space of researching blessings that Cannabis plant has.


[1] https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-need-know-and-what-were-working-find-out-about-products-containing-cannabis-or-cannabis

[2] https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/1/14/14263058/marijuana-benefits-harms-medical

[3] https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/is-cannabis-good-or-bad-for-mental-health/

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