As of 2011, 15 states including the District of Columbia has passed medicinal marijuana for those with qualifying conditions. However, there are those who still say there is no medicinal value in marijuana. Also, others say the natural marijuana form is not necessary as a synthetic marijuana, Marinol, was approved by the FDA so why not utilize it?
Contrary to the belief that marijuana does not have medicinal value, modern scientific literature has shown quite the opposite. Marijuana is useful in stimulating appetite, promoting weight gain, reducing nausea/vomiting, reducing certain types of chronic pain, and helping to decrease the elevated intra-ocular pressure from glaucoma.
The benefits medicinally go on with literature showing marijuana to decrease muscle spasms and tremors from spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis. Additional benefits include helping with depression, seizures, migraine headaches, and insomnia.
Since 1986, Marinol has been available as a synthetic THC (a key element of marijuana) as an FDA approved Schedule II drug. It was approved for both anti-nausea along with being an appetite stimulant to prevent the wasting syndrome seen with HIV/AIDS and sometimes cancer patients. There are plenty of patients who find that smoked or vaporized natural marijuana works better for them due to its more rapid onset and the fact that if one is nauseated, keeping a pill down may be difficult.
With most traditional medications, oral preparations are the standard and most physicians are not prone to recommending a smoked medication. Inhaling medication however (vaporized or smoked) provides blood concentrations equal to that seen with IV injection.
Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I narcotic and is federally illegal despite the medicinal benefits having been shown. Even if an individual uses it in line with state law then technically federal law is being breached. However lots of Americans, thousands and thousands, do find medical help with marijuana and continue to use it.
There have been numerous national societies who have come out in support of marijuana’s medicinal value. These have included the Federation of American Scientists, the American Public Health Association, the Lymphoma Foundation of America, the Physicians Association for AIDS Care, the and the New England Journal of Medicine.
The research is abundant on the medical benefits of marijuana for lots of probelmatic conditions. In the majority of cases, it represents an extremely effective option to medications that have addictive properties, significant side effects, or are prohibitively expensive.