Marijuana, the flowering top of the female cannabis plant, has been cultivated for a very long time. As a matter of fact, archeologists in Central Asia have found 2 pounds of cannabis in a 2,700-old grave.
This plant has been widely accepted ever since it had been discovered and there are both written and pictorial evidence of its use.
Drug Classification Halts Use
The first federal prohibitions banning the therapeutic and recreational use of cannabis were first forced by Congress with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. Then, cannabinoids, the plant`s organic compounds, were classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
This systematization puts the plant in the same position as heroin and states that cannabis possesses “a high potential for abuse … no currently accepted medical use … [and] a lack of accepted safety for the use of the drug … under medical supervision.”
On the other hand, both cocaine and methamphetamine, which are illegal for recreational use, can be consumed under doctor`s supervision and are classified as Schedule II drugs. Anabolic steroids and Valium are examples of Schedule III and IV drugs while analgesics which contain codeine are classified as Schedule V drugs.
In Support of Therapeutic Use
For the purpose of defending the criminalization of marijuana, federal lawmakers still use the old drug classification. Yet, the categorization of the plant is based on little or no scientific evidence. While its prohibition was imposed 75 years ago, researchers still study its therapeutic properties.
As a matter of fact, there are more than 20,000 reviews and studies in regard to cannabis and its compounds, almost one-third of which have been published in the last 4 years. A keyword search on PubMed Central (the US government library of peer-reviewed scientific research) shows 2,100 studies since 2011.
Modern medicine is now taking into consideration the things that our ancestors knew and people are encouraged to use medicinal marijuana to treat various medical conditions. Currently, marijuana is legal for medical purpose in 20 states.
Although the debate regarding the therapeutic use of marijuana is quite tense, it seems foolish to overlook the many scientific studies which confirm its potent medicinal properties.
According to Joycelyn Elders, MD, former US Surgeon General ( “Myths About Medical Marijuana”),
“The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS — or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day.”
Ray Cavanaugh, PhD., National Director of the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC), wrote the following in a 2002 article titled “The Plight of the Chronically Ill,” posted on the AAMC website:
“Many of the chronically ill have successfully sought relief with the use of medical cannabis, an age-old remedy that now shows real scientific efficacy. Hundreds of thousands of the sick have replaced disabling narcotics and other psychotropic medications with nontoxic and benign cannabis. The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. Folks with spinal injuries able to give up their walkers, AIDS patients able to gain weight and keep their medications down, cancer patients finding relief from the terrible nausea of chemotherapy, chronic pain patients once again functional with their consciousness restored from narcotic lethargy, and folks once disabled from crippling psychiatric disorders and addictions, returned to sanity and society with the assistance of a nontoxic herb with remarkable healing powers.”
The American Nurses Association (ANA) wrote the following in its Mar. 19, 2004 “Position Statement: Providing Patients Safe Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis,” posted on the ANA website:
“The American Nurses Association (ANA) recognizes that patients should have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis. Cannabis or marijuana has been used medicinally for centuries. It has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of symptoms and conditions.”
In 2010, a team of researchers at the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research published the findings from many placebo-controlled clinical trials of the medical use of inhaled cannabis.
These studies used the FDA ‘gold standard’ clinical trial design and stated that marijuana should be the major treatment for patients suffering from neuropathy and similar serious diseases.
Neuropathy is a disorder associated with cancer, spinal cord injuries, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and other serious conditions. The studies found that marijuana provided better results than the available medications.
Scientists persist to study the effectiveness of cannabinoids worldwide. For instance, there have been more than 37 controlled studies, involving 2,500 subjects, assessing the effectiveness of marijuana in Germany since 2005.
The research on cannabis and its ability to alleviate symptoms of disease has moved to its potential role in modifying disease. Namely, it has been shown that it moderates autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis as well as that it slows down the onset of Alzheimer`s disease.
Cannabis and Coconut Oil
Medical marijuana capsules which are infused in coconut oil work as great alternative to inhaling it through smoking. What`s more, infusing cannabis in coconut oil promotes easier entry into the liver.
If you are wondering why this method uses coconut oil in particular, note that it is high in fatty acids which act as good binding agent for the cannabinoids. Of course, coconut oil provides many health benefits as well.
It contains lauric acid, acid which is found in mother’s milk and in only three dietary sources: coconut oil, palm kernel, and butterfat.
Lauric acid turns into monolaurin in the body, a powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antiprotozoal compound. Given the fact that it is a monoglyceride, it has the ability to destroy lipid-coated viruses, such as influenza, HIV, herpes, measles, and many pathogenic bacteria.
Testimony – A Success Story
Even though there are many people who are still hesitant about the therapeutic use of cannabis, Stan and Barb Rutner swear by its efficacy. This couple was faced with cancer a couple of times and survived, learning from their experiences.
Barb had been diagnosed with cancer two times and Stan was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma 20 years ago. After the treatment it went away, but it re-appeared in 2011. He was diagnosed with lung cancer and was later told that the cancer affected the brain.
He underwent aggressive chemotherapy and radiation, so his family members were forced to look for natural alternatives that would improve the quality of his life. Once they learned about the cannabis and its ability to alleviate symptoms caused by chemotherapy, they decided to give it a try!
Corinne, Rutner`s daughter, did some research and found that cannabis capsule infused in coconut oil works well. Stan had been taking the capsule for two weeks and he managed to give up his oxygen tank during this time. What`s more, he began to sleep better and gain weight. Amazingly, after a couple of months, a brain scan showed that he was cancer free!
According to John, the Rutner’s son-in-law, “There is no doubt in my mind that cannabis pulled my father-in-law out of the wasting stages of cancer and enabled him to gain strength and in turn fight this horrible cell malfunction with success. While many would say that the chemo and radiation could have played the part, he would never have lived long enough to find out without cannabis oil.