There continues to be a deeply held fear within millions of people about the use of cannabis. You only have to read a newspaper or listen to any high-ranking politician for a sense of the negativity, paranoia and suspicion surrounding this plant. Yet, where does this fear originate? It’s certainly not from science or patients. Scientific evidence, medical opinion and patient testimonials overwhelming make the case for cannabis as legitimate and safe medicine.
With that in mind, allow me to list the six definitive reasons why this fear of cannabis is 100% misplaced, and why we need to start viewing cannabis as legitimate medicine:
1) Our Bodies Contain The Endocannabinoid System.
In the early 1990s two receptors were discovered called CB1 and CB2 that appeared specifically designed to receive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids. This finding began the journey of understanding the whole “endogenous signalling system now known as the endocannabinoid system,” – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1574255/.
This was a pretty profound discovery if you think about it. We have these receptors all through our brains, in our liver, in our heart, in our bones. They are everywhere that we are; whatever their purpose it must be 100% fundamental to our being. Nature didn’t spend millions of years evolving and developing this endocannabinoid system just so we could get high.
The true purpose of these receptors must have confounded us back in the 1990s – a time when the medical attributes of cannabis were not taken at all seriously. It was thought to be helpful against nausea and wasting, but that’s about it. Twenty years later and the world has become a very different place. Twenty states now accept cannabis as medicine. More than 140 million people can, at least in theory, be prescribed cannabis by their doctor. In addition we have a multitude of scientific studies reporting stuff like this:
“The endocannabinoid system has been studied using genetic and pharmacological methods. These studies have revealed that cannabinoids act as neuromodulators for a variety of physiological processes, including motor learning, synaptic plasticity, appetite, and pain sensation,” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocannabinoid_system.
“Modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system turned out to hold therapeutic promise in a wide range of disparate diseases and pathological conditions, ranging from mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity/metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis, to name just a few,” – http://pharmrev.aspetjournals.org/content/58/3/389.short.
“Cannabis-like compounds offer therapeutic potential for the treatment of breast, prostate and bone cancer in patients. Further basic research on anti-cancer properties of cannabinoids as well as clinical trials of cannabinoid therapeutic efficacy in breast, prostate and bone cancer is therefore warranted,” – http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01327.x/full.
2) Breast Milk Contains Cannabinoids. How Bad Can They Be?
“Endocannabinoids have been detected in maternal milk and activation of CB1 (cannabinoid receptor type 1) receptors appears to be critical for milk sucking … apparently activating oral-motor musculature,” – European Journal of Pharmacology.
Basically this means that cannabinoids taught us to how eat and drink; and, simplifying the thought still further, it means that cannabinoids taught us how to live. This is pretty definitive proof of cannabinoids being good for our health.
As an added bonus, this also gives a pretty cool explanation for the phenomena we call “the munchies”; this most derided and random side effect of cannabis is actually the same impulse that first taught us to suckle on milk, and therefore enabled us to live in this world. Got to love that.
3) Most Cannabinoids Don’t Get You High
No intoxication means anyone can take it – yes, even your kids. Going back to 2), if it’s in mother’s milk it would be illogical to think cannabinoids are not healthy for your child.
Within 20 years people will look back on this time with sadness and regret that we were not given this medicine sooner. They will be astonished that the plant responsible for this medicine could ever have been a crime to grow or possess or use. And they will be grateful that those sorry days are over.
4) Our Bodies Naturally Produce Their Own Cannabinoids
In 1992 Professor Raphael Mechoulam discovered “Anandamide”, which is the primary cannabinoid produced by our bodies, and is designed to fit into the CB1 and CB2 receptors. In the twenty years since, anandamide has been shown to be created by the body in order to protect itself from disease:
“A study published in 1998 shows that anandamide inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation.Some studies have linked anandamide release as a mechanism of analgesic effects induced by exercise, particularly by running,” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anandamide
5) Cannabinoids Are Not Toxic
As long as you don’t smoke cannabis it remains a non-toxic substance. If you enjoy smoking cannabis please try vaping instead. It’s a better, safer option as it “delivers the same level of active therapeutic chemical and produces the same biological effect as smoking cannabis, but without the harmful toxins,” – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070515151145.htm.
OFF-TOPIC NOTE: I know some will object to my opposition to smoking and accuse me of ignorance. Look, I know there have been studies that state cannabis smokers are less likely to get cancer than NON-smokers, and I know that cannabinoids can kill cancer cells… but I ultimately feel that inhaling plant smoke is not good for your lungs. Even if it doesn’t give you cancer it’ll blacken your lungs, and how are charred lungs a sign of good health?
6) Getting High Is Not The Nightmarish Experience It’s Made Out To Be
Being high is rather like being drunk but with more hunger and music appreciation. Plus you might start laughing for no reason. And I honestly can’t see what’s so awful-sounding about that experience.
Once you take the unhealthy and antisocial smoking element out of the equation it becomes difficult to see the problem with cannabis. It has countless medical uses, more seemingly being discovered daily, and this stands it in stark contrast to the legal mass murderers known as tobacco and alcohol.
So now, in 2014, we are faced with these two indisputable facts:
1. Cannabis is a legitimate medicine, useful for a remarkably wide array of diseases and condition.
2. We have within us an entire regulatory system designed for – and only for – cannabinoids.
You don’t have to be a genius to realize that these two facts are connected. Quite clearly the endocannabinoid system was grown inside every human being so we could consume, drink, apply topically or, yes, even smoke this medicine – just as long as it gets cannabinoids into those receptors.
This realization that cannabis is, in fact, GOOD FOR YOU is likely the main reason for the surge in popularity for both medical and recreational cannabis:
All anyone has to do is honestly answer this question: Should a life-saving medicine remain illegal in this country while two poisons remain legal and taxed? This is an insane and totally unsustainable position.
THE VILLAGE IDIOT IN THE CORNER
Despite this wealth of scientific data and patient testimonials, there are still people denying that cannabis has any medical use whatsoever. These people are starting to look like the local village idiot; whenever they open their mouth they make some bumbling, infantile statement about cannabis being a “gateway drug” (gateway to where? That’s always what I want to know: what gate do they think we’re going through? A gate that leads to…crack pipes, heroin needles and meth face? ). Yet whenever they are asked valid questions about the medical potential of cannabinoids these prohibitionists show themselves entirely, painfully ignorant. It’s become hard not to snicker at their simple-minded view of the world.
Unfortunately most of these “village idiots” made their way into politics, where they’ve consistently ignored the medical community, the scientific community and even the medical marijuana patient community. In the 1930s, the American Medical Association opposed the new Marijuana Tax that was a way of effectively making the medicine illegal:
“ “Since the medicinal use of cannabis has not caused and is not causing addiction, the prevention of the use of the drug for medicinal purposes can accomplish no good end whatsoever. How far it may serve to deprive the public of the benefits of a drug that on further research may prove to be of substantial value, it is impossible to foresee,” – http://www.marijuanalibrary.org/AMA_opposes_1937.html.
Since 1974 – and the first tests showing THC kills cancer cells – scientists has been telling politicians that cannabis has medical value and should be further studied. Since 1996 – when California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis – patients have been telling politicians that cannabis has medical value. Somehow, and I can’t understand how this has been achieved, the political class has got away with ignoring all these groups for all these years.
Well, up until now.
And so, as with anything truly unethical and abhorrent, a tipping point has finally been reached: the wider public has become more aware of the facts, the number of patients being helped is constantly on the rise, the scientific studies keep piling up. And that’s where we are today, right on that tipping point.
Incite for your right to this medicine.