Marijuana has been known as the miracle medication that can treat several diseases, such as anxiety, seizure and even cancer.
Marijuana is extracted from the Cannabis plant. Its characteristics and functions have been studied for the medical use. Marijuana is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1985. It is used to treat cancer with chronic pain, nausea or cachexia (severe wasting). It also helps to improve the symptoms of those having glaucoma, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), Tourette’s syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), seizures with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease) and PTSD.
When marijuana is uptake by either smoking or oral, it binds to cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) in presynape to inhibit the neurotransmitter. This process is called presynaptic inhibition; for example, marijuana reduces the pain by preventing the “pain” signal to be sent further to postsynapses.
About the cancer treatment, marijuana stimulates more ceramics produced that activate autophagy in cancer cells, resulting with the death of these cancer cells.
However, there are side effects in using cannabis as the medication. One study showed that the administration of dronabinol need to avoid over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products, such as disulfiram. The side effects are changing in mood/ behavior, high/ low blood pressure, and drowsy. Another study indicated that the higher dose of marijuana can cause psychotropic effects, such as perceptual alternation, impaired short-term memory, delusions, hallucinations, a loss of sense of personal identity due to fantasy, and increasing blood pressure. Those taking marijuana orally have a high chance of psychotropic effects, because they tend to take more marijuana due to the slower effect in physical and psychological changes.
In addition, the potency of marijuana is increasing in medical use; for example, the THC content was 3.1% in 1990s and was 6.1% in 2014. The new formulations of marijuana contain 50% THC content. The higher level of marijuana in doses could cause severe psychotropic effects.
Marijuana has shown positively in treatment for many diseases. Still, more studies need to be done research further about marijuana to maximize its potential as well as limiting the psychotropic effects.