5 Jul 2022


The Use of Medical Marijuana

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Academic level: College

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 1363

Pages: 5

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A variety of issues have raised the attention of scientists, doctors, policymakers, researchers, and the public while medical marijuana is among them. Numerous questions surround the issue concerning whether it is safe, should it be legalized or decriminalized, whether is effectiveness is proven, what conditions should it be used for, whether it is addictive, should it be kept away from teenagers, and whether it is a ploy aimed at legalizing marijuana (NIDA, 2017) . These serve as among the key questions surrounding the subject. While these questions might be essential to consider, the major area emphasis needs to revolve around why patients find medical marijuana useful and ways in which they can discuss its use with their doctors (NCCIH, 2018) . Presently, marijuana is legal on a state level in 19 states including Washington, DC. From the perspective of the federal government, use of medical marijuana remains illegal. For the Obama administration, it did not consider prosecuting cases of medical marijuana a minor priority. For President Donald Trump his administration does not intervene with people using medical marijuana, even though it threatens reversing the policy. Approximately 85 percent of Americans support the idea of legalizing medical marijuana, while estimates reveal that several million Americans presently utilize it (Bridgeman & Abazia, 2017) . Thus, the paper discusses the issue of medical marijuana use as a pharmacological issue in terms of appropriate use, relationship between quality patient outcomes, patient safety, and safety health concerns, impact to communities and organizations, and inequities regarding its access among families, individuals, communities, and populations.

Understanding Medical Marijuana Use

Individuals have utilized medical marijuana, also referred to as cannabis, for various health situations for more than 3,000 years. In the viewpoint of the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), it does not perceive marijuana as effective or safe when it comes to treating any health issues. Nevertheless, several states including the District of Columbia permit its utilization for several health conditions. The reason behind states legalizing medical marijuana results from the decisions that legislators or voters make, rather than due to scientific proof concerning its risks and benefits (NCCIH, 2018) . Additionally, challenges prevail when it comes to studying the health effects associated with medical marijuana. This is due to legal restrictions in line with variability on matters pertaining to the concentration of the psychoactive chemicals of the plant. Nonetheless, recently, the Federal Government eased certain restrictions toward research while it is also offering researchers with additional marijuana strains. Currently health research quality pertaining to marijuana as well as its components (as opposed to the two medications approved by the FDA) vary broadly based on disease (Bridgeman & Abazia, 2017) .

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In January 2017, for instance, the NASEM (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) published a report concerning health influences associated with marijuana and the products obtained from the plant. The report offers a summary of present evidence concerning the harmful effects and therapeutic effects. It offers recommendations concerning the need for undertaking research to facilitate in establishing a detailed understanding regarding the health influences attributed to marijuana in line with recommending the steps that need taking to overcome the regulatory hindrances, which might pose challenges when it comes to undertaking research regarding marijuana in line with its health influences (Grinspoon, 2018) . In the event of NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) is offers additional information concerning the diverse marijuana aspects, such as how chances of individuals abusing it are high in line with how the chemicals in the plant affect people’s body and brains (Cicero, 2015) .

Marijuana that Lacks the “High” Effect

On the issue of the medical use of marijuana, an issue considered as least controversial is one linked to an extract gathered from the hemp plan referred to as CBD (standing for cannabidial). The reason for this is that this marijuana’s component is associated with little if any intoxicating features. For marijuana itself, it comprises of over 100 active elements. THC (standing for tetrahydrocannabinol) serves as the chemical responsible for causing people to feel “high,” while it follows consumption of marijuana. The dominant strains of CBD have minimal or lack THC. These lead patients to reveal minimal or no alteration in their consciousness (NIDA, 2017) . However, patients report diverse CBD benefits, such as relieving anxiety, insomnia, spasticity, as well as pain while they also reveal that it assists in treating conditions that pose threats to life such as epilepsy. For instance, Dravet, which serves as a particular kind of epilepsy that emerges during childhood , is challenging to regulate. However, it responds in a dramatic manner to marijuana’s CBD-dominant strain referred to as Charlotte’s Web (ADF, 2018) . 

Medical Marijuana Uses 

The typical utilization for medical marijuana within the U.S. entails controlling pain. Whereas marijuana lacks sufficient strength when it comes to intense pain, such as in the event of a broken bone or post-surgical pain, it is considered effective on matters related to chronic pain, which affects millions of individuals in America, particularly those who are aging (ADF, 2018) . A major segment of its allure is attributed to its safety as opposed to the case of opiates. It is not possible to overdose on it while it is significantly less addictive. In addition, it can assume the place of NSAIDs, including Aleve or Advil, especially in the event that individuals cannot consume them because of problems associated with ulcers, kidneys, or GERD (Cicero, 2015) .

Generally, Marijuana seems to ease pain among individuals with nerve pain and multiple sclerosis. This serves as an area where limited options prevail, while the ones that do, including Lyrica, Neurontin, or opiates seem to be significantly sedating. Patients stipulate that marijuana provide them with an option of going back to their usual activities without feeling entirely disengaged. In this vein, marijuana is considered as an amazing relaxant of muscles while people argue that it has the ability of minimizing tremors in the event of Parkinson’s disease. Its use has also been heard in cases related to interstitial cystitis, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, and other situations where the overall outcome it chronic pain (Bridgeman & Abazia, 2017) .

Marijuana has also been utilized in managing cases of weight loss, nausea, while it is also used in treating glaucoma. A highly promising research area is its utilization in the case of PTSD among veterans who come back from battlegrounds. A large number of veterans together with their therapists stipulate that they witness significant improvements among these individuals. Furthermore, medical marijuana assists patients experiencing pain and wasting syndrome affiliated with HIV, in line with Crohn’s disease and the irritable bowel syndrome. In this vein, the list is not exhaustive, but rather offers a brief survey of the different kinds of conditions that medical marijuana can offer relief in (Cicero, 2015) . As it is the case with all remedies, effectiveness claims demand significant evaluation while all cases of treatment should be exercised in a cautionary manner.

Communicating with the Doctor

A large number of patients find themselves in situations whereby they wish to learn more concerning medical marijuana. However, they experience shale in introducing the topic with their doctor. This is mostly because the entire medical community has appeared to be overly dismissive concerning the issue. Doctors are presently trying to catch up with the issue and anticipating being ahead of their patients. Other patients seem to be utilizing medical marijuana already, although they do not know how they can communicate with their doctors concerning the issue since they fear being criticized or chided (ADF, 2018) . In this case, patients need to make sure they are honest, open with their physicians, and ensure they have high expectations about them. They should ensure to tell them that they consider medical marijuana serving as part of their care and that they anticipate the doctors to have sufficient information concerning it. They should also require the doctors to point them in the direction of the information they require (NCCIH, 2018) .

When it comes to the doctors, they serve as the experts, neutral, or against the utilization of medical marijuana. A large number of patients are embracing it. Even though no rigorous studies prevail concerning the risks and benefits attributed to medical marijuana, they should make sure to ensure they learn more regarding it, practice an open mind, and refrain from being judgmental. Otherwise, patients would end up seeking other unreliable information sources, which they would continue using while refraining from communicating with their doctors. As such, the element of trust would deteriorate between the patients and their doctors. For instance, certain doctors complain that no sufficient evidence prevails for recommending medical marijuana, although some limited scientific evidence prevails that is worth investigating (Grinspoon, 2018) .


In conclusion, irrespective of the prevailing controversy, utilization of medical marijuana as medicine represents an avenue for reviving a plant having historical significance to prevail in the present day health care. Legislation surrounding the utilization of medical marijuana keeps evolving at a rapid pace. These create a need for pharmacists together with other clinicians to ensure they remain abreast with the changing or new legislations governing states as well as implications on institutions. Eventually, while medical marijuana environment keeps evolving, acute care institutions, hospitals, hospices, clinics, and long-term centers of care need to emphasize on the implications, deal with logistical issues, and assess the possibility of permitting patients access the treatment.


ADF. (2018). What is medicinal cannabis? Retrieved from https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/medical-cannabis/

Bridgeman, M. B., & Abazia, D. T. (2017). Medicinal cannabis: History, pharmacology, and implications for the acute care setting. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5312634/

Cicero, K. (2015). How effective is medical marijuana? Here's a closer look at 14 different uses. Retrieved from https://www.prevention.com/health/14-uses-medical-marijuana

Grinspoon, P. (2018). Medical marijuana. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/medical-marijuana-2018011513085

NCCIH. (2018). Medical marijuana. Retrieved from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/marijuana

NIDA. (2017). Marijuana as medicine. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine

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