Marijuana can serve a very profound medical purpose. In fact, many doctors have praised the use of marijuana or “cannabis” (for medicinal purposes) because it has proven effective in alleviating stress. Lester Grinspoon, MD stated in a Boston Globe article that "Doctors and nurses have seen that for many patients, cannabis is more useful, less toxic, and less expensive than the conventional medicines prescribed” (ProCon). Specifically, marijuana has been proven to reduce stress levels dramatically in cancer stricken patients and for this reason should be viewed as a viable option in treating stress. This is miraculous because although stress does not cause the onset of cancer, “stress does appear to influence the course of the disease”. (Applied To Modern Life). Stress reduction is a vital component in combating cancer because “Once a tumor has developed, stress may modulate neuroendocrine pathways and affect numerous mechanisms that potentially lead to the progression of cancer” (Integrative Oncology Essentials). Becoming diagnosed with cancer can seemingly be irrevocably earthshattering, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can unfortunately arise in some patients who have enough to fight already. Although “Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs can help manage PTSD symptoms” these alternatives fail in comparison to the organic composition and effectiveness of medicinal marijuana (National Cancer Institute).
Of course, there is stigma attached to marijuana use because of its recreational aspect. The typical conception of a marijuana user conjures up an image of a “hippie” or a slacker who seeks to push off responsibility and escape reality. However, this notion is shattered completely when cancer patients give their testimonies in favor of marijuana. A new perspective opens because there is a clear distinction between recreational marijuana and medicinal marijuana. Actually, “The use of Cannabis for medicinal purposes dates back at least 3,000 years” (National Cancer Institute). In fact, there are various categories of marijuana. “THC is what makes you high and the reason most recreational users partake” but “Cannibidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive component of marijuana that possesses a wide range of therapeutic benefits” (Chicago Now).
In Canada, medicinal marijuana is sanctioned, America could benefit greatly by adopting a similar policy in regards to marijuana for medicinal purposes. The following from the official Health Canada organization outlines the differences in quality between recreational marijuana and medicinal marijuana:
When someone legally purchases medical marijuana, they can be assured that the quality of the marijuana is consistent, because it is coming from a company in which the production is standardized and the quality is controlled by Health Canada. When someone buys marijuana illegally on the street, they do not know where it originated, or if the quality is consistent from one batch to the next.
Many doctors are...