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Cannabis - drug or medicine


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Medicinal properties of cannabis
The fact that the distance between poison and medicine is measured only by dosage was known by Paracelsus 500 years ago. It makes no sense to talk about what the human liver thinks about the difference between a glass and a bottle of wine. However, how easy it is to cause violent indignation in medical and near-medical circles, stating that the situation is similar with the famous cannabis (Indian sowing hemp, Cannabis sativa), from which the no less famous marijuana is made, we are better known under the name anasha or " grass".

Meanwhile, in this case, the situation is exactly the same: low doses of this plant material can be an excellent medicine. The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is rooted in the medical traditions of ancient China, India and Egypt, says Cologne-based physician Franjo Grotenhermen, chairman of the Cannabis to Medicine Society. By the way, the mentioned society is an alliance of German-speaking doctors, pharmacologists and, most importantly, patients who are in favor of allowing the use of cannabis for medical purposes. They justify their speeches with the desire to help many patients suffering from side effects of traditional medicines.

History of cannabis in medicine
But let's return from the protesting supporters of the legalization of marijuana to the history of the issue. Cannabis entered the medical textbooks of European doctors in the middle of the 19th century at the suggestion of British physicians, who brought knowledge of the medicinal herb from colonial India at that time. They appreciated the analgesic, sedative and anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis.

The main problem was only that the concentration of the active substance in cannabis is rather unstable, although the dosages must be observed very accurately. Today, pharmacologists already know exactly what is useful in hemp: of the 480 chemical compounds known to date, the main active ingredient (from the point of view of pharmacologists) is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabiol (Δ9-THC, Δ9-THC).

What diseases does cannabis help with?
But scientists did not calm down at this discovery: 25 years ago, having combed the human body from top to bottom, they were still able to describe the specific cannabinoid receptors found in the brain, in the immune system and in some other organs. Especially many of these receptors are present in those parts of the brain that are responsible for the perception of pain. That is why cannabis is often tried to be used for chronic pain (migraine, degenerative changes in the musculoskeletal system, nerve damage, etc.)

The best studied ability of THC to suppress nausea and stimulate appetite in AIDS patients and cancer patients. Thus, patients with severe forms of malignant tumors often suffer from the consequences of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, the most common of which is nausea. It is so strong that patients often simply cannot eat. And since the substances contained in cannabis, in addition to suppressing the feeling of nausea, also stimulate appetite, their use could prevent the growing weight loss of patients (we add: if the use of cannabis is allowed).

Also clinically studied and confirmed the positive effect of cannabis in eye diseases associated with an increase in intraocular pressure (under the influence of cannabis, the pressure inside the orbit is reduced by 50%). As for an overdose of cannabis, this condition is dangerous only for the patient's psyche, since there are no cannabis receptors in the vital centers of the medulla oblongata. Despite these benefits, cannabis is legally banned in most countries.

Attitude towards cannabis in the modern world
However, stubborn cannabis sprouts break through all prohibitions to the light, and since 1985, the use of synthetic THC - dronabinol (under the trade name "Marinol") for medical purposes has been allowed in the United States. A little later, the same thing happened in Canada. As for the countries of Western Europe, studies are currently underway on the therapeutic effect of substances contained in cannabis. In particular, in three Berlin clinics, a study is underway, during which AIDS patients are offered synthetic THC, hemp extract or a placebo to relieve pain.
It seems that even in conservative Europe the ice has broken too: the German Federal Constitutional Court has ruled that patients at the Federal Institute for Medicines and Parapharmacy in Berlin have the right to apply for the use of medicines containing THC. However, officials took this decision too literally: you can ask, but never get a positive answer to the petition! In any case, to this day all petitions have been rejected.

However, in neighboring Switzerland, there are already similar drugs on sale, so if necessary, it costs nothing to cross the border in search of the right drug. In Russia today, the issue of using THC-containing drugs is not relevant, in any case, there are no discussions on this topic. In addition, the folk tradition to treat most diseases with strong drinks is unlikely to allow us to introduce the experience known from ancient times to our harsh soil in the near future.
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