Federal law in America states that according to the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, possession and use of cannabis is illegal for any purpose. Laws regarding the use of ‘medical marijuana’, however, vary from state to state across the US.
Marijuana can be used legally for medical purpose in 33 states across the US, but only with a doctor’s recommendation. Although the federal law remains, the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment means people that abide by state medical cannabis laws will not risk federal prosecution.
A vast amount of research is being conducted globally on the use of the various compounds within marijuana as a treatment for specific diseases and ailments ranging from fibromyalgia to autism.
Marijuana grown for medical use focuses on strains that are high in cannabidiol (CBD) which is non-psychoactive. It’s the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that gives the high associated with cannabis as a recreational drug, and THC is usually not included in products derived from marijuana for medical use.
Research concludes that cannabis-derived medications work with the endocannabinoid system naturally occurring in the brain and body to help patients overcome various medical ailments. With this knowledge, does the legal status of marijuana for medicinal purposes need to be reconsidered?
Unfortunately, there are a large number of people who seem to think that smoking any strain of cannabis will help. As medical professionals have noted however, there are over 400 active entities within the cannabis sativa plant and patients can’t just take potluck and leave the outcomes to chance.
Scientists separate the various compounds and choose the ones that will work best for the patient using thorough clinical testing. In states where medical marijuana is legal, it can be used in controlled environments and side effects monitored.
Should medical marijuana be legalised in all states to make sure it’s always taken under medical guidance?