This blog post is written by a winner of an NBC Fan It challenge and reflects the personal views of the author and does not represent the views of NBC Universal, Inc., its parents or subsidiaries. NBC.com does not approve of or condone the opinions or information set forth in this blog, and does not support or substantiate any medical claims made by the author in this posting.
Anyone reading the Healthy Lifestyle section is likely to at least be familiar with the concept of medical marijuana, but many people would be surprised to find out just how many people can benefit from it, and how much of a difference it can make.
Did you know that marijuana has been used as medicine as early as 2,737 B.C., and that its users ranged from the noblest royalty to simple peasants? Did you know that a chief administrative judge of the DEA said that, "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis, marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care." Did you know that artificial "replications" of medical marijuana, such as Marinol, are woefully inadequate?
Medical marijuana is made up of more than 400 chemicals, each of which plays an important role in the effect it has on the human mind and body. Marinol, on the other hand, has only one active ingredient, treats fewer symptoms, and is far less effective at treating those few that it does affect. The worst cases are those where Marinol is prescribed for people, such as myself, who suffer from extreme nausea and have trouble keeping food down. The idea that a pill, which must be swallowed and completely digested to work, as a solution to the problem of nausea is ludicrous on its face.
Medical marijuana saved my life while the normal treatments were failing and Marinol almost certainly would have failed as well. Shortly before my 19th birthday, I was admitted to the hospital after weeks of trouble eating and keeping food down. Shortly after being admitted to the hospital, I was transferred to the ICU. The doctors wanted to completely remove my colon, but I refused, not wanting to give up an entire organ in favor of an artificial replacement at such a young age. As it turned out, this was a wise decision - my colon has improved, and it can always be removed later if necessary. Replacing it is a far more difficult matter.
For several months after my hospitalization, I could barely eat and had trouble moving because I couldn't keep my strength up. Finally, I found relief in medical marijuana. I was able to eat again, and I no longer found myself doubled over in pain from stomach cramps. Whereas before I had been losing nearly a pound a day while eating as much as I could, with the aid of medical marijuana I began digesting and processing food more easily, and finally stopped losing weight.
Recently I underwent surgery for a ruptured disc in my spine, and found medical marijuana to be more effective than the prescribed narcotics when it came to treating the pain and swelling that resulted. Without the analgesic properties of medical marijuana, I may not have been able to do my physical therapy. This is just the beginning of what medical marijuana can do. There's evidence that it can help with asthma, migraines, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, anorexia, cancer, leukemia, hepatitis, depression, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, HIV and AIDs.
If you or someone you know is suffering, do the research. A medical treatment is a terrible thing to waste.