The recent passing of Amendment 2 has brought medical marijuana to the state of Missouri. While it can benefit people experiencing pain from a range of illnesses, it has consequences that need to be taken into account.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, marijuana can have a direct effect on the development of the brain and can cause repercussions. On average, the human brain is not fully formed until age 25 and the use of controlled substances like marijuana can have a lasting effect on their future development.
The overall benefits and drawbacks of medical marijuana are still unclear, according to an American Medical Association report from 2017. This report found conclusive evidence that cannabis can have therapeutic benefits, but the report also found substantial evidence that there is an association between smoking and/or consuming cannabis and an overall negative effect on various health issues as well as possible addiction.
While the science behind the uses of medical marijuana has proven a general reduction in pain, according to the CDC, it has a drastic effect on the development of the brain and overall brain health.
Diseases like cancer and epilepsy affect thousands of people every year, and the pain of seizures and chemotherapy can place a lot of strain on the body. The use of medical marijuana can reduce the overall pain and discomfort felt by those who are diagnosed with those conditions.
A common part of marijuana they may use is CBD oil, which is a cannabinoid that does not make people high. It may be useful in reducing pain and inflammation, controlling epileptic seizures, and possibly even treating mental illness and addictions.
The other common part of medical marijuana is THC, which can increase appetite and reduce the effects of nausea. THC may also decrease pain, inflammation and muscle control problems for people suffering from a wide variety of diseases.
While the Food and Drug Administration is in clinical trial settings to study the safety and effectiveness of medical marijuana, it is already on the market in 32 states and the District of Columbia. This means medical marijuana has not been completely tested in regards to its overall effectiveness in reducing overall pain and suffering.
While medical marijuana can provide temporary comfort, we still need to practice caution. As we move forward with integrating medical marijuana into our society, we need to beware of possible harmful side effects we aren’t aware of yet. Since the FDA is still conducting trials, we don’t know all the effects marijuana can have on our cognitive abilities or motor skills.