What We Do Know About Cannabis is Enough to Legalize
I recently read an article entitled “What we don’t know about marijuana can hurt us, and we don’t know much…” The author of the article, Avital Schurr worked with Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the person responsible for isolating and mapping out the structure of THC.
All in all, the article was quite accurate and the point was to not have the “cannabis industry” nor “politicians” decide whether cannabis is medicine or not…but to let science figure that out. It essentially focuses on the fact that both sides of the spectrum makes claims about cannabis that isn’t scientifically viable.
However, I did think that the title of the article was misleading which prompted me to write this article.
It’s true, there is still plenty we don’t know about cannabis. However, considering that marijuana use can be traced back 10,000 years ago…there is also a lot we know about the plant.
For starters, we know that it is impossible to have a fatal overdose with cannabis. It doesn’t matter that you smoke a pound of cannabis in one sitting…you won’t die. I don’t think you’d even be able to smoke an ounce in one full sitting, but that’s not the point.
Research – There’s plenty
The fact that the US is sluggish when it comes to cannabis research doesn’t mean that the world sat still. There are over 20,000 published studies on the different compounds and medical properties of those compounds. There are behavioral studies, toxicology studies and even generational studies conducted on the plant.
Humanity has had a long standing relationship with cannabis consumption. We’ve used it for medicine for thousands of years. We’ve used it to gain spiritual insight and we’ve used it in industrial applications.
The author did say that the point of the article was not to debunk the medical properties of cannabis, however he also quoted Dr. Danesh Mazloomdoost which read, “a cluster of more than 100 different cannabinoids cannot be "medicine."”
Medicine is defined as “a compound or preparation used for the treatment or prevention of disease”. The compounds of cannabis are currently being studied extensively and these studies have revealed that cannabinoids provide plenty of biological assistance when it comes to treating certain diseases. While it’s true that simply throwing a bunch of compounds together cannot be constituted as “medicine” under today’s standards…there is still medical value in these compounds.
Preventative Medicine as Opposed to Curative Medicine
Cannabis, when utilized in raw plant form can become an essential component of preventative medicine. The cannabinoids within the plant will help boost the immune system, decrease inflammation, assist with digestion, regulate brain activity and help maintain homeostasis.
Eating healthy, regular exercise and so forth all fall under the category of preventative medicine. Or in other words, medicine that helps you not get sick.
Curative Medicine is really about treating symptoms and not “curing” the disease. Even in the case of something like chemotherapy, you are trying to “eradicate the cancer”, but you’re not treating the “cause of the cancer”.
We know that in vitro, cannabinoids such as THC and CBD is known to induce apoptosis in cancer cells. Consuming cannabis in the hopes of preventing cancerous cells to form in my opinion is still medicine.
Now, I’m not saying “Cannabis cures cancer…” because cancer is not just one thing. Many people do get rid of their cancer by using cannabis, however it’s not the case for everyone. It’s a complicated issue that is still being studied today.
The point of it all…
What we do know about cannabis is that you can’t die from consuming it. There might be certain people who do not react the same to cannabis as others. Just like for some people, eating peanut butter can kill them.
What we do know is that as a recreational substance, cannabis has the safest drug profile than any of the other drugs legally available on the market. What we do know is that cannabis in different forms [raw, flower, oils, extracts, isolates] do provide medical benefit to users. We know that in the 10,000 years of historic use, there has not been a single case of death due to cannabis consumption alone.
One thing that I do recognize from the original article is that smoking marijuana cannot be considered medicine. Smoke is not a very healthy thing. Our organisms weren’t designed to take smoke. While the smoke of cannabis and the smoke of tobacco have many similar qualities, it’s the interaction of the cannabinoids/nicotine in the smoke that creates different results.
Comparing these two substances are simply not viable based on the chemical structure of the smoke itself. Couple this with the fact that our endocannabinoid system pairs with the cannabinoids in a marijuana plant…and now we’re in a totally different ball park.
I appreciate the fact that people aren’t blindly accepting that cannabis is a miracle drug. That would be counter-productive to Cannabinoid based Medicines and we need to be skeptical about claims from all sides of the isles.
I also agree, that we need to allow unbiased scientists and researchers to verify the medical claims of cannabinoids along with its efficacy.
But what we do know about cannabis is enough to have it legal, irrespective of potential things that “might hurt us”. If we were to maintain that “we don’t know therefore we don’t legalize”, then we should get rid of 90% of the things we consume every single day.