Benefits of Medical Marijuana

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Complementary medicine and alternative medicine are two different kinds of treatment that are often intertwined. They both refer to treatments that are not considered conventional treatments or are otherwise considered non-traditional. Complementary medicine refers to using the conventional methods (pills) alongside non-traditional methods like acupuncture, massage therapy. Alternative medicine refers to treatments that are used instead of the traditional methods, they may include herbal therapy, yoga and meditation. We will now take a look at one of these alternative methods of medicine and access whether it is a good form of treatment.

Medical Marijuana

Our bodies have what is called an endocannabinoid system, which creates the chemical compounds of cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors in our brain, immune and nervous systems. When a person becomes ill our bodies stimulate the anandamide and 2-AG cannabinoids, these molecules combine with our receptors and release neurotransmitters (the chemical released by the nerve) to change our appetite, weight, sleep as well as pain intensity.

The THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) components of marijuana closely mimics those found in our bodies and can help to alter those neurotransmitters to improve a person’s appetite, sleep, and tolerance of pain (Marshall Morgan, 2019). This could be why medical marijuana is being considered by many people today. According to the author, in May 2018 more than three million people were already registered for the use of medical marijuana (Marshall Morgan. 2019).

Medical marijuana is marijuana that, rather than being used recreationally, is prescribed for medicinal purposes. It’s mainly used for pain management, but some supporters claim it has a variety of benefits, including reducing the risk of cancer and relieving eye pressure in patients with glaucoma. Medical marijuana has a number of useful advantages, it appears to work even in many cases where conventional painkillers don’t and it can be conveniently included in food. It also has less serious side-effects than many other drugs and medications being used today.

Benefits and Risks

However, there are reasons why medical marijuana use is not without controversy. Many people like Dr. Ed Gogek feel that marijuana is addictive and most people looking for it as treatment “just want to get high” (Healthcare Global, 2015). Even if that’s not the case, they argue, the way that medical marijuana is being implemented is normalizing the drug culture. After all, most is consumed in edible forms that can be sold in medical marijuana dispensaries, and can be easily acquired without a prescription. The scientific evidence of its effectiveness as medicine is also fairly limited.

There are many potential benefits of medical marijuana treatment including the treatment of seizures and epilepsy, pain management resulting from various disorders or diseases (ex. nerve damage, multiple sclerosis) nausea as well as mental illness. When combined with opiates (i.e. Vicodin, oxytocin, morphine etc.) medical marijuana has been know to increase pain relief in patients (Kim Zimmerman, 2017). As with everything else, there are also some potential risks and side effects involving the use of medical marijuana as alternative medicine, these may include the relationship with increasing addictive behaviors and tendencies as well as interference in perception and judgement. Some people also believe that if smoked, marijuana can create other health risks like lung and respiratory problems. Perhaps the most serious and notable side-effect is that habitual use affects memory and concentration, especially in young people.

Barriers to Treatment

There are a few barriers and concerns to completing this type of treatment due to the lack of available testing and studies. Marijuana is also considered a ‘schedule 1 drug’ which lists it as addictive and not therapeutic, so the availability of it to the people who need it medically varies by state and access to treatment varies as well due to individual state laws. Critics of medical marijuana say that its legalization will increase the abuse of the drug, poses medical risks and leads to addiction. However, there has not been enough research to support those theories.

Some medical experts do not prescribe medical marijuana as they are opposed to it. Some of their reasons include the lack of sufficient research for medical marijuana benefits, since commercially available drugs are subject to clinical trials to test the efficacy and safety, effectiveness of medical marijuana testing is limited. They also believe that medical marijuana lacks central regulatory oversight, and this may cause problems for the users since the product may be contaminated with mold and fungus as it is administered to patients. Marijuana growers are likely to fail to follow the regulatory standards and breed the plants in a way that alters the chemical compounds concentration.

I have no personal experience with medical marijuana, but have had clients who swore by its medicinal properties to help alleviate their anxiety and pain. I am interested in using this CAM method of treatment for my chronic pain because it is natural and I’ve already tried many other methods of therapy including cortisone shots, muscle relaxers as well as heat and massage therapy over the past two years. I truly believe that is a good form of treatment and with further research, medical marijuana will emerge as the new extraordinary method of treatment.


There are no one hundred percent guarantees in the field of medicine and much is left to be uncovered about the benefits of this method of treatment. But with supporters like Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who believes that the marijuana plant has medicinal properties and is sometimes the only thing that will aid a patient, he states that it should be considered for use by other medical professionals (Healthcare Global, 2015). In addition to the results being reported by patients, many people are now turning to medical marijuana for relief.


  1. Encyclopedia. (2020, March 22nd).The Debate over Medical Marijuana. Retrieved from https://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/medical-magazines/debate-over-medical-marijuana
  2. Healthcare Global. (2015, June 19th). The case for (and against) medical marijuana: A doctor’s perspective. Retrieved from https://www.healthcareglobal.com/hospitals/case-and-against-medical-marijuana-doctors-perspective
  3. Morgan, M. (2019, May 29th). The main reason people use medical marijuana. Retrieved from https://mmjhealth.com/why-use-medical-marijuana/
  4. Morrow, A. (2020, January 14th). Pros and Cons of Medical Marijuana. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-medical-marijuana-1132484
  5. WebMD Medical Reference. (2019, April, 16th). Complementary vs. Alternative Medicine: What’s the Difference? Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/complementary-vs-alternative-medicine
  6. Zimmerman, A.K. (2017, June 7th). Medical Marijuana: Benefits, Risks & State Laws. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/24554-medical-marijuana.html

Cite this paper

Benefits of Medical Marijuana. (2021, Mar 19). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/benefits-of-medical-marijuana/

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