PA Cannabis

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What is Medical Marijuana?

Medical Marijuana may turn out to be one of the greatest miracles that Mother Nature has given to us to fight the human vulnerability to disease. As such, Medical Marijuana may give many of us more years to be creative in our work, to be with our grandchildren, to travel the world and to simply luxuriate in the glories of life. The uses of this natural substance and several of its components is emerging as a substantial weapon in the fight against many cruel diseases, including the ravages of Cancer.

Cannabis, also known as Marijuana, is a plant from Central Asia that is grown in many parts of the world today. The Cannabis plant produces a resin containing compounds called Cannabinoids. The definition of “Medical Marijuana” is not easy to provide. It can be said that Medical Marijuana refers to the use of cannabis and its Cannabinoids to treat disease or improve symptoms. The two medically important Cannabinoids that are of medical interest are THC and Cannabidiol, called CBD. The CBD substances do not produce the high of the THC substances, so that CBD remedies may prove helpful to perfect certain drugs without side effects.

Nature has endowed the Marijuana plant with over 400 different chemicals, with only about 70 of those being classified as Cannabinoids. The term "Medical Cannabis" therefore refers to a broad umbrella of substances, many of which are gaining credibility as relievers of symptoms or as curative remedies to many different diseases and syndromes. But the realm of medical discovery regarding this plant is still young, and many medical therapies are on the way.

Medical Cannabis is administered in a variety of ways, including vaporizing, liquid tinctures, smoking dried buds, eating Cannabis edibles, taking capsules, lozenges, pills, dermal patches or oral/dermal sprays. Medical marijuana is legal in many countries, including in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Uruguay, Portugal and Spain.

Interestingly, most medications contain only one or two chemicals. The number of active chemicals in Cannabis is one reason why the future of Cannabis research may turn out to give us hundreds of different remedies and aids in combating a wide range of symptoms and diseases. The research to date has been stymied by anti-democratic federal legislation that labels marijuana in the same category with cocaine, heroin and other deadly chemicals. That classification has been stubbornly retained by the federal government despite the massive influx of criticism to the effect that the federal rules about marijuana are way out of line with reality.

As researchers dig deeper, new uses for medical marijuana emerge on a regular basis. However, even the common sense task of medical research has been thwarted by the insidious classification of marijuana by the feds. Such classification prevents federal research resources to join the search for truth and to find relief from pernicious diseases more quickly. The good news is that the truth always emerges in a democratic society. For example, the National Cancer Institute, an arm of the federal government, has updated its public analysis of medical marijuana, with the following dramatic prospects for hope, in a May 2015 report, as follows:

    • “Studies in mice and rats have shown that Cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow. Laboratory and animal studies have shown that Cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells.”

    • “A study in mice showed that Cannabinoids may protect against inflammation of thecolon and may have potential in reducing the risk of colon cancer, and possibly in its treatment.”

    • “A laboratory study of delta-9-THC in Hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) cells showed that it damaged or killed the cancer cells. The same study of delta-9-THC in mouse models of liver cancer showed that it had antitumor effects. Delta-9-THC has been shown to cause these effects by acting on molecules that may also be found in non-small cell lung cancer cells and breast cancer cells.”

    • “A laboratory study of Cannabidiol (CBD) in estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells showed that it caused cancer cell death while having little effect on normal breast cells. Studies in mouse models of metastatic breast cancer showed that Cannabinoids may lessen the growth, number, and spread of tumors.”

    • “A laboratory study of Cannabidiol (CBD) in human Glioma cells showed that when given along with chemotherapy, CBD may make chemotherapy more effective and increase cancer cell death without harming normal cells. Studies in mouse models of cancer showed that CBD together with delta-9-THC may make chemotherapy such as Temozolomide more effective.”


But that dramatic report by the National Cancer Institute is just one of hundreds of research facts emerging after so many years of an unjustified federal blackout. Much more is on the way. For starters, most people don’t even know that there are already two FDA-approved drugs, Dronabinol and Nabilone, each of which contains THC. They treat nausea caused by chemotherapy and increase appetite in patients with extreme weight loss caused by AIDS. They are available by prescription.

PA State Senator Daylin Leach Announces Victory for Medical Marijuana

Further research is the key to finding all of the ways in which this miracle plant can be tapped to help the human race. Right now, this “gift from nature” has proved itself helpful and is being administered, in varying degrees, in medical marijuana jurisdictions, to treat the symptoms and pain associated with the following conditions and/or for the following general uses:

  • Multiple Sclerosis, especially to control spasticity and neuropathic pain;

  • Various forms of epilepsy including childhood epilepsy;

  • Nausea and vomiting;

  • Crohn’s Disease;

  • Parkinson’s Disease;


  • Chronic neurological pain and nerve pain relief of all sorts, including fibromyalgia, neuropathy, muscle spasms, and rheumatoid arthritis;

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder;

  • Overactive bladder;

  • Headache and migraines;

  • Anti-inflammatory and sedative;

  • Used to control chemotherapy side effects, such as pain, numbness, nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, swelling and tingling;

  • Appetite stimulant and digestive diseases;

  • Sleep apnea, nightmares and sleep problems;

  • Antiviral activity;

  • Tourette’s Syndrome;

  • Autism, and many more that are being researched!

We get back then to the original question: what is Medical Marijuana? It is a rare discovery, something we prefer to call a gift that lets us discover new truths to advance the condition of the human race. It comes from, and goes beyond, man’s normally limited platform of comprehension. It reminds again that a greater power exists behind all the charades of human suffering. It tells us that there is in fact hope. It says that nature will support us if we will let down our guard and simply apply the gifts that are being revealed. It beckons us to shed off man’s greatest curses: conflict, doubt, suffering, fear and disease.

Medical Marijuana has been used for 3000 years by wise men and women in all of the great ancient cultures. History stifled its growth through war, darkness and the plagues of ignorance. But nature does not die no matter how much we try to wrap it in a cloak of nonexistence. Medical Marijuana is part of the human legacy: it is here, along with other magnificent discoveries of the 21st Century, to show man new ways of surviving, learning, treating and enjoying life on levels of physical and mental health never before imagined being within our grasp.