Marijuana is a drug. Good or bad? Part 2

Physical dependence, which when developed is always gradually occurs depending on dose and time used. One approach to suspect that physiological dependence would be when after cessation of chronic drug use obvious withdrawal symptoms, symptoms that are controlled to restart their consumption, or taking a similar drug with which share properties are presented, which It is called “cross-tolerance”.

Marijuana use in adolescents at high doses and for prolonged periods causes damage to the intellectual functions that should not be underestimated. When the nervous system is still maturing, the risks of generating persistent deficiencies are mayores.

For the above it must be assumed that marijuana is a drug. It is not safe. It is classified at Level I, which means it has a potential for abuse, and that even when their use for medical purposes is not universally accepted (because the information available about their efficacy and safety is not sufficient), there is no doubt that it has a growing interest in the scientific community for its apparent potential to treat various diseases.

Indeed, interest in the potential therapeutic properties of marijuana was revived in the early nineties of last century, when the existence of specific sites was confirmed in the membrane of nerve cells, which are capable of binding to the active components drug and are known as receptors. This fundamental finding was followed by the identification of substances similar to cannabis (known as cannabinoids) but that are produced by the brain naturally. It therefore is endogenous ligands, which bind to these specific sites in the cell membrane; i.e. the same receptors that are activated drug metabolites bind.

We now know that all mammals, including humans, have a system that manufactures, releases and destroys its own cannabinoids. These are defined as endogenous, to distinguish them from those produced by cannabis, in any case, they are exogenous. It is also known that in the body system (the cannabinoid system) has important regulatory tasks such as learning, memory, pain, sleep-wake cycle, etc., and is also actively involved in the development and maturation of the central nervous system, in such a way that marijuana produces it’s because activates or inhibits normal physiological processes effects, as do other drugs that are regularly used in the clinic.

This explains the interest aroused by the knowledge of potential medicinal properties of cannabis sativa. So much so that a number of rigorous clinical studies, supported by the scientific method, suggest that cannabis may have therapeutic properties.

According to popular knowledge, marijuana is “good” to treat various symptoms: pain, anxiety, vomiting, convulsions, loss of appetite, insomnia, obesity and shortness of breath, among others. Meanwhile, scientifically controlled clinical studies show that cannabis products may have a beneficial effect on:

1) patients with chronic pain who do not respond to conventional treatments (such as diabetic neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.);

2) patients with nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and unresponsive to conventional treatments;

3) patients with multiple sclerosis in whom we have seen improvement in spasticity and reduction in pain;

4) patients with certain movement disorders (such as Tourette’s syndrome);

5) terminally ill patients, in which case “relieve” pain and “decreases” suffering. In medicine the term “terminal disease” implies that it cannot be cured and that, therefore, the patient’s death is expected in a relatively short time (may be weeks or months).