Marijuana Cannabis also known as hemp, hasish, grass, reefer, weed or pot is a complex substance containing over 60 different forms of cannabinoids, the active ingredients. Marijuana is used as a drug to treat pain for a number of diseases including cancer and HIV. It has been used to prevent medication side effects and to increase appetite for chemotherapy patients.
With the increased availability of medical marijuana in some areas, pets are encountering more exposure to marijuana and its active chemical ingredient i.e. tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is toxic to your pets and the vast majority of pet exposure occurs in dogs. The most common route of marijuana exposure to pets is oral. Some animals love to ingest raw medical marijuana plant leaves, seeds, and even joints. They can also get exposed to second-hand marijuana smoke.
THC is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and its signs become clear quickly. Research suggests that about 30 percent of animals exposed to THC usually develop gastrointestinal symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea. The other symptoms are most commonly the same sort you might observe in humans that include lethargy, depression, slow heart rate, in-coordination, and sometime urinary incontinence. Since THC is lipid soluble, pets may exhibit mild to moderate symptoms for days. Veterinarian can prescribe urine test to diagnose the marijuana intoxication. Death from medical marijuana intoxication is rare but can occur. So, you have to be very careful and need medical attention immediately. Depending on the timing of ingestion, your veterinarian will likely give a medication to induce vomiting to control further spread of THC. In case of severe intoxication, your pet may need hospitalization and supportive care including an intravenous catheter, IV fluids, heart rate, and blood pressure monitoring or breathing support. However, with mild to moderate exposure to marijuana cannabis and timely medical treatment, most pets can recover completely. It is advisable to keep your medical marijuana out of your pets’ reach. Do not leave leftovers in an open waste bin or in a compost bin that your pet may sneak into for a snack.
There is a constant increase of marijuana misuse among teenagers and college students. An ESPN article details the widespread use of cannabis or medical marijuana among the Oregon’s football team and how it has gathered negative publicity for the team as of now. It is also partly because Oregon is already involved in an NCAA investigation. Two of Oregon’s players, Jeremiah Masoli and Cliff Harris were kicked off the team in successive years because of arrests related to marijuana or cannabis involvement. Most of the players agreed that 40% to 60 % of the team used medical marijuana or cannabis.
The main reason behind the overuse or misuse of medical marijuana in the state, and more specifically Eugene is that it is the most marijuana friendly state in the US as per the marijuana state laws. Per the marijuana laws in the state, liberal use of marijuana is allowed. It was noted that among the players, marijuana was a more preferred substance than alcohol as there is no hangover effect and doesn’t have any ill effect on the performance of the players the next day.
Oregon defended itself and the state marijuana laws by stating “Student athletes at the University of Oregon are tested for illegal substances to the extent possible under existing Oregon state law, which prohibits random testing.” Oregon athletics director Rob Mullens said in a statement, “We continue to work diligently to educate our student-athletes on the harmful impact of illegal substances. In addition, we have articulated our illegal substances policy to our student-athletes and have clearly defined sanctions for a positive test.”
However use of medical marijuana cannabis among football players is not restricted only to Oregon. Recently three LSU players were suspended for a game for testing positive for use of synthetic marijuana. Also two Georgia players were suspended for using cannabis. In an interview with ESPN, Alabama coach advises the football players and says, “If marijuana infiltrates your program, then everyone is going to do it and you’ve got a huge problem. If you don’t test and do it right, that’s what’s going to happen — because it’s everywhere on college campuses.”
Where traditional chronic pain medications fail, medical marijuana comes to relief for patients suffering from chronic pain syndrome. Medical marijuana as a chronic pain management tool can relieve patients from pain and improve their quality of life with any serious side effects associated with some pain relievers. Cannabinoids have well-documented analgesic properties that make medical marijuana an effective medicine to treat many cases of chronic pain syndrome. In scientific studies, most medical marijuana patients experience pain relief.
According to various marijuana magazines, pain relief is the primary benefit of medical marijuana. American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Public Health Association, the American Nurses Association, and even The New England Journal of Medicine ratify the use of medical marijuana for treatment of severe chronic pain related ailments. It has also been scientifically proven that 70-80% of patients experience pain relief when marijuana is used as a medicine for relieving pain. Traditionally opioid is used for a long term for pain relief. However these drugs have many side effects including hallucination, seizures, difficulty urinating, and a rapid or irregular heartbeat in the short and long term. They can also be difficult for many people with chronic pain to obtain in sufficient quantities to provide adequate chronic pain management. On the other hand, Medical marijuana produces dose-related analgesia peaking at around 5 hours, comparable to but out-lasting that of codeine.” Side effects are minimal and dose-related, including slurred speech, sedation and mental clouding, blurred vision, dizziness and ataxia. Marijuana as a medicine or cannabis is most effective in treating various forms of nerve pains or neuropathic pain.
If you are planning to use marijuana as medicine for pain, you need to first find out about the medical marijuana laws and consult a medical marijuana doctor about obtaining any license or recommendations needed in order to use cannabis legally for your chronic pain. Once you’ve obtained a recommendation, you’ll need to find a medical marijuana caregiver and/or a medical marijuana distributor to help you obtain your medicine. Depending upon your type and severity of chronic pain, you may need to make several adjustments to your dosage, with the guidance of your doctor, in order to obtain effective chronic pain treatment with medical marijuana with minimal side effects.
Medical cannabis or medical marijuana is used as a form of herbal therapy and refers to synthetic forms of specific cannabinoids such as a THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. Use of marijuana for medical purpose has a long history of over 4,500 years. Marijuana allows the body a respite from any kind of tensions by normalizing blood pressure and sleeping disorder. According to patient case studies and scientific research, medical marijuana can be helpful in a variety of health problems.
A large-scale national study shows that low to moderate use of marijuana is less harmful for the lungs than exposure to tobacco. Even though, the two substances contain many of the same components, marijuana smokers has performed better on different tests of lung function compared to cigarette smokers. Marijuana Cannabis smoking, at moderate levels, does not harm lungs but actually improves airflow rates and lungs capacity. Interestingly, several studies have revealed that although smoking cigarettes reduce lungs volume, smoking marijuana has the opposite effect. Occasional use of marijuana is associated with increase in lungs air flow rates and lungs capacity.
Tobacco contains chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Breathing even a little tobacco smoke can be harmful for you. Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, around 250 are known to be harmful for your health specially lungs. Smoking cigarette harms nearly every organ of the body unlike smoking marijuana cannabis. It has found that around 3,000 lung cancer deaths occur each year among adult nonsmokers in the United States as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.
Several studies have revealed that smoking cigarettes can cause significant lungs damage, including respiratory symptoms, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer. On the other hand, marijuana researchers have found that use of medical marijuana can control pain, stimulate appetite, and manage other chronic symptoms too. Studies conducted by pulmonologists have found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana cannabis smoke can encourage programmed cell death, causing cells to die off before they have a chance to undergo malignant transformation.
Researchers at Harvard University found that THC can reduce tumor growth in lungs by up to 50% as well as significantly reduce the ability of cancer cells to spread. Smoking marijuana cannabis does not increase the risk of lung cancer or head-and-neck malignancies even for the people who use it on a regular basis. However, the study specify that the more tobacco a person smoked, the greater the risk of developing lung cancer. Medical marijuana is a proven and valuable therapy and can be used to treat host of diseases, conditions, and ailments.