John A. Boehner, the speaker of the house from 2011 to 2015, just reversed his long-standing opposition to marijuana. He states “the time has come for serious consideration of a shift in federal marijuana policy.” He recently joined the board of Acreage Holdings, a commercial marijuana grower that operates in 11 states.
Medical Marijuana is legal in 29 states and Washington DC. Recreational marijuana is legal in 9 states and Washington DC:
Clearly, it is time to rethink marijuana and address the pros and cons of its use…
BENEFITS OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA
There is no question that there are benefits to the use of medical marijuana. A recent survey conducted by Care by Design, a California-based medical marijuana company, looked at 621 medical marijuana patients over a 30 day period. The results were as follows:
- 88.2% of patients reported that cannabis improved their overall sense of well-being.
- 72.6% of patients reported a decrease in pain levels.
- 100% of patients with headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and spinal cord injuries reported a decrease in pain.
- 64.2% of all patients reported an improvement in mood.
- 100% of patients with PTSD and spinal cord injuries reported an improvement in mood.
- Patients with fibromyalgia, migraines, PTSD and anxiety reported the greatest improvement in general well-being as compared to other patient groups.
Other uses of medical marijuana include treatment of cancer (a Godsend for some that increases appetite and reduces pain), epilepsy and Alzheimer’s. Some researchers recommend it to treat glaucoma, although the American Academy of Ophthalmology reminds the public that it does not recommend any form of cannabis for this use.
According to Gregory Carter, MD from the University of Washington Medical Center, “Research further documents the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis for chronic pain. Cannabis has no known lethal dose, minimal drug interactions, is easily dosed via orally ingestion, vaporization, or topical absorption, thereby avoiding the potential risks of smoking completely…”.
Please try to think of the last time you saw someone rubbing cannabis oil on their body… it probably hardly ever happens…
However, approximately 80% of prescription opioids pain-killer use takes place solely in the United States. Over 100 people die daily from opioid overdoses as compared to no direct overdose deaths from marijuana.
If you are a long-term reader of mine, you know that opioid painkillers actually increase pain with long-term use. See the article here.
Marijuana could possibly be a safer alternative to prescription drugs for the pain and discomfort associated with a myriad of health issues.
MARIJUANA: THE CONS…
It’s trendy nowadays to say that smoking marijuana isn’t worse than drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco – or even much better.
That’s exactly how politically correct lobbyists got the drug legalized in states like Colorado and Washington.
The problem is… it’s just not true. Marijuana isn’t as safe as alcohol or smoking, as we’ll soon see…
Time and time again, research has shown that light to moderate drinking benefits your health. In fact, the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption are the most consistent findings in all research on diet and health over the past 50 years. We know that it prevents heart disease and even protects against dementia.
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute found that men and women who smoked less than a half pack of cigarettes per day did not suffer from more health problems than nonsmokers. There was no increase in heart disease… or cancer… or even lung cancer. The ONLY difference found was that light smokers maintained a much healthier body weight than their peers.
Believe it or not, pipe smokers and cigar smokers overall were HEALTHIER than nonsmokers! Private life insurance companies even offer significant discounts to light to moderate cigar smokers… because they know that nicotine in moderation has beneficial effects. It actually prevents heart attacks by growing branches of new blood vessels around occluded coronary arteries… the same thing that heart bypass surgery accomplishes!
Plus, smoking and drinking in moderation is relaxing. Remember that stress is the #1 killer in this country.
Now, the marijuana advocates say that smoking weed reduces stress… but from a purely medical and physiologic standpoint – they couldn’t be more wrong.
You may think you’re relaxed while smoking a joint, but it’s literally a mind game. Your heart is actually racing. The fact is, marijuana INCREASES heart rate and blood pressure… which is disastrous for your health. Keeping your blood pressure at normal levels is the single most important step you can take to protect your heart from cardiovascular diseases.
Marijuana has profound effects on the brain. Some marijuana smokers experience feelings of happiness or peace while they’re “high.” But others actually experience strong negative emotions… including anxiety and sadness. Experts believe this happens because marijuana interacts with certain chemicals in the brain, including the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Plus, research repeatedly shows that smoking marijuana is very bad for anyone with a mental disorder… it can worsen psychiatric disorders… or bring them on earlier in life. Northwestern researchers found that teenagers who smoke marijuana had abnormal changes in their brain. Their brains actually changed shape, collapsed inward and shrunk. They performed poorly on memory tests. Worse yet, these brain changes remained YEARS after the teenagers stopped smoking marijuana. So the change is profound – and permanent!
MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION: DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN…
The recent mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., has called attention to what I and many others feel is a factor that should be foremost in the debate: the effects of drugs on violent behavior. Prescription drugs are one of the major causes of violent behavior… but of even greater concern is the legalization of marijuana.
Nine states have legalized marijuana for recreational use despite overwhelming evidence that regular use can stimulate psychotic behavior in a large number of users. As mentioned above, in some users, the damage can be severe and permanent.
Studies have shown that 20% to 50% of users report symptoms of depersonalization, derealization, paranoia, disorganized thinking, persecutory delusions, grandiose delusions, auditory or visual hallucinations, impaired memory, impaired attention, aggressive behavior, apathy, and social withdrawal
A study of 18 – 20 year olds in Sweden who were followed for 15 years showed a six-fold increase in schizophrenia. The users had smoked only 50 times or less during the whole study.
Similarly, a New Zealand study of 1,037 people who started using marijuana between the ages of 15 and 18 showed a 300% increase in schizophrenia by age 26.
Studies reported on Naturalnews.com have revealed that virtually all of the mass school shooting perpetrators have been users of antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications and/or marijuana.
How about marijuana’s effect on the lungs? Most people think that it’s as bad as smoking tobacco… but is that right?
Just like smoking tobacco, smoking marijuana can cause bronchitis, chronic coughs and respiratory tract inflammation. But when it comes to cancer – the data on marijuana is much worse. In fact, a recent study found that cannabis smoke has 20 times more carcinogens than tobacco. So, you’d have to smoke a full pack of cigarettes (20 ) to get the cancer effect of one “joint.”
Other issues are springing up with marijuana use as the data rolls in:
- The number of traffic fatalities involving marijuana more than DOUBLED between the years of 2004 and 2011 in Colorado after legalization of recreational use. The number of vehicular deaths involving marijuana now exceeds those caused by alcohol intoxication. And marijuana is the #1 drug used by people who still go ahead and get behind the wheel, hands down.
- A new study looked at young adults who were current users… users who smoked 100 times or more in the past… and those that never used. They found that young people who smoked more than 100 times were 40% more likely to develop pre-diabetes compared to non-users. Of course, pre-diabetes is not the same as full blown Type II diabetes. But everyone understands that pre-diabetes in mid-life is a big predictor of full-blown diabetes in later life.
- Furthermore, research shows marijuana users are more likely to use other illicit drugs… which can cause serious heart problems. For example, heavy marijuana users reported using other illicit drugs more than 10 times. Thirty four percent reported using crack cocaine more than 10 times. Forty percent reported using other forms of cocaine more than 10 times. Thirty percent reported using amphetamines (speed) and six percent reported using heroin.
- The term “medical marijuana” is really a misnomer. It implies that physicians “prescribe” it according to the medical standard of care. But… there is no standard dosage of cannabis… nor standard forms, potencies, schedules and duration of “treatment” – as with any prescription drug. Plus… variations in sources, concentrations, packing and size of rolled leaves make it impossible to know how much THC (the active ingredient) the patient gets with each dose. This is creating legal headaches for physicians. Legally, if a person intoxicated by “medical marijuana” harms or kills another person, they can be sued. And… the injured party will almost certainly win. In addition – the prescribing physician can be sued for malpractice.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA VERSUS HOLISTIC MEDICINE
Holistic medical treatment of chronic pain is “boring” as compared to opioid painkillers or marijuana. There are no “highs”… no euphoria… no perceived stress relief… no “munchie” effect. Just a slow and steady progression from hurting to feeling good again.
While it is true that pain pills and marijuana offer nearly instantaneous relief of chronic pain, it comes at a high price. The side effects of painkillers cause 100+ deaths daily in the US. And, we’ve seen above, marijuana can cause permanent damage to the brain… to memory… to personality… and possibly lead to other drug use.
Long-time readers of mine will remember that inflammation is one of the primary causes of chronic pain. Opioids and cannabis do little to nothing to reduce inflammation… they merely treat the symptoms of pain.
Holistic medicine uses herbs, vitamins and minerals… sometimes along with hormones… to treat inflammation. This has a lasting and permanent effect on pain control with very few side effects.
It is true that Holistic Medicine treatments take some time to “kick-in”… possibly up to 3 weeks to get noticable relief. However, this protocol is safe enough to be used daily for years – even for the rest of your life.
So the choice is yours… pain pills… marijuana… or Holistic Medicine.
If you would like more information on a wide array of pain treatment topics that use Holistic Medicine to treat chronic pain, please visit our blog.
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PPS: Please pass this article to fellow chronic pain sufferers. We all need to help each other out to break through this pain epidemic. Thanks much 🙂