Cannabis without Prejudice
A look without prejudice about Cannabis because can hurt, but also do well.
The recreational use of hashish and Marijuana is not at all risk-free, but the risks are inferior to those of other forbidden drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, or legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco. The therapeutic use of Cannabis derivatives has many useful applications; on the other hand, prejudices on a subject that is difficult to deal with scientific rigor are very bad.
More than war can a joint. Jon Snow, 67, veteran, described the sensation felt after inhaling Marijuana in front of the This Morning cameras, during an experiment at the United Kingdom Home Office: pure terror, more than in Gaza. The exact opposite, however, of the relief described by Hollywood stuntman Mark Chavvaria, who, suffering from cancer, said he had found concrete benefits from the use of Cannabis: "It helped me - he admitted - with radiotherapy and chemotherapy".
In short, marijuana - steamed, eaten, infused like tea or more classically smoked - is dangerous? Is it good or bad? And above all, to whom?
According to the Gallup research institute, the social perception of the risk associated with Cannabis is changing, at least among the Americans. If, in fact, in 1969 only 12% of the US population declared itself to be in favor of legalization, the percentage grew up to 31% in 2001, and to 58% in 2013. Yet, the researchers of the Potency Monitoring Project explain, the content of THC, the active ingredient, has experienced an increase of about 10 times over the same period of time. An increase in potency - intended as the ability of the molecule to affect the psyche - which makes it difficult to determine the long-term effects of Marijuana.
In the meantime, however, it is better to vaporize it than to smoke it, as recommended by the Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics Journal, to avoid taking other toxic substances and to limit the damages to the respiratory and cardiovascular system. The consequences of the reefer, in fact, would be similar to those of the cigarette, so that, writes Suzanne Steinbaum, director of the Women's Heart Health of the Lennox hospital in New York, the use of Cannabis has been considered as a cause of ischemic attacks but, in a hypothetical ranking, only as a third risk factor, after tobacco and cocaine. Instead, in the European SCORE - Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation - Marijuana consumption has a health weight similar to obesity, high cholesterol, and sedentary lifestyle. So much so that, according to CEIP, the French center dedicated to information on drug dependence, the percentage of death due to cardiovascular problems among cannabis lovers is 25.6%. Significant numbers, but up to a certain point: the causes of a heart attack, for example, are numerous, starting from family history.
However, unlike nicotine, for example, Cannabis can also do well.
Especially for those who are sick and seek relief. Researchers at the American Academy of Neurology, for example, have found that the medical use of Marijuana taken in the form of pills or inhaled as a spray can reduce the stiffness and muscle spasms in those suffering from multiple sclerosis. It would also help to stimulate the appetite among patients affected by HIV or anorexia and would work as a beneficial anti-nausea for people in chemiotherapy.
Marijuana can also be used for glaucoma because it reduces blood pressure in eyeballs. The California law for the medical use of the substance indicates that it an be taken to deal with arthritis, insomnia, the abuse of other substances. Not only. The pain therapy unit of the University of Pisa conducted a research on 500 patients treated with Cannabis: 59% found positive effects on sleep, even in cases where benzodiazepines were suspended - substances, the latter, which involve a high risk of addiction.
In short, there are those who may need Marijuana for therapeutic purposes. They are suffering from multiple sclerosis. But also of epilepsy, neuropathies, rheumatoid arthritis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Crohn's disease, fibromyalgia syndrome, spinal cord injury, psychiatric disorders. All people whose history is about fatigue and struggle - with diseases but also with those people who do not prescribe Cannabis - is told in the dossier of the Associazione Luca Coscioni "Cannabis is good, Cannabis hurts".
In all these cases Marijuana shows its good soul because, as Wired Walter Fratta, a pharmacology professor in Cagliari, explained to us, Cannabis has two souls, but the black one is mainly linked to abuse and not controlled use. The main risk for an occasional adult smoker, explains the professor, is in fact linked to the momentary
perception of space and time. Better not to drive or play sports after smoking - the little coordination is the other effect. In short, like when you drink. In a classic hypothetical related hazard to the toxic potential of a substance, according to many industry specialists, Cannabis is not in the lead: first there would be alcohol, heroin, cocaine taken in the form of crack and nicotine.
However, if the prejudices on the issue are really bad, there are those who should not only limit but completely avoid Marijuana. These are adolescents and pre- adolescents, who, according to scholars, smoking would accumulate non-credits, as is done with school subjects, but discredits, due to the reduction, albeit momentary, of the capacity of learning, of memory and attention, for example. Not least the possibility of making otherwise obvious latent diseases. Drugs, in fact, have the ability to bring out hidden psychosis in a disruptive way. But, the scientist continues, only in those people already predisposed.
Is it okay to ban Cannabis? Not exactly. Better a controlled market, especially for medical reasons.
According to a survey by King's College of London conducted in the southern districts of the city and published in February by Lancet Psychiatry - Proportion of patients in London with the increased potency of Cannabis, the consumption of boosted hashish would increase in the population - tested three times - the risk of living a psychotic experience.
Be careful though. The figure is found in the consumption of skunk, a stronger version of marijuana, in which, therefore, the concentration of THC is higher - up to 15%, while in nature it is equal to about 4%. In traditional Cannabis, the Guardian Amir Englud of King's College explained, the proportion between THC and CBD - cannabidiol, another principle contained in Marijuana - is almost the same, while the second molecule almost disappears in the skunk. This is the entourage effect through which the active ingredients are balanced. The skunk is manipulated to achieve higher THC levels. CBD is too low likely to lead to health problems.
The latest studies and experiences on CBD, the non-psychotropic active ingredient then legal Cannabis, teach us its enormous ability to combat physical and mental tensions in general according to the thousands of people who have had the opportunity to feel the effects starting from the assumption that the CBD to date has no scientific basis but is the subject of serious scientific investigations.
There is a certain fact: Cannabis never killed anyone
It is a risk factor, even very dangerous, in determining circumstances, mainly due to the altered perceptions it causes - according to a 2013 study, for example, it would increase the risk of fatal car accidents by 83%. But, in terms of direct physical effects, it does harm less than alcohol - which, for the US Department of Transportation, increases the possibility of fatal accidents by 575% - and nicotine.
Or better: Marijuana could do less damage in a controlled, safer market where it is easier to prevent cases of abuse.
So then, the medical prescription. Relax, sit down, take a deep breath. And distance yourself from the topic, to treat it scientifically. The only alteration, this time, could be linked to the prejudice. A toxic principle that really does not do well for people and science.