Marijuana has been legalized in some states and countries for medical use due to the therapeutic effect. However, it comes in with both the positive and the negative effects. It’s therefore important for the professionals to weigh the risks versus the benefits in case of planned regular use of medical marijuana
The most common route of administration is majorly inhalation. Various considerations will guide the physician on when it’s safer to start the medication and the probable frequency of administration based on the therapeutic target.
Useful in the management of glaucoma to lower the intraocular pressure. Studies have shown improvement in the use of marijuana in the treatment glaucoma although some other analogs have proven useful.
Used in treating nausea and vomiting especially in patients on chemotherapy.
Managing AIDs associated wasting syndrome as it increases appetite hence weight gain.
Treatment of chronic pain especially in cancer patients who have advanced disease states.
Treatment of inflammatory conditions. Studies show marijuana reduces cytokine production the agent core in inflammation.
Management of multiple sclerosis.
Marijuana used daily lowers epileptic seizures.
On the other hand, there are associated harmful effects of using marijuana, especially when started at a tender age.
Addiction is top on the list. The regular marijuana will cause addiction and hence withdrawal effects will result in an attempt to stop consumption. According to DSM-IV the addiction rate at teenage onset is 1 in 6. In those who smoke daily 25-50% addiction rate is quoted. The withdrawal symptoms (craving, anxiety, dysphoria) make relapse to be high.
Brain development is impaired especially if marijuana is taken by teenagers. Brain damage is high in the ages before 21years because the brain is still developing. This impact is associated with reduced IQ.
The teenage intake of cannabis predisposes to multiple other addictions. The other drugs of abuse can act as a gateway for multiple drug use.
Mental illness is another concern with teenage medical marijuana use. Marijuana use has increased early-onset depression and anxiety. Psychosis has also been listed in prolonged use. Tender age and the genetically vulnerable are at a higher risk.
Risk of cancer and other illnesses. Marijuana has not been directly linked to lung cancer but when used in conjunction with tobacco then there is a risk of lung cancer. Marijuana will lead to lung tissue inflammation and airway irritation leading to chronic inflammatory conditions of the lungs.
Road traffic accidents have been linked with drugs of abuse and marijuana is not left out. This could be due to the hallucinations that present in cannabis use.
Poor school performance and drop out. Impaired brain development could lead to impaired judgment when making decisions on life matters.
It’s therefore important to make a guided judgment when using medical marijuana regularly. You have to weigh if the benefits of use outweigh the risks.