Unsaid: The Use of Medical Marijuana


For many decades, marijuana has been stigmatized as a potentially dangerous street drug used only for pleasure. The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies marijuana as a Category 1 drug (MacCarald, 2019). On the one hand, modern medical research has proven the effectiveness of marijuana in alleviating the pain of patients with cancer, anxiety, and epilepsy (MacCarald, 2019). Marijuana has more medical benefits than over-the-counter drugs prescribed for cancer patients (MacCarald, 2019). Legalizing marijuana will allow patients suffering from certain medical conditions to have a more natural alternative to highly addictive over-the-counter drugs. On the other hand, a number of people point to the adverse effects of marijuana, which are not yet fully understood. Cannabis abuse can lead to psychological addiction, brain damage, intoxication, throat and lung cancer, and other negative consequences (MacCarald, 2019). More research on medical marijuana is needed to define dosages better and weigh the pros and cons of marijuana use. However, many scientific studies have shown significant improvement in patients that used medical marijuana and have recommended its use for patients with cancer, anxiety, and epilepsy.


The use of marijuana for medical purposes has been a controversial topic for many years. However, it has recently been increasingly used in cancer therapy as a pain reliever. THC helps modulate mood, helps with memory and appetite, acts as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, and improves mood (Birdsall et al., 2016). Medical marijuana is a more natural and less addictive alternative for medical purposes. However, few people know that the use of marijuana leads to the death of some types of cancer cells without negatively affecting healthy cells (MacCarald, 2019). Marijuana is made up of 100 or more known chemicals – and cannabinoids; each affects the human body. There are compounds that act on cancer cells, and there are those that perform protective functions for healthy cells. CBD has anxiolytic, antipsychotic as well as anticonvulsant effects (MacCarald, 2019). Some patients have noticed a significant difference after taking cannabis, which relieves nausea and anxiety and stimulates appetite.


The legalization of marijuana will also help patients suffering from epileptic seizures. There is a system in the brain known as the endocannabinoid responsible for protecting against seizure activity (Kolikonda et al., 2016). There are two types of Lennox-Gastaut epilepsy and Dravet syndrome. According to studies, Dravet syndrome decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 with cannabinol; on the other hand, there was no decrease in patients with placebo and remains at 14.9 (Devinsky et al., 2017). Cb2 The primary function of receptors in our immune system, they affect inflammation and immunosuppression when activated. There was an incident known as Charlotte’s web, medical marijuana containing minimal THC. A man who used Charlotte’s web medical marijuana suffered from intractable Dravet syndrome. Her parents reported that medical marijuana relieved her seizures (Devinsky et al., 2017). This led to the popularity of medical marijuana. People with Dravet-Lennox-Gastaut syndrome have seen a reduction in seizure frequency due to medical marijuana (Devinsky et al., 2017). According to the Epilepsy Foundation, those who took CBD showed a difference in the number of seizures (Devinsky et al., 2017). Marijuana stops seizure activity regulates the levels of anxiety, and has a beneficial effect on the psychological and physiological state of patients with epilepsy.


Marijuana helps patients to be more relaxed, which is why it is often used to reduce anxiety and fear. Studies have shown that 47% of patients with anxiety and depression report relief from their symptoms (Gold, 2020). Many people use cannabis for self-treatment of mental disorders, so many uses of marijuana for treating anxiety are not documented, described, or studied (Teitelbaum, 2019). People who have been prescribed cannabis for anxiety have found that cannabis is a safe and effective treatment for their anxiety symptoms (Teitelbaum, 2019). Those patients who suffer from anxiety can significantly benefit from the legalization of marijuana. However, there is some evidence that indicates that long-term and persistent marijuana use may actually increase anxiety (Gold, 2020). This topic requires more detailed study, as longitudinal studies are needed to reveal how cannabis affects the human brain with long-term use.


For many decades, the topic of discussing and studying the properties of marijuana was taboo by a society that perceived cannabis only as a recreational drug. Recent studies show that marijuana is underestimated and can be widely used for medical purposes. Scientists have been able to discover the beneficial properties of cannabis in fighting cancer cells and reducing pain symptoms (MacCarald, 2019). Marijuana is now being used to relieve symptoms of epilepsy and reduce anxiety showing benefits for many patients who cannot tolerate synthetic medication. Moreover, medical marijuana works better than many prescription drugs and has fewer side effects than synthetic drugs. Cannabinoids have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. Similar to any drug or medicine, marijuana has side effects that should not be demonized but should be studied for more accurate dosages. Thus, marijuana can help many patients in their treatment and symptom relief; therefore, its legalization should be considered by the authorities.


Birdsall, S. M., Birdsall, T. C., & Tims, L. A. (2016). The use of medical marijuana in cancer. Current Oncology Reports, 18(7), 1.

Devinsky, O., Cross, H., Laux. L., Marsh, E. M., Miller, I., Nabbout, R., Schefer, I. E., Thiele, E. A., & Wright, S. (2017). Trial of cannabidiol for drug-resistant seizures in the Dravet Syndrome: Nejm. New England Journal of Medicine.

Gold, M. (2020). Medicinal marijuana, stress, anxiety, and depression: primum non nocere. Missouri Medicine, 117(5), 406.

Kolikonda, M. K., Srinivasan, K., Enja, M., Sagi, V., & Lippmann, S. (2016). Medical marijuana for epilepsy? Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, 13(34), 23-26.

MacCarald, C. (2019). Marijuana. The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.

Teitelbaum, J. (2019). A Hemp oil, CBD, and Marijuana Primer: Powerful Pain, Insomnia, and Anxiety-relieving Tools! Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine, 25, 21- 23.

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