Article by Sherry Gray, The Huffington Post
Marijuana is packed with medicinal uses we can’t legally exploit here in the United States, but why? Are we still stuck in the Reefer Madness of the 30s? Or is the idea of a pain-curing plant you can grow in your backyard too great a threat to the powerful pharmaceutical industry?
Marijuana is not a gateway drug. The science is overwhelming. While some users do go on to use other drugs, most do not. No significant connection can be made.
The Medicine and the Science
The human body has a vast system of of cannabinoid receptorsembedded in cell membranes. When stimulated, cannabinoid receptors respond with a variety of physiologic processes.
Cannabinoid receptors are stimulated by -wait for it- cannabinoids. The two cannabinoids that have been studied most are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabidiol (CBD).
The medicinal properties of marijuana are well documented. Theearliest pharmacopeia documentation shows that marijuana was cultivated for medical purposes in 2,700 B.C. to treat rheumatic pain, intestinal constipation, disorders of the female reproductive system, malaria, and other health issues.