Using Cannabis to Get Healthy, Not High

The use of cannabis in this country is at a crossroads – in terms of public opinion and support. After a decades-long program that framed cannabis as the first step toward certain drug addiction, the public has gradually become more aware of the benefits of medical cannabis, and to a great degree now supports its use for health reasons.

There are currently sixteen state legislatures which have passed bills allowing the use of cannabis within specified guidelines for medicinal purposes, and public support for this medicinal usage is at an all-time high of 80%. But it certainly wasn't always this way.

Brief History of Cannabis Politics

For nearly two decades in the 1920's and 30's, newspapers under the control of William Randolph Hearst inundated Americans with "news" stories about African Americans and Mexicans who had been lured into enslavement through the "devil weed" of cannabis. Hearst's reasons for doing so stemmed not from any concern about the health or potential addiction of Americans, but because the hemp fibers from cannabis represented an annually renewable source of newsprint, as opposed to the vast forests of Hearst's own trees used for the same purpose.

The power of the printed word prevailed, and cannabis was ruled illegal for all purposes in 1937 by the federal government. Since that time, and up to the 1990's, countless political activist groups and campaigns have decried the use of marijuana as a step on the road to serious drug use and even worse. Then in the mid-1990's, the tide of public opinion began to shift as some of the medicinal properties of cannabis became better understood.

Medical Benefits of Cannabis

There are actually a great many benefits stemming from the medicinal use of cannabis, and practically all of these benefits provide similar wellness improvements to their rival counterparts in the pharmaceutical industry, although without the catalog of listed side effects attendant upon the pharmaceuticals. For instance, cannabis has the effect of combating stress and anxiety, inducing a calmer, more relaxed state in the user.

Medical clients suffering from loss of appetite often have cannabis prescribed because it stimulates the appetite and assists in digestion. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy generally experience a loss of appetite, and cannabis is a frequent antidote to the problem.

Since it is also a stimulant for the libido, cannabis can be used to increase sexual interest, although unlike the pharmaceutical counterpart, it works equally well on men and women. Cannabis is also well known for its ability to induce a deep, restful sleep, and all doctors will confirm that such restorative sleep is the body's best way to mend itself and move toward better health.

There are also some lesser known properties of cannabis that have no corresponding pharmaceutical remedy, and which enhance its credentials even more significantly in the medical community. Medical cannabis has been shown to:

The medicinal resume of cannabis cannot reasonably be refuted, and this is a big part of the reason for its growing acceptance as a health restorative. As promoters of its medicinal properties publicize these benefits more widely, it seems likely that medical use will finally gain wider acceptance in this country.

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