The current classification for cannabis compares to that of hard drugs such as heroin, but why does it sit at such an extreme when it has so many positive medicinal uses?
Congress first forced federal prohibitions outlawing the therapeutic and recreational use of cannabis with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. Then, the plant’s organic compounds (cannabinoids) were classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
These classifications force authorities to treat marijuana in the same way they treat heroin and declares that cannabis maintains “a high potential for abuse … no currently accepted medical use … [and] a lack of accepted safety for the use of the drug … under medical supervision.”
In contrast, methamphetamine and cocaine, which are illegal, can be consumed with a doctor authorization classified as Schedule II drugs. Drugs that are Schedule III and IV include anabolic steroids and Valium. Analgesics that contain codeine are defined by law as Schedule V drugs, the most lenient classification.
In Support of Therapeutic Use
Federal lawmakers proceed to use the dated drug classification as a way to criminalize marijuana. However, limited scientific basis supports the categorization of the plant. As its prohibition has passed 75 years, scientists keep studying the therapeutic properties of cannabis.
There are over 20,000 published reviews and studies in the scientific literature about cannabinoids, and also the cannabis plant, almost one-third of these have been issued in the last four years. A keyword exploration on PubMed Central (the US government library of peer-reviewed scientific research) shows 2,100 studies alone since 2011.
Today we are trying to understand what our ancestors already knew, while public opinion and relaxed state legislation make way for more people to use medicinal marijuana for various medical conditions. Presently, marijuana for medical purposes is legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia.
Joycelyn Elders, MD, former US Surgeon General, addressed the following in a Mar. 26, 2004 article titled “Myths About Medical Marijuana,” issued in the Providence Journal:
“The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS — or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day.”
The National Director of the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC), Ray Cavanaugh, Ph.D., stated in a 2002 article titled “The Plight of the Chronically Ill,” posted on the AAMC website:
“Many of the chronically ill have successfully sought relief with the use of medical cannabis, an age-old remedy that now shows real scientific efficacy. Hundreds of thousands of the sick have replaced disabling narcotics and other psychotropic medications with nontoxic and benign cannabis. The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. Folks with spinal injuries able to give up their walkers, AIDS patients able to gain weight and keep their medications down, cancer patients finding relief from the terrible nausea of chemotherapy, chronic pain patients once again functional with their consciousness restored from narcotic lethargy, and folks once disabled from crippling psychiatric disorders and addictions, returned to sanity and society with the assistance of a nontoxic herb with remarkable healing powers.”
In its Mar. 19, 2004 Position Statement: Providing Patients Safe Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis, The American Nurses Association (ANA) stated:
“The American Nurses Association (ANA) recognizes that patients should have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis. Cannabis or marijuana has been used medicinally for centuries. It has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of symptoms and conditions.”
Experts continue to analyze the effectiveness of cannabinoids all over the world. In Germany, there has been over 37 controlled research conducted, with more than 2,500 subjects, about the efficacy and safety of marijuana, since 2005. In contrast, most FDA-approved drugs go through far fewer trials with fewer subjects but are approved for use.
The research on cannabis has moved from studying its ability to relieve symptoms of diseases such as nausea linked to chemotherapy to its potential role in modifying disease. Medical marijuana has been proved to slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and moderate autoimmune disorders including inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Cannabis and Coconut Oil
Medical cannabis capsules with coconut oil are a great alternative way to use cannabis without the need to smoke. Cannabis with coconut oil allows the plant to enter the liver where it can process faster.
Coconut oil has a high amount of essential fatty acids, and it makes it an excellent binding agent for the cannabinoids. Also, coconut oil has unusual health properties too. Half of the fat in coconut oil is comprised of fat that is not often found in nature, lauric acid.
Lauric acid is also called “miracle” ingredient due to its health-promoting abilities and is present in a mother’s milk. In fact, it can be detected in only three dietary sources: small quantities in butterfat and higher quantities in palm kernel and coconut oil.
In your body, lauric acid is transformed to monolaurin, which is a potent antibacterial, antiprotozoal, and antiviral substance. Monolaurin is a monoglyceride, and it can destroy lipid-coated viruses including influenza, measles, herpes, HIV, and others pathogenic bacteria.
Testimony – A Success Story
While many people keep being skeptical of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, Stan and Barb Rutner are confident in its effectiveness. This couple faced cancer many times and survived.
Barb had two bouts of breast cancer, and Stan diagnosed 20 years ago with non-Hodgkin lymphoma which disappeared after using cannabis treatments. However, in 2011, Stan’s cancer returned. Doctors found cancerous nodes in his lungs, and after that, the doctor told him that his cancer spread to his brain. The outlook was grim.
Stan went through the treatment of chemotherapy and radiation, and his family searched natural solutions that could improve his quality of life and even prolong it. They heard that cannabis was capable of helping with the pain and other effects of chemotherapy for cancer patients, so they decided to give it a go. According to Stan and Barb, medical cannabis was a miracle.
The Rutners’ daughter, Corinne, and her husband did some research and concluded that a daytime cannabis capsule infused with coconut oil would be an excellent choice. After only two weeks of using the pill, Stan gave up his oxygen tank which he had been using 24/7. He started to sleep better, gain weight, and get stronger. After many months, a brain scan showed that Stan was 100% cancer free.
The Rutners family were convinced that cannabis works as an anti-cancer medication. According to the Rutners son-in-law, John, “There is no doubt in my mind that cannabis pulled my father-in-law out of the wasting stages of cancer and enabled him to gain strength and in turn fight this horrible cell malfunction with success. While many would say that the chemo and radiation could have played apart, he would never have lived long enough to find out without cannabis oil.”
Cannabis has numerous health benefits. Moreover, ancient civilizations used it for healing over thousands of years. It works now and in the past, so to classify the plant as a hard drug does it a grand injustice. It also affects many people and industries who would otherwise benefit from it. Always speak to your doctor to explore some alternative option that is more natural.