It is not a recent phenomenon. If we treat the aspects of Medical Marijuana as a recent discovery, we would be wrong. The mention of its medicinal use dates back to millennia in vast lands of Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. People were cultivating it around 8000 B.C. in Japan, near Oki Island, probably for some psychedelic reasons or for its medicinal properties. But texts from China and India bear more cultural references where its track takes several directions. It was not just an offering to deities, but a source for fibers used in textiles, and medicine to cure pain and other forms of diseases.
In various Greek states, marijuana was in use to create a trance-like state, either for oracles or to treat people. It has a long history in the Middle East and the African states where it found several names and uses. In Europe and the Americas, it was introduced by the colonizers around the fourteenth century. Since then, its popularity is only growing.
But that took a hit in the twentieth century when state officials started issuing laws to ban its use and stop the recreational activities that succeed it. The medical connection was not well-established then, which made the process of banning it smooth.
The Great Comeback
The resurgence of it across countries in the twentieth century has been guided by several types of research that believe that the medicinal value of marijuana is not a myth. On the other hand, if used in a controlled way it could be a potential game-changer for several diseases. In fact, Luxembourg’s decriminalizing of marijuana in 2001 was in many ways a path-breaking strategy. The same year Canada legalized medical marijuana or medical cannabis. In the US, the following decades have seen several states legalizing medical marijuana cultivation. The FDA is still not open to accept it and change its drug status from type I to type II. The first one posits marijuana in the league of LSD but DEA is in favor of giving it type II status to ease its use in medicinal researches.
What, When, and How of Medicinal Marijuana
Medical Marijuana is a class that separates it from recreational one on the basis of its medical utility. The plant contains several chemicals that are often referred to as cannabinoids. But there are two chemicals Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) with huge medicinal potential. The first is also the one that triggers psychedelic trance.
Medical marijuana is getting the nods from the treatment facilities of several diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Crohn’s disease, eating disorder and appetite loss, Glaucoma, Epilepsy, various mental anomalies like schizophrenia and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), muscle spasms, and others. FDA has approved medicines for only two types of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Its impact on anxiety, inflammation, pain, and relaxing muscles is quite definitive. Treatment to stop nausea after chemotherapy, kill cancer cells and arrest the tumor growth, and stimulate appetite are also creating space for medical marijuana’s greater percolation. Its ability to cure seizures is evident in the acceptance of drugs like Epidiolex.
It is very difficult to get it written by doctors as FDA has barred its access in many cases. In fact, doctors from St. Louis’s have been barred in an announcement made in February 2020. From writing prescriptions with such medicines listed. In Michigan, starting from March 2020, medical marijuana caregivers would no longer sell THC oil or finished vaping cartridges. Military professionals seek it to ease their pain but as the Federal Law still has not decriminalized it, soldiers cannot get their hands on the product. This is due to the Veterans Affairs (VA) policy they follow, which strictly follows the footsteps of the Federal Law.
In fact, in many states, medical marijuana producers are under threat from criminals. The producers are in a Catch-22 situation. In their states, medical marijuana is legal. But federal rules do not acknowledge that, which is why their activities are also an illegal and punishable offense. This dichotomy in the law is harming their business prospect.
New Moves New Horizons.
In New Jersey, in the month of February 2020, Verano, MPX, and Columbia Care received permission to start producing medical marijuana. In West Virginia, lawmakers voted in favor of patients who need marijuana for their treatment. But it has to be in plant form. In the Netherlands, the government is now creating a supply of marijuana legal, which would solve the crisis regarding its use. Israel is now emerging as one of the leading medical marijuana suppliers. Thailand, Peru, and Mexico are also showing definitive steps towards legalizing it.
The outlook of the United Nations is also changing. They are now looking at possibilities of changing the most restrictive status of marijuana that is Schedule IV of the global drug treaties. This decision is in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) recommendations.
The progress is slow but not stagnant, which is definitely a positive sign for the global medical marijuana market. With more countries opening up the doors to ensure better integration of medical marijuana, the prospects for the market is looking brighter.