Chronic Illness and Cannabis

For a long time, Marijuana or Cannabis has been bad as a drug. Back in the 1930s-1950s, propaganda of Cannabis demonized the plant in which it was said to cause hallucinations in which the person would become violent. Because of this, it’s only recently that we are seeing the potential of Cannabis especially in terms of Medicinal and Recreational use.

Chronic Illness: The Never Ending Pain

Chronic Illness is described as a condition in which you experience long-lasting effects of the disease. If the disease lasts longer than 3 months, it will be considered as a chronic illness. One of the common symptoms associated with chronic illness is the constant pain lingering with the patient. Most of the time chronic illness is related to the body’s immune system in which instead of protecting the body from threats like viruses and bacteria what it does instead attack the body. Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus are just some of the examples of autoimmune and chronic illnesses. With the body’s own immune system wreaking havoc to its own body, it’s no wonder why individuals with autoimmune disease constantly feel pain. Most doctors prescribe their patients with steroids to ease the pain and those who abuse in taking steroids are at higher risks of withdrawals and addictions. Using steroids, in the long run, will affect internal organs like the liver and the kidney if not monitored properly.

Medicinal Cannabis And Its Effect On Those With Chronic Illnesses

As mentioned before Medicinal Cannabis has a lot of potential as more and more studies about are being published. A good example of this is with Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (SLE), patients with SLE who were given cannabis started to develop lower levels of interleukin-2 while at the same time increases interleukin-19 which is known as the anti-inflammatory protein.  Cannabis is now believed to ease pain and reduce inflammation. It is proven through extensive research that CBD, THC, and other components found in Cannabis have properties that can reduce inflammation.  In one study in which a patient had ankylosing spondylitis, after taking cannabis for two months the patient discontinued the pharmaceuticals the patiently previously used.

With that being some scientists hypothesize that aside from being an anti-inflammatory substance, cannabis has the potential in affecting the DNA expression. With THC it suppresses the system’s response and in turn, could one day be used to treat those with autoimmune and chronic illness. 

In many parts of the world, Cannabis is illegal. The fact that in the past because of it being illegal very to little research was ever conducted. Which is why in many parts of the world there are several advocacy groups calling out for the abolishment of making Cannabis illegal because they reasoned that compared to Cigarettes and Alcohol, which are legal, Cannabis doesn’t have the same statistics with regards to health issues and psychological-physical damages.  Despite Cannabis being a controversial topic especially with the War on Drugs being supported by many countries, it cannot be denied that the benefits of research and funding could out weight the skepticism surrounding the plant.