Marijuana, a therapeutic alternative

Patients with terminal cancer, multiple sclerosis or HIV could improve their quality of life if they manage to regulate the therapeutic use of marijuana in Mexico; But first, the positive and negative aspects of this drug must be analyzed, experts agreed.

More than 1,200 varieties of Cannabis sativa, better known as marijuana, are known. Countries such as the Netherlands, the United States and Canada allow its consumption for medicinal or recreational uses.

Several studies highlight its health benefits: it reduces intraocular pressure in cases with glaucoma, in chemotherapy reduces nausea and vomiting, increases appetite in patients with HIV-AIDS, it also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Marijuana works as an analgesic and could help make life easier for the terminally ill and those with physical or mental suffering, he acknowledged. Rodolfo Rodríguez Carranza, from the Faculty of Medicine (FM) of the UNAM .

"If we take into account that doctors must alleviate the suffering of people, we could consider marijuana in the treatments, because looking for the specific effects we could develop the 'first antiparying medication' for those who need to live with dignity in the last moments of his life, "said the pharmacology specialist and head of FM Medicines Laboratory.

In Mexico, the production, distribution, sale, consumption and cultivation of marijuana is prohibited, although the General law of health allows a person to carry up to 5 grams for personal consumption, reported Carmen Fernández Cáceres , general director of the Youth Integration Centers.

The specialist explained that marijuana has 400 chemical components that are harmful to health and contains the same carcinogenic substances as tobacco.

Its main component, delta 9 tetra hydrocannabinol (THC), is responsible for most of the psychological and physical effects generated by its use, in addition to its concentration has been modified, to the extent of making it more powerful.
 

In this the doctor agreed Rodolfo Rodríguez Carranza , who said that the current herb is not the same as that of the sixties, "at that time, contained 10 milligrams of THC per carrujo, now contains up to 300, this is dangerous because it reaches the brain faster," he revealed.

Therefore, it is essential to have studies that take into account the current concentration to obtain results of the different implications that this change causes, he explained.

Carmen Fernández added that Mexico is still below the countries that have authorized the medical use of marijuana; however, an increase in cannabis use among young people has been detected.

"Marijuana users are the main group of illicit drug users in the world. According to the National Survey of Addictions 2011 there was a significant increase in their consumption in men, which went from 1.7 to 2.2%. "

This, he said, is the result of misinformation of its harmful effects. Young people do not take into account the impacts that this substance can cause them, he concluded.


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