Essay about The Physiological Effects of Marijuana

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The Physiological Effects of Marijuana

Marijuana derives from the dried leaves and flower of the
hemp plant Cannabis sativa; for thousands of years, physicians
regarded marijuana as a useful pharmaceutical agent that could be
used to treat a number of different disorders. In the 19th
century, physicians in the United States and Europe used marijuana as an
analgesic, as a treatment for migraine headaches, and as an
anticonvulsant (Grinspoon & Bakalar, 1993, 1995). In 1938, a
physician used marijuana (hashish) to completely control the
terror and excitement of a patient who had contracted rabies
(Elliot, 1992, p. 600). Results from a research conducted in the
1880s indicated that smoking marijuana might help manage certain
forms of glaucoma; regrettably, other studies disproved such
claims. (Watson, Benson, & Joy, 2000). Even though smoking
marijuana temporarily reduces the pressure within the eye, 60 to
65 of the patients who smoked marijuana, experienced the desired
medicating effects (Green, 1998). New findings indicated that in
order for an individual to obtain and maintain satisfactory
results in the reduction of eye pressure levels, the patient would
have to smoke between 2 to 3 cigarettes every hour. Marijuana is
believed to be an effective treatment of multiple sclerosis and
rheumatoid arthritis; furthermore, it seems to yield positive
results in the treatment of chronic pain conditions (Watson,
Benson, & Joy, 2000). However, although marijuana has served as a
medicinal agent, marijuana can also produce some adverse
physiological effects; especially with patients with pre-existing
medical conditions who use marijuana may be at particular risk.
For instance, altho...

... middle of paper ...

...Guttman (1996). The role of the
generalist in the care of the substance-abusing client.
Medical Clinics of North America, 81, 831-843.

Hoffman, D. Brunnemann, K.D. & Gori, G. B, et al., (1975).The
carcinogenicity of marijuana smoke. Resent Advances in
Phytochemistry. New York,
Kouri, E. M., Pope, H.G., & Lukas, S.E (1999). Changes in
aggressive behavior during withdrawal from long-term
marijuana use. Psychopharmacology, 143, 302-305

Schuckit Ma. (1998). Cannabinols. In: drug and alcool abuse: a
Clinical Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment. 3rd Ed. New York;
Plenum Medical, 143-57

Watson, S. J., Benson, J. A. & Joy, J. E. (2000). Marijuana and
medicine: Assessing the science base. Archives of General
Psychiatry, 57, 547-552.

Tashkin, D. P. (1990). Pulmonary complications of smoked substance
abuse. West Med 152: 524-530.

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