By Dr. Mercola
Medical marijuana, or cannabis, is legal in 20 US states, where it is used for a variety of medical conditions such as mood disorders, pain disorders, multiple sclerosis, and even cancer.
Medical marijuana is not a miracle cure for everyone… but it has been known to prompt some pretty miraculous recoveries. Unfortunately, whether or not you have access to this potentially life-changing natural remedy depends on your zip code – a fact that is raising growing protest in the US.
Despite the fact that 85 percent to 95 percent of Americans are in favor of medical cannabis, and nearly 60 percent are in favor of legalizing marijuana, many people are still unable, legally or otherwise, to get ahold of this natural treatment.
This is perhaps never more upsetting than in the case of children, especially when their parents are desperate to find a safe remedy that might give their child a chance.
Minnesota Governor Dayton Refuses to Legalize Medical Marijuana, Despite Parents' Pleas
The issue recently came to a head in Minnesota, where parents of children with epilepsy met at a news conference to share their dismay that Governor Mark Dayton refuses to legalize medical marijuana.
Parents took turns describing the seizures their children are suffering, but instead of considering legalization the governor suggested the families consider a $2-million trial on the substance that would allow children to get the "relief they need as quickly as possible."
This response reminds me of a poignant comment made by Dr. Allan Frankel, a board-certified internist in California, who has treated patients with medical cannabis for the past seven years. When the government wants to get rid of all medical use of marijuana, or refuses to legalize it, it begs the question: Why?
According to Dr. Frankel, the answer is simple. "They want it. This is a huge market," he said. Medical cannabis is clearly competition to the pharmaceutical industry, but by keeping it restricted to a pharmaceutical trial, they can maintain control and profits.
It is a remarkable shame, especially for a condition like epilepsy, for which medical marijuana has shown such promise. Even the Epilepsy Foundation has called for increased medical marijuana access and research. Their president and CEO stated:
"Some individuals, specifically families of children with uncontrolled seizures, are using what is called cannabidiol oil, or CBD oil, and anecdotally a few are seeing remarkable results. This is truly spectacular -- anytime someone finds a treatment that stops seizures, there is cause for celebration because seizure freedom for one person means hope of seizure freedom for others.
…We are advocating for the rights of patients and families to determine with their doctor if this is an appropriate therapy for them, but we recognize the unknowns and the difficulty of this decision for an individual patient.
…As fathers, we know the pain of watching our children experience uncontrolled seizures. We know how epilepsy impacts development in children for whom no available current treatment has been successful. We know about the dangers that can occur when families are forced to leave medical systems and physicians they know to move to other states.
…We know the difference between having recurring seizures and not having seizures can mean the difference between life and death… If an epilepsy patient and their doctor feel that marijuana is their best treatment option then they need to have safe, legal access to medical marijuana and they need that access now."
Cannabidiol (CBD): The Medicinal Properties of Marijuana
While the vast majority of marijuana use is through burning and inhalation, the video above features some of the top researchers on the healing effects of cannabis in its raw form. The leaves can be eaten in a salad or juiced. This is but one way to consume this medicinal plant. You can also find marijuana in oil form or consume it, as many medical marijuana patients do, by using a vaporizer. The device vaporizes marijuana without any of the combustion byproducts, allowing for a clean route of ingestion.
While individual states are still battling over whether to legalize medical marijuana, there are a number of states that have it on the ballot this November. This is one trend that's unlikely to slow down anytime soon. It's estimated that the legal marijuana market will grow to $2.34 billion in 2014, making it one of the fastest-growing industries (if not the fastest).5
Hopefully, as its use expands, more people will have access to another natural treatment to take control of their health. Keep in mind that, for now at least, even if you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal, the potency of cannabis varies greatly, as do its effects when ingested.
This is why experts like Dr. Frankel are very focused on trying to develop accurate dose-consistent medicine. The Patient Access Centers he consults with create a diverse collection of dose-consistent oral-buccal sprays. He also believes it's very important to open up and start talking about dosing—what works, what doesn't. It is his belief that some patients, in large part due to lack of education about the medicine, may be taking 10, or even 100 times, higher dosage than is really needed to treat their ailment. Unfortunately, many doctors in this still highly controversial field are afraid to recommend dosages, for fear of the repercussions.