To combat this, a reduction in social stigma, additional medical research and better regulation of dosages will move medical marijuana to a useable treatment for epilepsy.
A Time Magazine article, entitled “Pot Kids”, encompasses one of the many overall, people tend to be against marijuana without considering its medical use and, as shown by young Charlotte Fuji, need. People fail to realize the remarkable differences between ‘weed’ and Medical Marijuana. For epileptics, the difference is so great that the two substances are almost beyond compare.
Medicinal marijuana is often found in the form of a liquid or a pill form as opposed to recreational which is smoked or used in other means. As you may know recreational ‘weed’ is used to produce a ‘high’ which many have bad feelings toward. Medical marijuana extracts the valuable chemical called CBD, (commonly used in oil form) and excludes the chemical known as THC. THC is the agent responsible for the ‘high’ effect.
The use of only CBD oil eliminates the side effects generally associated with ‘weed’ and prevents the ‘high’ effect. When patients advocate for medical marijuana they are not advocating for ‘weed,’ but instead, they advocate for its extract of CBD-rich oil. This would the stance your group needs to take when advocating for medical use of marijuana.
Yet, despite the cases that prove the need, people are generally averse to marijuana. Which is not that difficult to understand, marijuana is still the thing your parents warn you about and what your preacher calls ‘of the devil.
’ It is what teens are pressing their peers to do by the dumpsters after school. It is not a lifesaving medication by the public’s standard because they generally associate it with the negative stereotypes of the ‘stoner’ archetype. People don’t see Charlotte learning to live as a normal girl, they see ‘weed’ as the scapegoat for troubled youth. The social aversion gives people a motive in preventing the widespread use of all marijuana products, regardless of their intended purpose. Many people argue that marijuana is illegal by federal law and they intend to keep it that way. Groups like CALM, Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana, are “dedicated to defeating any effort to legalize marijuana” (The Clinical Conundrum of Medical Marijuana). This group defends the Federal Controlled Substances Act, stating that marijuana “cultivation, processing, transportation and use are illegal.” Marijuana is a Schedule I drug, which means it has a high potential for abuse, no medical use, and no proof of safety according to both congress and the DEA. Marijuana is currently in the same class as other addictive drugs, such as Heroin, and is similarly prosecuted, which is another major factor in social aversion. The general association of marijuana with more ‘hard’ drugs leaves it not a far argument that, from a legal standpoint, it does not need to be open to recreational or medicinal use (The Clinical Conundrum of Medical Marijuana). This leap is made by CALM and similar groups. Countering these groups will be a challenge in obtaining the extended use of medical marijuana.
What this group fails to realize it that marijuana for medical purposes is not intended to achieve a ‘high’ effect. The group supports that the FDA stands with the finding that “there is no medical benefit of smoked marijuana” (The Clinical Conundrum of Medical Marijuana). However, the dose comes in the form of a pill or in oil form. Medical marijuana may be smoked in other terms but in the treatment for epilepsy, it is not. CALM also fails to realize that in this form it is not addictive, so there is no need to worry that it is in the same class schedule as other ‘hard drugs.’ The group is losing a battle to overturn laws that expand marijuana use in any form as medically it is already legal in 23 states (Pickert).
The fact that there is inconclusive medical research hinders the use of medical marijuana. to be thoroughly vetted as safe and effective. With medical marijuana, there have been many anecdotal cases. clinical trials and laboratory testing. In the Case for Medical Marijuana and Epilepsy Edward Maa discusses the need for additional research on medical marijuana. he says there needs to be a “call for a thoughtful and thorough pharmacologic and clinical investigation into cannabis and its many constituent compounds to confirm or disprove its safety and antiepileptic potential” (Maa,785). In Marijuana: A Time-honored but Untested Treatment for Epilepsy Richard S. McLachlan do boats an entire section on “what remains to be done” in order for medical marijuana to progress. he claims that there is a need for “proper clinical trials” that will be “most likely carried out by university-based at epileptology’s” (McLachlan, 90). And many other established epilepsy researchers had advocated for more research. In Marijuana Use in Epilepsy the Myth and the Reality It mentioned that after extensive media on the antidotal cases of epilepsy treatment with medical marijuana there have been “several uncontrolled observational studies … exploring patients experience using CBD enriched cannabis” (Detyniecki, 65). Clearly, with so many doctors recommending more research be done on medical marijuana in the treatment of epilepsy there needs to be a push for more extensive research.
A major problem in conducting research that needs is the inconstancy in dosing. Marijuana is after all, still a plant. There are many strains and variations on the plant and consequently, different concentrations of CBD and THC in each plant. Without a regulated concentration, it is difficult to conduct research that must include constants for the results to be valid. It is possible to regulate the strain of the plant for this purpose. For Charlotte, a stain has been found and named specifically for her. Charlotte’s Web, a strain rich in CBD yet low in THC is what epileptic patients need. The Epilepsy Foundations article entitled Medical Marijuana and Epilepsy note that research I made difficult by “many different substances containing cannabis” that are being used (Medical Marijuana).