Marijuana (Medical Cannabis)

MA Bulletin: Medical Marijuana and State Licensure of Facilities and ...

June 26th, 2021

Marijuana is the most abused drug nowadays; It is made available from the hemp plant. Most drug content is present in the flower region, while seed leaves don’t contain much of the drug content. Marijuana is also called a weed, herb, a mixture of Cannabis sativa. People can consume it in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints, pipes, or blunts(like cigar wraps). For medical purposes, it is finished in addition to food like cookies or candies. (Timberlake, 2009)

Some believe that it won’t be harmful being the natural plant product, but it is not so; another natural plant is hemlock, poisonous, and can kill the individual. Another thing is that, as it is smoked like a cigarette, it can be harmful to the body. 


Marijuana contains more than 400 chemicals 

THC or tetrahydrocannabinolis: is a psychoactive compound present in marijuana. By the consumption of this compound, people will feel high. Based on its content, two drugs had been designed synthetically, namely dronabinol(Marinol) and nabilone(cesamet). 

Another one is CBD or cannabidiol: another psychoactive compound present in marijuana. It is beneficial in many health-related diseases. An oil form of CBD is Epidiolex under trials (What Chemicals Are in Marijuana and Its Byproducts? – Medical Marijuana – ProCon.Org, n.d.)


Medical products are available with both tetrahydrocannabinolis (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) concentrations. 

Experts stated that more than 10mg of THC could be harmless, but doses above this should be taken only when the consumer knows how it will affect its body. 

How is it consumed?

It can be taken by smoking in cigarettes or food and brewed as tea, known as edibles. A person can consume marijuana with cigars by removing its tobacco replacing it with blunt. It acts as a powerful drug for hallucination and known as a perfect hallucinogen. 

After inhalation, a person may feel immediate effects like increased heart rate, unreal state of mind that appears within 30 minutes. Marijuana can be effective for a long time or for a short time, depending on the consumption and sensitivity of the person. (What Chemicals Are in Marijuana and Its Byproducts? – Medical Marijuana – ProCon.Org, n.d.)

Smoking four to five cigarettes by a high-dose person can cause much harm to the person, leading to cancer, as the person is more exposed to cancer-producing chemicals. Persons consuming marijuana have fewer memories and lesser aptitude as compared to non-users. And the ability of decision making and motivation, and emotions are decreased in the person consuming marijuana. (What’s Wrong With Marijuana? | TheTrumpet.Com, n.d.)

Medical uses:

The most common uses are treating pain, anxiety, depression, muscle spasticity, and Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease.

Researchers stated that CBD could be medically anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, anti-emetic. CBD is helpful in the treatment of many diseases like Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, fetal hypoxia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other movement disorders.


At lower doses, it causes lesser side effects like Dryness of mouth and Fatigue. AT higher doses, it can result in dizziness, paranoia, and mood changes. In severe cases, it can result in schizophrenia and loss of IQ.

Detail: positive and negative effects

Effect on the brain:

Marijuana affects the brain in both short-term and long-term effectiveness. 

If heavy users take marijuana, it can result in short-term problems like attention, memory loss, affecting moods. 

It affects brain development in the long term, but teenagers can face a reduction in attention, memory on marijuana consumption. But the effect of marijuana depends on many factors and also on different person’s sensitivity. Also, the amount of THC plays a vital role in its efficiency, also dependency is on the age of the first consumption and if other substances like tobacco and alcohol are also taken at the same time. (Batalla et al., 2013)(Filbey et al., 2014)

Marijuana influence the development of the brain in children. Researchers have found that the consumption of marijuana by women in pregnancy affects the development of children’s brain, their memory, their problem-solving skills, and other behavioral problems. (Goldschmidt et al., 2000)

In Cancer:

Marijuana and cannabinoids are affecting the Central nervous system and acting as a drug in the body. The majorly working cannabinoid is delta-9-THC, and CBD is also tested to lower the inflammation without high delta-9THC. So far, studies have proved that marijuana is helping by testing or curing diseases. (Klimkiewicz & Jasinska, 2018)

Marijuana helps treat symptoms of cancer like nausea, vomiting from cancer chemotherapy. People can use it to treat neuropathic pain. (Klimkiewicz & Jasinska, 2018)

Marijuana can be the cause of cancer too.

When people smoked marijuana, it delivers other harmful substances and CBD and THC; this can lead to lethal lung and cardiovascular damage.

 Also, marijuana is available in different forms with different strains; this may result in difficulty for the user to predict different levels of its consumption. (Tobacco Reports And Publications | HHS.Gov, n.d.)(Gurney et al., 2015) 

In Chronic Pain:

Very few studies proved that marijuana helps treat neuropathic pain caused by the damaged nerves. Still, more researches need to be performed to understand the pros and cons of marijuana with pain. (Klimkiewicz & Jasinska, 2018)

In Heart diseases:

People using marijuana can undergo an increased risk of heart diseases and stroke. (Sidney, 2002)(Filbey et al., 2014)(Wolff et al., 2015). (Franz & Frishman, 2016)But this was primarily observed in the patient smoking marijuana. Smoking delivers THC and CBD, and other harmful compounds that can be harmful to the lungs and cardiovascular systems. Therefore it is difficult for the researchers to separate the hazards caused by the irritants and other related chemicals. There is a need for more researches for the specific evaluation of marijuana activity on the cardiovascular system. (Rumalla et al., 2016)

In Lung Diseases:

In most cases, marijuana is usually smoked in cigarettes in the form of joints(hand-rolled cigarettes), bongs(in pipes), in blunts(emptied cigars that are refilled with marijuana). The person may face harm to lung tissue, damaged small blood vessels. (Tashkin, 2013) (Moir et al., 2008)It can lead to bronchitis, cough, phlegm production, but this can improve on quitting the marijuana. (Aldington et al., 2007)

The secondhand risk of marijuana is in children; although very little data is available, it can be harmful to health, as in children. Some studies revealed that a person in the family consuming marijuana and the children in the same family had elevated THC levels, which is an ingredient in marijuana. And these children might face mental health problems risks includes developmental problems for babies whose mother consumed marijuana in her pregnancy. One more study showed that adolescents consuming marijuana could face attention problem motivation and memory problems. (Aldington et al., 2007)(Tashkin et al., 2012)(Broyd et al., 2016)

In Mental Health:

Daily consumption of marijuana can cause disorientation, unpleasant thoughts, or anxiety. Or they may develop hallucinations or paranoia. People consuming marijuana may feel or hear unreal things, i.e. schizophrenia. It can also result in depression or anxiety. (Klimkiewicz & Jasinska, 2018)(Aldington et al., 2007)

Can cause Poisoning?

Irrespective of smoking, edibles have different results with an increased risk of poisoning. 

Edibles are more severe for those who consume alcohol along with this. 

It usually takes 30 min to 2 hours, but it can cause severe injury or health-related problems if taken in large amounts. The amount of THC and marijuana is difficult to measure in edible products. 

In addition to other drugs;

Some agree with the concept of “gateway drug” that the use of marijuana influence the person to use another drug, but some disagree with this. Others using marijuana do not use any other more complex drug. Marijuana consumption not only affects the person mentally and physically but also affects the person socially. (Batalla et al., 2013) (Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, n.d.)

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