The Herb Society of America defines a herb as “any plant that may be used for pleasure, fragrance or physic.”
Education removes many of the myths surrrounding cannabis (also known as marijuana) and promotion of it’s healing properties are becoming widespread and mainstream at an unprecedented rate.
The truth is:
1) Cannabis has been used as medicine for 4,700 years in many cultures (first recorded use: China 2737 B.C.)
2) There has never been a single death attributed to cannabis.
It is one of the oldest and safest medicines ever used. Plain and simple. The reason it is illegal is politically motivated and has nothing to do with its safety.(1) People realize the laws are unrealistic which is why 92 % of Canadians(2) support legal intergration of this herb into society.
Cannabis is a herb and realistically is a natural health product. It is quite often used in combination with other herbs, drugs or therapies tailored to the individual’s needs. Cannabis is most noticeably used to relieve suffering and pain in life threatening illnesses such as HIV, AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, glaucoma, epilepsy, arthritis, intractable pain, paraplegia, quadraplegia, Parkinsons and numerous other symptons and diseases.
It is also used as an alternative to pain killers, anti-depressants, tranquilizers, alcohol and other drug remedies, and even as preventive medicine to reduce stress and maintian health. The reasons why cannabis use is an integral part of the healing process are varied; but the common denominator is that it improves the quality of life.
Francis L. Young, Administrative Law Judge for the DEA, wrote, “In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating ten raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death”.
In applying the broadest terms, no one should have to justify their use of cannabis anymore than they need to justify their use of any commodity.
WHY PEOPLE USE CANNABIS
For the seriously or terminally-ill whose bodies can no longer tolerate the effects of pharmaceuticals; it is a god-send.
For the elderly who have been given scores of drugs to no avail; it is usually their last and only hope.
For those addicted to hard drugs such as narcotics, alcohol, tobacco, tranquilizers, etc.; it can aid in withdrawal and abstinence. The quality of family life improves overall, so it is usually tolerated by family members or kept a secret from them if there is a lack of understanding.
For those unable or unwilling to ingest anti-depressants, it can be a natural remedy to depression .
For others it is similar to relaxing with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee; something that takes the edge off life. It is nature’s stress-neutralizer. It can also be used for enhanced concentration, meditation, visual or auditory perceptions.
With the growing demand for natural healing methods and medicines, and to reduce health care costs, the medical field must embrace Integrative Medicine(3) to improve the quality of life for all our citizens, whether they use cannabis in their mental or physical health regime or not.