Before one can adequately assess the benefit or harm of medical marijuana, one must sift through what is fact and what is fiction. To begin understanding, one must first learn how marijuana works. Marijuana’s main hallucinogen is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, THC (“Cannabis and Cannabinoids”). This compound reacts with receptors in the brain to produce the euphoric “high” associated with pot smokers. Cannabidiols (CBD) are the compounds that lead to the healing effects or marijuana. These compounds react with various areas of the brain to generate certain responses. Some of the other compounds in marijuana also affect the chemical for hunger in the body (Ware). These are what leads to the “munchies.”
It is probably because of the words “brain” and “chemicals” being thrown around in the same sentence that the biggest myth of marijuana began. Somewhere along the way, people became convinced that marijuana changes one’s brain chemistry. This change in brain chemistry is linked to one becoming “zombie-like, caring for nothing but getting their next high” (Edwards). Critics use this as major ammunition against medical marijuana. The ...
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...n, Iris. "Entrepreneurs Seek Profits From Pot." The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 3 Feb. 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2014.
Edwards, Gabrielle I. Coping with Drug Abuse. New York: Rosen Pub. Group, 1983. 14. Print.
Grotenhermen, Dr. Med., Franjo, and Kirsten Müller-Vahl, Prof. Dr. Med. "The Therapeutic Potential of Cannabis and Cannabinoids." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2014.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. "Prescription Drug Abuse." What Is Prescription Drug Abuse? National Institute on Drug Abuse, Oct. 2011. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.
Tarantola, Andrew. "Killjoy Scientists Have Bred the Fun Out of Medical Marijuana." Gizmodo. n.p., 30 May 2012. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.
Ware, Mark A. "Medical Cannabis (drug)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 20 May 2012. Web. 08 Apr. 2014.
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