Medical Cannabis - Coming to a Town Near You!
As a passionate advocate for hemp, it was impossible for me to learn about hemp without also learning a lot about cannabis. The more I learned, the more I came to appreciate the incredible potential for medical cannabis to do good. From easing nausea associated with chemotherapy, pain relief, the treatment of PTSD, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy, medical marijuana has the potential to move people away from dangerous pharmaceuticals and opiates by providing a safe and effective treatment option.
Nobody Should Have to Suffer Like the Haslam Family
One of the things that really shifted my thinking (as it did for many Australians) was learning about Dan Haslam, a young man with cancer, his mother (a former nurse) and father (a former drug cop). This family’s struggle to find relief for Dan’s crippling nausea that accompanied his chemo treatment was heartbreaking but also inspiring. Though Dan ultimately lost his battle with cancer, his spirit lives on in the fight to legalise medical marijuana in Australia.
Attitudes Toward Medical Cannabis are Shifting
Elsewhere in the world, attitudes are changing toward medical marijuana use - it is legal in many states in the US as well as in Canada (as of October, 2018). In Austria, cannabis was named the medicinal plant of the year. Here in Australia, a small number of government-regulated medical cannabis clinics are now opening. These outlets may be fraught with paperwork and overpriced, but at least we are finally taking a step in the right direction.
United In Compassion - Working for Change
United in Compassion (UIC), an organisation co-founded by Lucy Haslam (Dan’s mother) advocates on behalf of patients who would benefit from access to medical cannabis. UIC believes that all patients should have access to full spectrum herbal medicinal cannabis extracts in a manner which is safe, effective, affordable, equitable and favourable, for the dignified relief of suffering. The website provides information about current research as well as where things stand in terms of current Australian legislation.
What Are Some Benefits of Medical Cannabis?
While it’s interesting (and encouraging) to learn about the political maneuvering going on at all levels of government, what really struck me is just how valuable medical cannabis could be for many suffering from a wide range of illnesses and conditions. Here’s some of what I learned, which will help explain why I’ve become such a committed supporter of the movement to provide legal access to medical cannabis products.
Many studies have confirmed that medicinal cannabis is very effective in the management of pain associated with headaches and migraines, various chronic pain conditions, and pain associated with cancer. In some cases, medical cannabis is so effective patients are able to stop taking opiates, which are known to have serious side effects and which can be extremely addictive. Opiate overdoses are a tragic reality and in some places where medical cannabis is legal, opiate overdose deaths have decreased.
While chemotherapy can be an effective treatment for cancer, extending life expectancy and sometimes sending cancers into remission, it comes with some pretty nasty side effects including debilitating nausea. Nausea and vomiting make it nearly impossible to maintain weight and ingest adequate supportive nutrition. Eating well is essential to helping the body fight cancer and recover from the effects of treatment but is nearly impossible when one struggles to keep any food down. Medical cannabis has been shown to be an effective anti-nausea medication and appetite stimulant which can make a huge difference in terms of tolerating chemo side effects and helping keep sick patients as strong as possible.
PTSD, Anxiety and Sleep Disorders
Patients and researchers have noted positive effects of medical cannabis for those suffering from PTSD, anxiety, and certain sleep disorders and studies continue to explore the mechanism of action and optimal dosages.
Muscle spasms and uncontrollable shaking are symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s. Medical cannabis has helped provide relief from symptoms for many Parkinson’s sufferers.
Medicinal cannabis has been shown to reduce the pressure inside the eyeball, a symptom of glaucoma. Some forms of the disease are also accompanied by pain, also eased by medical cannabis.
Epilepsy and Alzheimer’s Disease
Research is ongoing when it comes to investigating cannabis and the control of epileptic seizures. Though the mechanism of action is not well understood, this is a promising area for further investigation. Alzheimer’s researchers have also reported that very low doses of THC, an active ingredient in certain strains of the cannabis plant, can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
As the stigma against cannabis recedes and laws change to make medical cannabis widely available, we are seeing an explosion of research as scientists explore the medical potential of a wide array of compounds found in different strains of cannabis sativa plants.
All I can say is, it’s about time! At Mandala Dream Co. we know that hemp, CBD oil, and hempseed oil have terrific benefits when used topically, which is why these ingredients are key components in our line of health and beauty products. But we are excited to see that finally there’s a shift in the way the general public (and the lawmakers) are viewing medical cannabis. The potential is huge and we are fully supportive of the movement to make such cannabis-based treatments widely available. This is another area where we can all learn by sharing stories and experiences. Let us know if you or a loved one has been impacted by the medical use of cannabis. Consider making your thoughts known to your government representatives. Together, we can keep the momentum going and help create change that will make a world of difference for so many who continue to suffer unnecessarily. Connect with us on instagram or facebook and let's keep talking.