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Marijuana as Medicine Introduction Marijuana is a drug made from the dried leaves of the Hemp plant Marijuana is also known as cannabis which comes from the scientific name of the Hemp plant or Cannabis sativa These dried leaves are usually smoked in rolled cigarettes or pipes to achieve a psychological feeling of euphoria or well-being The marijuana plant contains more than 460 known compounds of which more than 60 have been identified as cannabinoids The most studied cannabinoid 9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is present in large amounts in marijuana Researchers believe that THC is the cannabinoid that is responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana Because of this euphoric feeling associated with the use of marijuana it is the third most commonly used drug in the United States behind tobacco and alcohol The cultivation distribution possession or consumption of marijuana is a violation of both federal and state laws in the United States Although the government denies the fact it is widely regarded in the medical community that marijuana also has a great deal of medicinal benefits Scientific studies have been published that show marijuana is an effective treatment for a wide range of ailments from migraines El-Mallakh 1987 to the treatment of mental illness Kotin 1973 History Throughout history cannabis has been used as a medicinal herb The Chinese were the first to record the use of marijuana as medicine but many cultures have recognized the beneficial qualities of the hemp plant The first published studies in the United States came in 1860 by the Ohio Medical Society These physicians reported that cannabis was successful in treating stomach pain gastric distress psychosis chronic cough gonorrhea and neuralgia Marijuana as Medicine 1997 The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 worked to diminish the study of marijuana as medicine until the early 1970s when cannabis was re-discovered as a medical substance and was tested in treating such conditions as glaucoma cancer
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