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The Benefits And Risks Of Using Cannabis

The benefits and risks of using cannabis

Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in Britain; surveys indicate that around 65% of all 15 – 59 year olds have taken some form of illegal drugs – the majority being Cannabis.

Many of the millions of cannabis users have little idea of what it is; how it works; where it comes from and how to use it. The Essential Guide to Cannabis addresses these issues in simple, every day, language. It also gives in-depth information on buying cannabis; growing cannabis and cannabis as a medicine. This gives an overall view that is of great benefit to the cannabis user. In counterpoint The Essential Guide includes chapters covering risks and addiction; the legal status of cannabis and a comprehensive guide for parents.

Whether the reader is a ‘user’, ‘concerned parent’, ‘teacher’ or just an ‘interested party’ The Book covers all aspects of cannabis use in easy to understand language.

Even though some medical benefits of smoking cannabis may be overstated by advocates of marijuana legalization, recent research has demonstrated that there are legitimate medical uses for marijuana and strong reasons to continue studying the drug’s medicinal uses.

There are at least two active chemicals in marijuana that researchers believe to have medicinal benefits. Those are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — which has pain relieving properties. In addition to CBD and THC, there are another 400 or so chemical compounds, more than 60 of which are cannabinoids many of which could also have medical uses.

CBD and THC

There is growing interest in the marijuana chemical cannabidiol (CBD) to treat certain conditions such as childhood epilepsy, a disorder that causes a child to have violent seizures. Therefore, scientists have been specially breeding marijuana plants and making CBD in oil form for treatment purposes. THC, on the other hand, can increase appetite and reduce nausea and may also decrease pain, inflammation (swelling and redness), and muscle control problems.

Treating Symptoms

Scientists are also conducting preclinical and clinical trials with marijuana and its extracts to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions, such as:

  • diseases that affect the immune system, including:
    • HIV/AIDS
    • multiple sclerosis (MS), which causes gradual loss of muscle control
  • inflammation
  • pain
  • seizures
  • substance use disorders
  • mental disorders

The Risks…

On the other side of the coin there are, of course, risks when using cannabis. Studies suggest that one in 10 regular cannabis users become dependent on the drug and one in six of those start in their mid-teens. The short-term the side effects of this range from anxiety and paranoia to problems with attention, memory and coordination. However the long-term effects can include things like schizophrenia and subtle changes in your white matter that could impair communication between the two sides of the brain.

For more information on cannabis, please purchase our Essential Guide to Cannabis

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