In February 2009, few months after the Beijing Summer Olympic Games, people around the universe were shattered by the intelligence when Michael Phelps, a 8-gold medallist in the Beijing Olympics admitted that he was smoking marihuana from a niff during a party.[ 1 ]Other than the celebrated swimmer, there is no deficiency of famous persons who are caught utilizing the drug illicitly like Whitney Houston, James Brown and Oliver Stone, merely to call a few.[ 2 ]In this twenty-first century, the usage and legalisation of marihuana is still a het argument in most parts of the universe despite the fact that its usage can be traced back to 1000s old ages ago. The people in China started utilizing hemp for medicative intents and as hurting stand-in about 4000 old ages ago. Subsequently, the usage of hemps spread to other parts in India and Asia for spiritual usage.[ 3 ]

What is marijuana?

Harmonizing to Cambridge Online Dictionary, marihuana is a normally illegal drug made from the dried foliages and flowers of the hempA works, which produces a feeling of pleasant relaxation if smoked or eaten.[ 4 ]The hemp works is scientifically known as Cannabis sativa.[ 5 ]The active ingredient of hemp is cannaboid. Tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ) , cannabidiol ( CBD ) , cannabigerol ( CBG ) , cannabinol ( CBN ) , Cannabichromene ( CBC ) , and olivetol are some of the natural cannabinoids that have been identified.[ 6 ]The chief constituent that produces the psychotropic consequence is THC while CBD is believed to hold the opposite map by cut downing the anxiousness reaction induced.[ 7 ]

How does cannabinoid work in human organic structure?

There is still no sufficient scientific grounds to demo the mechanism of cannabinoids in our organic structure but the designation and cloning of CB1 and CB2 receptors in twelvemonth 1990 and 1993 severally has hypothesised the presence of endocannabinoid system in our organic structure.[ 8 ]CB1 receptors are found largely in the cardinal nervous system but are besides present in the spinal cord, enteric nervous system and GI piece of land while CB2 receptors are located in peripheral nervous system. Endocannabinoid like anandamide is synthesised and released instantly at the post-synaptic nerve cells when stimulation is generated. They are non stored in cysts like other neurotransmitters do.[ 9 ]

Curative effects of marihuana

Multiple induration

Multiple induration ( MS ) is an autoimmune disease of the cardinal nervous system in which the medulla sheaths of nerve cells are broken down by the immune system. Due to the harm of myelin sheaths, the transmittal of signals in the organic structure is disrupted therefore impacting the actions of musculuss. Symptoms shown are dependent on the countries affected such as musculuss, intestine and vesica, eyes, digestive piece of lands and others.[ 10 ]Patients with MS normally suffer from intense musculus cramps. Spasticity is characterised by the nonvoluntary and uncoordinated contractions of musculuss which can happen in any parts of the organic structure, particularly legs.[ 11 ]Harmonizing to the British Medical Association, patients with spastic neurological upsets finds that cannanabinoids shows better effects than other drugs available in market in alleviating their distressing symptoms.[ 12 ]A study affecting 112 patients carried out in both USA and UK shows that hemp improves their symptoms of MS with minimal negative effects reported.[ 13 ]

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Sign or symptoms

Subjects with listed sign/symptom

Chemical reactions reported after utilizing hemp

Showing betterment ( % )

No alterations ( % )

Geting worse ( % )

Spasticity at sleep oncoming





Pain in musculuss





Spasticity when wake uping in dark





Pain in legs at dark





Tremor ( arms/head )





Numbness of chest/ tummy





Sexual disfunction





Urinary hesitance





Slurred address





Figure 1: Adapted from effects of hemp on MS marks and symptoms ( all topics ) ( Consroe et a l. 1997 )[ 14 ]

About 7.5mg of THC disposal is found to be effectual in cut downing muscular cramps.[ 15 ]SativexA® is a new man-made drug consists of THC and CBD isolated from Cannabis Sativa L. which is taken sublingually. It is utile in the diagnostic alleviation of neuropathic hurting in MS and is approved provisionally in Canada but the handiness in Spain and UK is limited.[ 16 ]

Nausea and emesis

Even though many antiemetic agents are developed over the decennaries, sickness and emesis are still among other ghastly side effects which malignant neoplastic disease patients experience after undergoing chemotherapy.[ 17 ]These symptoms are believed to be lending to other negative emotions which will impact the mental strength of patients such as despair and weakness.[ 18 ]Double-blind and cross-over surveies reveal that most patients prefer cannabis-based intervention to other control drugs ( prochlorperazine, Thorazine, domperidone, halo-peridol, alizapride, metoclopramide, placebo ) despite of the possible inauspicious effects.[ 19 ]This penchant is perchance due to the low efficaciousness of other medicines which is unable to ease their uncomfortableness. There are 2 types of cannaboid-containing drug available for handling sickness and emesis in malignant neoplastic disease patients which are dronabinol ( Marinol ) and nabilone ( CesametA® ) . Dronabinol is a man-made of THC and has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) in April 2003. Approved by FDA excessively subsequently in May 2006, nabilone, an oral-administered drug is an parallel of dronabinol.[ 20 ]The important difference between cannabinoids and other existing antiemetic drugs is cannabinoid ‘s mechanism which might affect an endogenous cannabinoid system within the emetic circuits. Therefore, it can be used as subsidiary or to better the consequence of other drugs for furnace lining patients.[ 21 ]

Pain alleviation

Marijuana acts as analgetic though few possible mechanisms. By giving patients peripherally-restricted cannabinoid agonists, inflammatory hurting can be reduced without doing any psychotropic effects because the cardinal CB1 receptors are non activated. A survey by Fride et Al. ( 2004 ) shows that inflammatory hurting response induced by formol is greatly lessened when the cannabinoid receptors are chemically activated.[ 22 ]It is besides found that CB2 receptor-selective agonists increase the tolerance for hurting but do non impact other non-inflamed tissue.[ 23 ]Suppressing the metamorphosis of endocannabinoid can besides be effectual in handling inflammatory hurting.[ 24 ]In a randomized, placebo-controlled survey affecting 50 patients, half of them were asked to smoke coffin nails incorporating marihuana thrice a twenty-four hours for 5 yearss while the other half smoked placebo coffin nails. The consequences show the effectivity of marihuana in cut downing hurting because 35 % of those who smoked marihuana coffin nails reported relief of neuropathic hurting while merely 17 % in the placebo group experienced so.[ 25 ]Even though non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs ) are normally used analgetic, high dose of the drug is found to hold inauspicious effects in the GI and cardiovascular systems. This can be overcome by integrating cannabinoids agonists into NSAID intervention because the activation of cannabinoid receptor can heighten its analgetic consequence.[ 26 ]

Adverse effects of marihuana

Respiratory system disease

The hazard of developing lung malignant neoplastic disease from marihuana usage is frequently associated with the smoke of marihuana. Tar is four times more likely to lodge in the lungs of marihuana tobacco user than baccy tobacco user, given a coffin nail of similar weight because marihuana coffin nails normally do non hold filters and marihuana tobacco users tend to inhale more deeply and in larger whiff volume.[ 27 ]Some party might reason that marihuana can be administered by other paths but the active ingredient of marihuana, cannabinoid is extremely lipid-soluble, which makes it less effectual to be taken orally or intravenously. Orally-administered marijuana takes 30-60 proceedingss to demo its effects while the oncoming of action for smoke-cured marihuana is rapid because it reaches the air sac straight and diffuses into the systemic circulation.[ 28 ]A recent survey shows that the hazard of lung malignant neoplastic disease rises by 8 % when one smokes marihuana for one joint-year ( 365 articulations or filled pipes ) . A[ 29 ]It besides reveals that the histological alterations in the tracheobranchial epithelial tissue of caused by few hemp articulations are tantamount to that of 20-30 baccy coffin nails.[ 30 ]Tashkin ( 2005 ) besides stressed that exposure to THC causes unregulated growing of epithelial cells which leads to chronic cough and inability of cilia to take foreign stuffs.[ 31 ]

Acute cardiovascular effects

Activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors in the cardiac endocannabinoid system is identified as the cause of coronary artery disease due to endothelial disfunction.[ 32 ]Smoke of marihuana causes acute cardiovascular physiology such as dose-dependent addition in bosom rate, mild high blood pressure and lessening in exercising tolerant.[ 33 ]Consequently, merely users with history of angina will see chest hurting due to the overworked bosom.[ 34 ]The relationship between happening of palpitation and the usage of marihuana is confirmed in a survey affecting more than 6700 topics.[ 35 ]

There are besides some grounds demoing the side effects of marihuana on organic structure systems like neoplastic, musculoskeletal, optic, urological, generative and nervous system.[ 36 ]

Social jeopardies

If marijuana is approved as medical specialty, it might be abused as recreational drug like what happens in the instance of opiates. Drug tolerance and dependance can develop if marihuana is used often. A individual addicted to marijuana will see depression, anxiousness and perturbation in temper which indirectly lead to high self-destruction rate.[ 37 ]Driving under the influence of marihuana besides put the lives of other route users at hazard because of the physical and psychological effects produced.[ 38 ]


Even though there are some unwanted effects of marihuana usage, it is a strong campaigner as antiepileptic, antiemetic, analgetic and musculus relaxant drug. Plantation of marihuana should be approved for research purposes merely. Funded and controlled surveies can be carried out to farther detect its curative effects every bit good as ague and long-run inauspicious effects. Surveies should besides underscore on the interactions between different cannabinoids so as to place constituents for more effectual usage of the drug. Once findings are matured to legalize marihuana, rigorous statute law should be implemented and enforced to forestall abuse of the drug. In short, marihuana has great possible in pharmaceutical values and will certainly profit world if used under control for medical intents.


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