Why is cannabis now a medicine?

Cannabis has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries, but it has only recently gained widespread recognition and acceptance as a legitimate medicine. There are several reasons for this shift in attitude.

Firstly, scientific research has shown that cannabis contains a variety of compounds, called cannabinoids, that have therapeutic effects. The two most well-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), but there are over 100 different cannabinoids that have been identified. These cannabinoids interact with the body's endocannabinoid system, which is involved in regulating a wide range of physiological processes, including pain, inflammation, mood, appetite, and sleep.

Secondly, there has been a growing awareness of the potential harms associated with traditional pharmaceutical drugs, particularly opioids and other painkillers. These drugs can be highly addictive and can cause serious side effects, including liver damage, respiratory depression, and even death. In contrast, cannabis has a relatively low risk of overdose and addiction, and the side effects are generally mild and well-tolerated.

Thirdly, there has been a shift in public attitudes towards cannabis, with many people now recognising that it has legitimate medical uses. This has led to changes in the law in many countries, allowing for the use of medical cannabis under certain circumstances.

Overall, the growing body of scientific evidence supporting the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, combined with concerns over the risks associated with traditional pharmaceutical drugs, have led to a growing acceptance of cannabis as a legitimate medicine.