I am intensely curious about the origins of quite random things — from Post-Its and sushi to wooden shoes and certain psychotropic drugs.
Really, who was the first person to think that smoking a plant was a good idea? The thought never would have occurred to me.
Cannabis sativa. Known colloquially as marijuana. Also goes by pot, weed, reefer. mary jane.
Think Hemp tuxedo. The Dude. Brownies. High Times.
And medical marijuana.
Those magical properties that give partakers the munchies, red eyes and a fascination with black light posters also help those with such diseases as multiple sclerosis deal with some of the painful, debilitating symptoms.
One of those symptoms is spasticity, in which muscles stiffen and sometimes lock up in a contracted state because the brain signal to relax never gets to them.
Sure, there are drugs of the pharmaceutical variety to take for these symptoms, but the side effects make them almost not worth it. The choice, if you can call it that, becomes deal with the spasticity or take the pill and enter a somnolent state shortly thereafter. It’s no way to go about life.
But there’s hope. Eight countries in Europe as well as Canada have approved a spray-under-the-tongue drug called Sativex (see the etymology at play here?) to help with this condition.
In the U.S.? Not happening. The drug has not been approved here, and it is doubtful it will ever be.
Sure, California and a handful of other states have legalized medical marijuana. In 2009, a Denver alt-weekly got thousands of applications for its pot critic job opening. Pot has almost become mainstream.
The official line of the National MS Society on medical marijuana is that more research is needed. It says study results are mixed and reported successes are largely anecdotal.
So for now, a lot of MS patients are waiting to inhale.
4 thoughts on “Reefer badness”
it has so many benefits! i may or may not be waiting to inhale… i’m sick of not sleeping at night… i’m sick of the toxic pills they are shoving at me… i’m all for something that is natural and much less harmful than the crap they keep selling me….
I took drugs for epilepsy and anxiety when I was younger and became a zombie during that time. I never want to go back to feeling that way, and some of these MS drugs make me fear that I will. So I’m keeping an open mind.
I’ve thought for a while that my 82-year-old grandmother (with her Parkinson’s) would benefit from a little medical marijuana — if for nothing else, then at least for her appetite. She eats very little at each meal and weighs less than 100 pounds. Plus, I think she would like any possible feel-good effects as well. 🙂
But of course, this country’s (and especially our state’s) backward and ultra-conservative politicians and voters won’t allow such a thing. God forbid people like you or my grandmother reap any benefit from a plant.
i somehow injured my lower back last week. now have firsthand knowledge on spasticity. and omg, i hate that you have to deal with this on a semi-regular basis. my chiropractor has me taking formula 303, which is a homeopathic antispasmodic. it contains valerian root and has similar side effects as valium. not great for functioning during the day, but i read online that lots of people take it every night to help with sleep and as a spasms-preventative. it has helped with my spasms (although my doctor also put me on a medrol dose back b/c of all the inflammation). you might want to check it out. or move to canada and try cannabis derived goodies.