Cannabis Evolution (2019) - full transcript

For thousands of years humanity has been using the cannabis plant to treat various medical conditions. The ancient Chinese, Egyptian and Greek people's all recognized the immense medical ...

- [Interviewee] I
think medical marijuana

should be legalized because of
its amazing health benefits.

When I got sciatica from
moving heavy objects,

medical marijuana not
only helped with my pain

but made me feel a lot better
when I was walking around.

Not only that,
but it's helped countless of my friends

who either have a family member

or have seizures themselves,

made the seizures either
go away completely

or decrease them from
having multiple seizures

to either a few a
day or being able

to actually get around and
do everything normally.

And by helping muscular
pain and seizures not alone,

when one of my family
members got cancer,

medical marijuana was not
only able to help them

but it was able to mitigate
a lot of the symptoms

and ultimately kill a lot
of the cancer cells which,

I did the research and I can see

that medical marijuana helps
with cancer relief as well.

So with all these benefits,
helping with muscular pain,

helping seizures,
helping people who have cancer,

there's no reason not to wanna
legalize medical marijuana

so it can help the
millions of people,

the millions of Americans who
suffer from these conditions

in a natural and safe way,

'cause I've seen other people,

try pharmaceutical
drugs off the shelf

and it had bad effects.

It's not something that I
would recommend to anyone.

(gentle pensive music)

- [Narrator] For
thousands of years,

humanity has been using
the cannabis plant

to treat various
medical conditions.

The ancient Chinese,
Egyptian and Greek peoples

all recognized the
immense medical potential

of this often
misunderstood plant.

Thousands of years later

in the most technologically-advanced
age of human history,

medical marijuana is
a controversial topic.

The early 20th century
saw a vilification

and prohibition of marijuana,

a movement born out of greed,
lies and racism.

Only now are scientists
beginning to confirm

what the ancients knew,
that marijuana is one

of the most medically
applicable plants

Mother Nature has to offer.

Medical marijuana
has the potential

to treat a wide range
of psychological

and physiological conditions
from cancer to PTSD.

the illegality of marijuana

and the War on Drugs has
stifled research into the drug.

It is time to dispel the
lies and address the facts.

Join us on an exploration of
one of the most astounding

and controversial
plants to ever sprout.

- Hi, I'm Ahmed.

I'm from India and I
think selling marijuana

should be made legal because
of its medicinal properties.

A lot of research has proven

that marijuana is very helpful
in treating lot of diseases

like joint pain,
eye ailments, et cetera,

so that's why I think
it should be made legal.

Also, it can be a good source
of income for the farmers

and it can be also a good
source of revenue generation

for the government,
and also I think

that if cigarette and
alcohol are legal,

then why not marijuana

which is considered
to be less addictive?

Thank you.

- [Narrator] It is a story
of thousands of years

and millions of people.

It is the story of a
herb called cannabis

and a drug called marijuana.

Infamous but misunderstood.

The psychoactive drug,

has been one of the most
controversial substances

of the past two centuries.

Often known as weed or cannabis,

marijuana has been used
for thousands of years

both recreationally
and medically.

The 21st century has seen
a rise in the awareness

of the medical benefits
of using the marijuana.

This documentary shall
explore the origins,

uses and benefits of
medical marijuana.

But what exactly is
the drug marijuana?

also referred to as weed or cannabis,

is a drug derived
from the cannabis herb

sometimes referred to as hemp.

There are three known species
of the cannabis plant,

all of which are
indigenous to Central Asia

and easily recognizable by
its unique leaf pattern.

The cannabis plant
produces a group

of chemicals called

These cause a range of physical

and mental effects
when consumed.

In drug form,
the plant usually comes in the form

of a dried flower
buds called marijuana,

a resin called hashish,
or various extracts

known collectively
as hashish oils.

The main psychoactive
properties of the plant

come from the
flower of the plant

rather than the leaves
as is sometimes assumed.

Cannabis is the fourth most
popular recreational drug

on Earth behind caffeine,
alcohol and tobacco.

In the United States alone,

an estimated 100
million Americans have

or do use marijuana

The main effects of
recreational marijuana

include a feeling of
relaxation and slight euphoria.

The side effects often
include feelings of hunger

or a possible increase
in heart rate.

The effects of moderate
recreational use

usually wear off
within three hours.

The most common ways in
which marijuana is used

include smoking like a cigarette,
using a pipe,

using a bong, a vaporizer,

or sometimes ingested when
included in ingredients in foods,

the most famous of these
being the weed brownie.

In most countries,
the perceived adverse effects

of recreational marijuana upon
society and the individual

has led to the possession,
sale and use

of marijuana to be made illegal.

In recent years,
the illegality of marijuana

has come under scrutiny by many doctors,

and researchers who cite
the medical benefits

of the drug's properties
upon individuals suffering

from a range of ailments
such as Alzheimer's,

cancer, Crohn's disease,
glaucoma, multiple sclerosis,

nausea, PTSD, and general pain.

In its various medical uses,

the drug is known
as medical marijuana

to separate it from its more
common recreational uses.

The term medical
marijuana refers

to the use of the whole
unprocessed marijuana plant

and its pure extracts in
treating the psychological

or physiological condition.

It must be sourced from a
medical-grade cannabis plant

that has been meticulously grown

without the use of toxic
pesticides and fertilizers.

Despite calls for
fewer restrictions,

the FDA is yet to approve
it as a medical treatment,

stating that there still
have not been enough studies

proving the safety and
effectiveness of the drug.

One reason for this lack of
research is due to the fact

that the DEA considers
marijuana a Schedule I drug,

the same category as substances

such as LSD, heroin and ecstasy.

Because of this,
researchers are required

to possess a special license

to study the beneficial aspects.

Another reason for the
limited application

in research of medical marijuana

is the fact that
more than a century,

marijuana has been
vilified by the media.

For example,
one particularly absurd infomercial

from the '90s shows two
young men socializing

when suddenly one of them
starts to smoke marijuana.

Seconds later,
the boy has shot himself in the head

with a rifle in an
apparent fit of hysteria.

This is a wild exaggeration
of the effects of marijuana.

The drug does not cause any
suicidal fits of madness

and those who partake
in such fearmongering

are the very people who
understand the drug the least.

This documentary aims
to dispel the myths

and address the facts.

We shall explore the effects
and functions of the drug

and how it can be applied
logically to medical benefit

of many who're suffering
both physically and mentally.

in order to fully understand marijuana,

we must start at the beginning.

The usage of cannabis
by humans dates back

to at least 3000 BC.

Ancient humans valued the plant

for its medical and
recreational uses

as well as the plant's ability

to be turned into
rope and fiber.

The psychoactive
properties of the drug

were especially popular for
ritual and religious uses.

Cannabis has a
history of medical use

dating back thousands of years

and was first used by
the ancient peoples

of India, China, and Japan.

In China,
the use of cannabis in medicine

was probably a very
early development.

The ancient Chinese regularly
used the plant in cooking,

so the discovery of its
medicinal properties

was a natural
progression from this.

In 2737 BC,
the Chinese emperor Shen Nung

who was also a
pharmacologist wrote a book

on medical treatments methods
which included a section

on the medical benefits
of the cannabis plant.

The emperor recommended
using cannabis for ailments

such as constipation,
gout and rheumatism.

Cannabis is still considered
one of the 50 fundamental herbs

of traditional Chinese medicine.

In India,
cannabis is also mentioned

in the Hindu Vedas texts dating
to between 2000 and 1400 BC.

Cannabis use also
became a ritual part

of the Hindu festival of Holi.

The cannabis plant soon
spread from East Asia

to the Middle East
and Africa via trade.

An Egyptian papyrus from 1550
BC describes medical cannabis

and recommends its
use for pain relief.

The ancient Assyrians
also obtained the plant

from trade with the East

and soon discovered its
psychoactive properties.

The Assyrian word for
marijuana was quunabu

and this is likely the
etymological origin

of the name cannabis.

The cannabis plant
eventually spread

from the Middle East to Europe.

The ancient Greeks used cannabis
to dress wounds and sores

and cannabis seeds were also
used to get rid of tapeworms.

The first Greek historian,

tells us that the Scythian
peoples of Eurasia

would take cannabis steam belts,

creating a kind
of cannabis sauna.

In the medieval Islamic world,

Arabic physicians
made frequent use

of all parts of
the cannabis plant.

The plant's use
included its application

as an anti-inflammatory
medicine and diuretic.

The plant was used
extensively as a medicine

in the Middle East up until
at least the 18th century.

The use of cannabis medically
in Europe was less common

and its widespread
medicinal use was only seen

during the 19th century.

In 1842, an Irish physician
named William O'Shaughnessy

was studying the drug in India

whilst working as an officer
in the East Indian Company.

When O'Shaughnessy
brought samples

of the substances back
with him to Europe,

it provoked a wave of
new interest in marijuana

across the Western world and
the drug was soon included

as an ingredient
in many medicines.

During his studies in India,
O'Shaughnessy had found

that marijuana was effective
at treating stomach pain

and vomiting in people
suffering from cholera.

By the late 1800s,
cannabis extracts were being sold

in pharmacies and doctors'

across Europe and
the United States.

These cannabis products
were being used

to treat stomach problems and
a range of other ailments.

Towards the end of
the 19th century,

the popularity of
cannabis was declining.

This was due to the rise

of more popular
opium-derived drugs.

Another reason for the
decline of medical cannabis

in the 19th century was the
rise of the hypodermic needle.

Cannabis is not water-soluble
and cannot be injected.

This then meant that drugs
which could be injected

became more popular due
to the immediate effect

of an injected drug.

The decline of
cannabis was also due

to its eventual restrictions

on its proliferation
in various countries.

The British colonies of Mauritius,
for example,

restricted cannabis use in 1840

over concerns on its effect
on Indian indentured workers.

The same occurred in
British Singapore in 1870.

In the United States,
the first restrictions on the sale

of cannabis came in 1906,
and in the 1920s,

concerns over its
effects on workers led

to its restriction in Jamaica,
South Africa,

the United Kingdom,
New Zealand, and Canada.

the true criminalization came as a result

of US policies in the 1930s

just after the failed prohibition
of another drug, alcohol.

In 1937, the United States
passed the Marihuana Tax Act

and prohibited the
production of hemp

in addition to cannabis.

By 1941,
the use of cannabis in medicine had ceased.

When the War on Drugs began,

the US passed and Controlled
Substances Act of 1970

which replaced the
Marihuana Tax Act.

This act,
signed by Richard Nixon,

made marijuana a
Schedule I drug,

thus meaning that the
drug was perceived

to have no medical uses and
a high potential for abuse.

Nixon's policies towards
marijuana were especially harsh

and based upon limited research

into the substance's
potential medical benefits.

In 1972,
a report from the National Commission

of Marihuana and Drug Abuse

released a report titled,

A Signal of Misunderstanding.

The report called
for lower penalties

for possession of marijuana

and recommended it only
be partially prohibited

rather than fully criminalized.

Nixon and his government
ignored the report.

Interest in the medical
benefits of cannabis

saw renewed interest
in the 1970s and '80s.

One of the main reasons for
this was the advent of AIDS.

Patients suffering
from AIDS reported

that use of marijuana
alleviated much of the pain

caused by chemotherapy
and wasting syndrome.

Not all countries followed
America's Drug War policies.

The earliest country to decide
upon a more liberal policy

towards marijuana
was the Netherlands.

In 1972,
the Dutch government divided drugs

into more and less
dangerous categories,

with cannabis being in
the lesser category.

possession of 30 grams or less

was made a misdemeanor.

Cannabis has been
available for use

in coffee shops since 1976
with no real negative effects

upon Dutch society as a whole.

Cannabis products
are only sold openly

in certain local coffee shops

and possession of
up to five grams

for personal use
is decriminalized.

In recent years,
many more countries

have adopted liberal
policies towards marijuana.

In Canada,
the election of Justin Trudeau

and the formation of a
more liberal government

has led to the complete

of marijuana across the country.

In the US,
medical use of marijuana

has recently been
decriminalized in 29 states

and the District of Columbia.

The first US state
to legalize marijuana

for medical use was
California in 1996.

However, it is still illegal

from the Federal
Government's perspective,

thus significantly
hampering research

into its potential benefits

and ensuring that thousands
of people are imprisoned

each year for
possession of the drug.

The Obama Administration
did not make prosecuting

medical marijuana
even a minor priority.

President Donald Trump
promised not to interfere

with people who use
medical marijuana,

though his administration
is currently threatening

to reverse this policy.

About 85% of Americans support
legalizing medical marijuana

and it is estimated that at
least several million Americans

currently use it.

Across the world,
awareness of the benefits

of medical marijuana
are spreading.

- Yes,
marijuana has been successfully used

to help people with
serious health issues,

especially cancer patients.

It delays advance
of cancer cells

and kills the cancer cells
in leukemia patients.

It can also be used to treat
blindness caused by glaucoma

by reducing the
pressure inside the eye.

It can also be used to manage
nausea and weight loss.

Marijuana is said to
be a muscle relaxant.

Not only does it allow us
broaden our sensory spectrum,

but it allows also relax

when we need optimal
blood supply.

It also helps people
with chronic pain

and it doesn't seem
to harm capacity

and we even, you prove it.

Emotional pain can just be
as devastating and dangerous

to patients as physical
pain conditions

like anxiety, depression,
a little poor mood,

lackluster performance at work,
and even relationships,

thoughts of
self-harm or suicide.

Current medication for
these emotional disorders

can have various side effects

and may not be helpful
to the individuals.

Marijuana offers many
patients with mood disorders

an effective alternative.

- [Narrator] Countries
that allow the medical use

of whole-plant cannabis include Australia,

Chile, Columbia,
Germany, Greece, Israel,

Italy, the Netherlands,
Peru, Poland, Portugal,

the United Kingdom, and Uruguay.

But how does it affect the body?

The main psychoactive
ingredient of marijuana

is a chemical
compound known as THC.

THC is the chemical which
produces what is known

as the high in its
recreational users.

The effects of THC on
the human mind and body

are primarily responsible for
its controversial legal status

across the world.

The effects of this
compound are relatively tame

in comparison to
drugs such as alcohol

and include slight euphoria,

heightened sensory perception,

and feelings of
increased appetite

commonly known as the munchies.

Negative effects often take
the form of increased anxiety,

dry mouth,
impaired motor function,

and the reddening of the eyes.

Cannabis usually causes no
tolerance or withdrawal symptoms

except in those who
use the drug regularly.

From around 9% of
those who use marijuana

develop any kind of
addiction upon the drug,

and this is usually linked
to underlying lifestyle

and mental issues.

Symptoms of withdrawal in
these cases are usually limited

to irritability, boredom,
anxiety, and sleep disturbances.

Dependence upon
marijuana is rarer

and less medically
serious than dependence

upon tobacco and alcohol.

Those who use marijuana sensibly

to treat medical issues
are at a very low risk

of forming any kind
of dependency issues.

The negative effects
of THC are more common

in people who use more marijuana
than has been recommended

or if the cannabis is
unexpectedly potent.

In fact,
the amount of THC in recreational marijuana

has increased dramatically
in recent decades.

In the mid 1990s,
the average THC content

of weed was only around 4%.

By 2014,
this had increased to about 12%,

and some recent strains
have even seen highs of 37%.

As with most drugs,
it is important to know

the source of supply in order
to avoid unexpected results.

In states where medical
marijuana is legal,

the drug is usually obtained

from professionally-recommended

with known chemical composition.

The selective
breeding of marijuana

to produce more THC seems
to have begun in the 1960s

when psychoactive drugs
were in high demand.

This is one of the reasons
the Nixon Administration

took a harder stance
towards marijuana.

Like LSD,
marijuana was perceived

as a risk to traditional
American society.

Government reactionaries
were concerned

and likely scared by
the liberal actions

and views of the
younger generations,

and linked marijuana
to their behavior.

- [Interviewer] How do you feel?

- Well, I feel very fine.

I feel very buoyant and
light and resilient.

Feels though this chair is not solid,
it seems to be.

I have a feeling that
my hands are not resting

against this chair,

and I see flashes of
color quite a bit.

I see this rug, for example,

seems to have an awful
lot of complements

of violet and yellow.

I see a lot of
violets and yellows.

- [Narrator] THC,
however, is one

of around 483 known compounds
within the cannabis plant.

The least controversial
extract of the cannabis plant

is known as CBD.

CBD has little, if any,
intoxicating effects upon the user

and CBD-dominant strains
of the cannabis plant

are primarily used medically.

The cannabinoids
of CBD are similar

to chemicals produced
in the human body

and are found in leaves and
flowers of the cannabis plant.

There is no one strain
of cannabis plant

which is known as
medical marijuana.

The term applies to a
variety of different strains

and this often leads
to misunderstanding.

Of the over 400 different
chemicals present

in the cannabis plant,

many cannabis medications only
contain one or two of these.

The sheer number of active
chemicals in marijuana

is one of the reasons
why treatments

such as cannabis are difficult
to classify and study.

This is also one of the
reasons why further study

of the plant needs
to be encouraged.

Patients have reported
many positive effects

of the CBD compound.

For example,
some report that the substance has assisted

in the relief of insomnia,
anxiety, spasticity,

and CBD has also been
noticed to having an effect

on patients suffering
from epilepsy.

The symptoms of one particular
form of childhood epilepsy

called Dravet syndrome
has responded positively

to a strain of marijuana
called Charlotte's Web.

Charlotte's Web is a strain
of cannabis high in CBD

which does not include the
psychoactive properties of THC.

The relationship between
cannabis and epilepsy

has seen limited research

and would benefit
from further studies.

The most common use of
medical marijuana in the US

is for pain control.

Whilst marijuana is
not potent enough

to alleviate severe pain from
injuries such as broken bones,

it is very effective
for the treatment

of persistent chronic pain,

an ailment which affects
millions of Americans,

especially the elderly.

For instance,
marijuana had proven highly effective

for treating the
symptoms of arthritis,

especially when applied
in cream or balm form.

Marijuana is in fact a
safer treatment for pain

than many other
painkiller drugs.

Unlike many opioids or drugs,

it is impossible to
overdose on marijuana.

These drugs are also
highly sedating,

whereas medical
marijuana allows patients

to resume their
previous activities

without feeling
entirely lethargic.

One of the ways marijuana
could be used to treat pain

is through the use of CBD oil.

CBD oil does not
cause any kind of high

and simply reduces
pain and inflammation.

In a 2016 study on
the effects of CBD

on rats suffering
from arthritis,

researchers noticed that
the application of CBD led

to reduced inflammation and pain in the rats'

Current research into CBD oil
is limited at the present,

but the results we do
have look very promising.

Currently, however,
the FDA has not approved the use

of medical marijuana
for pain relief.

Marijuana can also be
used as muscle relaxant.

For example,
many sufferers of Parkinson's disease

have reported that
medical marijuana helps

to lessen their tremors.

Marijuana can also help
reduce the tremors and spasms

which result in sufferers
in multiple sclerosis.

Another use of medical marijuana

is in the treatment of nausea.

Chemical compounds present
in the cannabis plant

interact with the
brain's receptors

which deal with
feelings of nausea.

The benefits of this
were first noticed

in patients suffering from AIDS,

but it can also be
beneficial to those

who are undergoing chemotherapy.

Marijuana has proven

to be far more effective
anti-nausea drug

than more conventional
drugs used

to treat
chemotherapy-induced nausea.

Marijuana can also be used by
patients suffering from HIV

to assist with wasting syndrome

and the general pain
associated with the condition.

There is also some evidence
to support the possibility

that marijuana assists with
weight problems and diabetes.

Cannabinoids with
marijuana have been shown

to help regulate insulin levels

and manage caloric
intake more effectively.

One of the most
effective possible uses

of medical marijuana is in
the treatment of glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a disease
of the optic nerve,

the cable that carries
visual information

from the eyes to the brain.

Damage caused by glaucoma
to the optic nerve

can result in vision loss and
eventually complete blindness.

Current treatments
for glaucoma focus

on lowering eye pressure.

These include eye drop medication,
laser treatments,

and operation-room surgery.

However, there are individuals

for whom these treatments
have proven ineffective

and have resulted in
unwanted side effects.

This has led some to search
for alternative medications

to treat the condition,
especially marijuana.

The THC in marijuana causes
the pressure build-up

around the eyes caused
by glaucoma to subside.

Current clinical trials
have been testing the ways

of applying THC,
with studies focusing primarily

on pill and eye
drop applications.

It is not currently recommended

to smoke marijuana
to treat glaucoma

as the effects of reduced
eye pressure only last

as long as the effects
of the drug itself,

meaning that extremely
regular smoking

of marijuana would be required

and this is in no
way recommended.

Although more studies
are clearly needed

before any firm
conclusions can be drawn,

the existing research
shows promising signs

that medical marijuana may,
one day,

be an effective
treatment for glaucoma.

Another promising
area of research

is in the potential benefits

of using medical marijuana
to treat Crohn's disease.

Crohn's disease,
also known as inflammatory bowel disease,

causes inflammation of
the digestive tract.

Symptoms of the disease
include abdominal pain,

severe diarrhea, fatigue,
weight loss, and malnutrition.

A number of studies of the
effects of THC in marijuana

on patients suffering
from Crohn's disease

have shown positive results.

In 2011, a study published

in the Israel Medical
Association Journal

presented the results of the
first ever research study

into the effects of
cannabis on Crohn's.

All 30 patients who had
responded negatively

to all other treatments
stated the application

of medical marijuana
improved their symptoms.

In 2013,
another study was published

in the journal Clinical
Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

The study revealed all
patients experienced

a greater improvement
in symptoms.

More research is needed,

before the medical community
unanimously accepts

the treatment of Crohn's
with medical marijuana

as it is currently unclear

whether marijuana
fights the disease

or simply masks the symptoms.

29 states in the US

have permitted patients
suffering from Crohn's

to obtain medical
marijuana as treatment.

It is recommended that
patients first consult

with their doctor.

If the doctor is registered

with a state medical
marijuana program

and agrees that the
treatment is appropriate,

a certificate and ID will
be given to the patient

to allow them to acquire
medical marijuana

from a dispensing facility.

Many also report the use
of marijuana helps them

to maintain healthy
blood pressure levels.

some studies have noted a link

between cannabinoids and
reduced hypertension.

This is especially important
to the American population.

One in three Americans
suffer from hypertension.

Perhaps the most significant
use of marijuana, however,

is in the treatment of cancer.

Recent scientific
studies have shown

that cannabinoids present
within all strains

of the cannabis plant fight
certain types of cancer.

Studies in mice
and rats have shown

that cannabinoids
inhibit tumor growth

by causing cell death,
blocking cell growth,

and blocking the development
of the blood vessels needed

for tumors to grow.

Further studies have also shown

that cannabinoids may be
able to kill cancer cells

while protecting normal,
healthy cells.

One study revealed that
cannabinoids protect

against inflammation
of the colon,

thus reducing the
risk of colon cancer.

Cannabinoids have
also been shown

to be effective
against liver cancer

where they are able to attack
and kill tumors on the liver.

Similar results have also
been found with breast cancer.

Further studies
of CBD have shown

that it may increase the
effectiveness of chemotherapy.

There is evidence to
suggest that CBD helps

to increase cancer cell death

without harming normal cells
whilst undergoing chemotherapy.

Medical marijuana
have even been used

to treat STDs,
especially herpes.

Herpes is a highly
contagious virus

which is not only
spread sexually,

but by something as little as
a kiss or sharing lipstick.

The three main drugs
used to cause herpes

can all cause
unpleasant side effects

such as headaches,
vomiting and diarrhea.

As a result,
many sufferers have looked

to more natural remedies.

Cannabis is one of the main
drugs people have turned to.

Studies from 1980, '91,
and 2004 have shown

that cells infected with a
herpes virus stop replicating

when treated with THC
from the cannabis plant.

The 1991 study also showed
that THC could inhibit

the infectious
nature of the virus,

thus reducing infection rates.

Cannabinoids were also
found to reduce the pain

caused by the herpes virus.

THC oils and creams
especially help fight

against the spread
and pain of sores.

The benefits of medical
marijuana are not limited

to the treatment of
physical conditions.

The drug can also greatly
benefit those suffering

from psychological
conditions such as PTSD.

A recent study published in
Molecular Psychiatry showed

that treatment using
particular compounds found

in marijuana may
benefit those with PTSD

and that cannabinoids
may possess some benefits

in individuals with PTSD

by helping relieve haunting
nightmares and other symptoms.

Many veterans suffering
from PTSD have found

that the sensible use of medical
marijuana has helped them

to reconnect with their emotions
in a healthy and safe way.

Research published in
Science Daily has revealed

that medical marijuana
helps to decrease

the mental re-experiencing
of traumatic experiences

and allows sufferers to
better confront situations

which may remind
them of the trauma.

Medical marijuana has
also helped many deal

with the chronic
physical pain associated

with their past
trauma and assist them

with their anxiety
and insomnia issues.

medical marijuana should never be used

as the sole treatment of PTSD.

It is important that
sufferers use the drug

in conjunction with
other paired therapies

and especially important that
they join peer group support.

positive results have been found

in the treatment of depression
using medical marijuana.

Researchers from Washington
State University have noticed

that adults reported a
reduction in depression symptoms

by using marijuana that is
low in THC but high in CBD.

The study also found that
marijuana high in both CBD and THC

helped to reduce
anxiety and stress.

Overall, the 12,000 users who
took part in the study stated

that the symptoms of their depression,
on average, halved.

The studies also showed CBD

to be the most important
ingredient of marijuana

when dealing with
depressive symptoms.

Another important find showed

that chronic long-term
use should be avoided

as this could exacerbate
the depressive symptoms.

Moderation is the
best cause of action

when using medical marijuana

so that a dependency upon
the drug does not form.

There is also research
underway studying the effects

of medical marijuana
upon sufferers of ADHD.

People with ADHD
are often restless,

unable to focus upon tasks,

and sometimes find it
difficult to stay quiet.

Treatment for ADHD usually
involves the prescription

of Ritalin or Adderall.

These are believed to
help correct the levels

of neurotransmitters in
the brain called dopamine

and thus reduce the
symptoms of ADHD.

these drugs can have unpleasant side effects

and some have turned to
marijuana as a treatment option,

as marijuana is believed
to have the same effect

upon dopamine levels.

Current research is in its early stages,

so it is not currently
recommended to treat ADH sufferers

with any kind of cannabinoid
until there is clear evidence.

It is especially important
not to allow children

with ADHD access to any
kind of marijuana product.

The brain of a child
is still developing

and using marijuana can
alter mental development

leading to harmful
cognitive effects.

Recent scientific studies
have shown that THC and CBD

could be used to treat the
symptoms of Alzheimer's.

A laboratory study on mice

with symptoms of
Alzheimer's showed

that a combination of CBD and
THC helped to improve memory

and reduced the visual
symptoms of the disease.

Medical marijuana may also be
a viable treatment for OCD.

OCD is a kind of
anxiety disorder

where an individual has
unwanted and recurring thoughts,

sensations, or ideas.

These usually
compel the sufferer

to repeat actions compulsively.

Currently around 2.2 million
Americans suffer from OCD.

doctors treat the disorder

with a combination of
medication such as anti-anxiety

and anti-depressive
drugs and psychotherapy.

Although current medications
are usually effective,

they often have
unwanted side effects.

For example,
anti-depressants can cause headaches,

nausea, agitation,
drowsiness, and insomnia.

The negative effects
of currently-used drugs

have led some to
turn to marijuana.

There is a possibility
that medical marijuana,

especially strains high
in CBD and low in THC

can help OCD patients deal
with much of the anxiety

and stress their
condition causes.

the link between OCD and cannabis

needs to be an area
of further study.

Studies have also been performed
into the possible treatment

of Tourette syndrome
using medical marijuana.

Tourette's is a
psychiatric disorder

which begins in childhood
and is characterized

by uncontrollable verbal
and physical tics.

Some common tics
are eye-blinking,

throat-clearing, sniffing,

facial movements,
and verbalizations.

In most cases,
medication for Tourette's is not necessary.

some scientists have hypothesized

that medical marijuana could
be an effective treatment

for the syndrome's symptoms.

Some studies have shown
that when patients suffering

from Tourette's used the
cannabinoid drug dronabinol,

there was an
improvement in symptoms

with no adverse side effects.

Although smoking marijuana
is the most common method

of administration in the
recreational use of the drug,

this is not always the best way
of using cannabis medically.

Smoking a hand-rolled joint
is considered to be one

of the least effective ways
of administrating marijuana

as much of the drug is
lost through the smoke

as the joint burns.

The smoke from the joint
can also be an irritant

in the lungs,
and this method is not recommended

for anyone suffering
from lung damage.

A healthier way of
using the drug medically

is through the
use of a vaporizer

or a water pipe known as a bong.

This negates the
harmful chemicals

which can be inhaled
through smoke.

The inhalation of medical
marijuana allows the patient

to titrate the dosage
depending upon their needs.

Inhalation causes almost
instantaneous effects

as the medication is
rapidly taken into the lungs

and absorbed into
the bloodstream.

Cannabinoid medicine
are often applied

in pill, oil, or spray form.

The spray is developed
from THC and CBD extracts

mixed with alcohol and
peppermint flavoring

and is applied into the mouth.

This is usually prescribed
to those suffering

from multiple sclerosis.

The oils too can be
applied in the mouth,

often under the tongue.

This allows for the rapid uptake

of the drug into
the bloodstream.

Oils are also commonly
applied to the skin

to treat inflammation,
arthritis, or muscle pain.

Although medical use of cannabis

is now legal in many states,

many of those only
allow for its use

in oil, pill, or spray forms.

Most states also
only permit the use

of medical marijuana under
certain medical circumstances

recognized and
diagnosed by a doctor.

When considering the use
of medical marijuana,

it is essential to make sure

that the medicine
has been sourced

from medical-grade
cannabis plants

that have not been
chemically treated.

It is also important to find

a knowledgeable
cannabis physician

who can properly
advise on the dosage

and methods of application.

While medical cannabis
use is increasing,

there are major social
and legal barriers

which lead to cannabis
research proceeding more slowly

and differently from
standard medical research.

Legal restrictions upon
marijuana have resulted

in unbelievable number of
people being swallowed up

by the United States
prison-industrial complex.

Eight million
people were arrested

between 2001 and
2010 for possession

of marijuana in the USA,

feeding America's already
absurdly large prison population.

Black Americans have been
particularly targeted

for marijuana possession.

In fact,
African Americans are four times more likely

to be imprisoned for
possession of marijuana.

In 2016,
more people were arrested

for marijuana possession
than for rape and murder,

and someone is arrested

for marijuana possession
every 45 seconds.

Every year,
vast amounts of money are wasted

trying to combat marijuana use.

Cannabis prohibition costs
American taxpayers $3 billion,

money which could go
into medical research.

In the future,
this will perhaps seem absurd

as the alcohol
prohibitions of the 1920s,

even more so considering

that alcohol is many times
more dangerous than marijuana.

Every year,
alcohol abuse kills around 90,000 Americans.

Marijuana kills no one.

So how is it that so much
trouble can be caused

by what is essentially a herb?

The real reasons for the
illegality of marijuana

are surprising and should
make us all question

the people who are
dictating our laws.

In 1929,
a man called Harry Anslinger became the head

of the Department
of Prohibition.

Alcohol prohibition had
been a complete disaster.

Alcohol production was now
controlled by gangsters

and it had become
more poisonous.

Up until this point,
Anslinger had refused to ban marijuana.

He stated that there is
no more absurd fallacy

than the idea that cannabis
makes people violent.

However, once it became clear
that prohibition had failed

and the ban on
alcohol was lifted,

Anslinger's department was
now entirely pointless.

It needed a new purpose.

Mr. Anslinger therefore
turned on cannabis.

He told the people that
marijuana has the effect

of causing delirious rage,
turning a man into a wild beast,

and finally leading
to complete insanity.

Plant was named the demon weed.

Anslinger tried to find
medical backing for his claim.

He asked 30 leading scientists

whether marijuana
could plausibly be said

to pose a threat to
society and the individual.

29 of these scientists
wrote back to him saying

that marijuana posed
no threat at all.

Anslinger's job was done,

and a wave of panic
spread through America

and marijuana was criminalized.

The USA then bullied
other nations

such as Mexico into
doing the same.

Initially, Mexico refused,

stating that it made no sense
to criminalize marijuana.

The US then cut off
painkiller supplies

to the country until
they capitulated.

Anslinger also bullied many

of America's scientists
into compliance.

Those who suggested that
independent studies should be done

to ascertain the drug's
dangers were threatened

and told to be quiet.

But why was Henry Anslinger
so against marijuana?

He was the nephew-in-law
of Andrew Mellon,

the largest shareholder

in the DuPont Chemical
and Energy Company.

DuPont were nervous
about the fact

that Henry Ford's
new cars could be run

using a hemp-based fuel,

and so Anslinger was encouraged
to focus on hemp's danger

as a drug rather than
its economic potential.

Anslinger had allies.

Perhaps the most
significant of these

was William Randolph Hearst,

the owner of a huge
chain of newspapers.

Hearst had invested heavily
in timber production

to produce the paper used
to support the production

of his newspapers,
and did not want to see hemp paper

become a commonly-used

His newspapers helped to
spread lies about marijuana.

He especially liked
to draw a link

between racial
minorities and the drug.

Much of the anti-marijuana
drive of this era

was based upon racism.

In 1934,
newspapers released a statement saying

that marijuana influences Negros

to look at white
people in the eye,

step on white men's shadows,
and look at white women twice.

Marijuana was also
linked to Mexicans,

a group Hearst especially liked
to demonize in his columns.

Anti-marijuana propaganda was
not limited to newspapers.

In 1936,
a film was released called Reefer Madness

which painted marijuana-smokers

as rapists, addicts,
and monsters.

This film was aimed
at instilling a fear

of the drug into the
younger generations,

thus ensuring that they grew up

to support and continue
Anslinger's policies.

The effects of this
social manipulation

are still strong in our time.

Marijuana was made
illegal in the US

because of the ability
of American industries

to influence and bully their way

into altering American laws.

Marijuana was made
illegal internationally

because of the ability
of the United States

to influence and
bully other nations.

Only now are we beginning
to clean up the mess

and truly come to
understand the plant

that has been used by humanity
for thousands of years.

But why has marijuana
remained illegal for so long?

One answer to that question
lies in the profits

of America's
pharmaceutical companies.

Realizing that it is
impossible to own a plant

from a naturally growing plant
which can be grown by anyone,

pharmaceutical companies
consistently conspire

to keep the drug out
of American hands

unless they can profit
from American wallets.

After claiming that marijuana
has no medical benefits

and classing it as
a Schedule I drug,

the US government has allowed
pharmaceutical companies

to develop a synthetic version

of medical marijuana
called MARINOL,

a drug with side effects

which include vomiting,
nausea and diarrhea.

MARINOL is far less effective

and more dangerous than
the actual cannabis plant.

Patients report that it
is either not working,

making some symptoms worse,
has unreliable effects,

or that its effects
are too intense.

However, many patients are
faced with a limited choice.

which is covered by their health insurance,

or use the more effective
natural cannabis treatments

and risk breaking the law.

Because MARINOL is covered
by health insurance,

pharmaceutical companies
are guaranteed payment.

MARINOL can be
controlled and produced

by pharmaceutical companies,
and therefore,

a profit can be made from
those who are suffering.

The pharmaceutical industry

sees natural medical
marijuana as a threat.

Every year, pharmaceutical
companies pay the US government

millions of dollars to
keep marijuana illegal

at the federal level,

thus inhibiting the proper
research of the drug,

stopping its widespread use,
and ensuring profits.

Alcohol is another industry

which heavily lobbies
the US government

to keep marijuana illegal.

Marijuana is a safer
recreational drug than alcohol.

Alcohol causes violence,
serious accidents,

and is highly susceptible to abuse.

Marijuana, on the other hand,
is harmless in comparison.

Alcohol companies are afraid

of losing profits to competition

with a potentially
recreational marijuana industry

should the drug become
more widespread and legal.

It seems odd that our culture

often encourages alcohol abuse,

especially in colleges,
whilst vilifying marijuana.

Overdosing on alcohol
can easily cause death,

either from alcoholic
poisoning or from accidents.

Marijuana doesn't even
give users a hangover.

Imagine a world in which
marijuana had always been legal

but alcohol was illegal.

How would anyone
be able to justify

the legalization of alcohol,
a drug which causes the deaths

of 90,000 Americans every year

and has a history
of causing violence,

illness, and serious accidents,

a drug which endangers
not only the user

but those around them.

Almost double the number
of Americans die every year

from alcohol abuse than
all the Americans who died

during the Vietnam War combined,
and around 20 times more

than all the American
troops killed in Iraq.

Marijuana, on the other hand,
kills no one

and has a plethora of
medical applications.

One drug is legal
and even encouraged.

The other is demonized
and criminalized.

Perhaps unsurprisingly,
the third major group lobbying

for marijuana's illegality
in the USA are prisons.

Prisons in America
do not merely act

in the interests
of public safety.

They exist for profit.

The more inmates a private
prison can lock away,

the better its chances of
profiting from contracts.

Marijuana users, therefore,

being one of the most
incarcerated groups,

are also a highly profitable
group to lock away.

Madam Justice is not blind,

but America,
she only sees the color green.

It's time to end the lies,

the hypocrisy,
and the profiteering.

It's time for the
American government

to right the wrongs of
previous administrations

and decriminalize one
of the most useful drugs

ever discovered by mankind.

Pharmaceutical industry,
alcohol companies,

the US prison-complex,
for far too long

have had an indecent
amount of control

over US government policy.

Governments should not
act in the interests

of a select group to the
detriment of the majority.

Perhaps what could
open government eyes

is the immense potential

for profit in the
marijuana industry.

It is estimated that by 2018,

the marijuana industry in states
where it has been legalized

will see profits of 11 billion,

rising to $21 billion in 2021.

If marijuana was legalized
at the federal level,

the medical marijuana
industry could see a boom

not only in scientific
research and discovery,

but also in profits
and economic growth.

The US could be a world leader

in medical marijuana industry.

From the very beginnings
of human history,

mankind has recognized
and utilized

the medical benefits
of the cannabis plant.

In recent times,
new scientific studies are proving

that early man was no fool.

Medical marijuana has the
potential to treat a range

of illnesses and conditions
from cancer to PTSD.

However, further research into
these areas of application

have been hampered by
the misguided policies

of the US Federal Government,

policies founded upon lies,
greed, and even racism,

policies perpetuated by an
unjust culture of lobbying

from powerful groups who do
not have the best interest

of America's patients at heart.

Real good could be
done in our time

by the federal
legalization of marijuana.

People suffering from
debilitating diseases,

chronic pain,
and even the trauma of combat

could seriously be helped
by scientific research

into the medical
applications of marijuana.