Week 6 Assignment 1
COM/156, Lindy Hatten
There are several instances of naturally occurring substances that have positive medicinal benefits, which easily outweigh the negative effects of the drugs. Parts of the Cannabis plants are a very obvious example; there are currently seventeen states that have legalized medicinal marijuana for use by patients with a qualifying medical condition that has been evaluated by a physician. Cannabis is safe and effective at treating peripheral neuropathy, which causes great suffering to HIV/AIDS patients. Cannabis is also very effective in alleviating the pain and nausea caused from many other medical conditions and/or the treatments, such as chemotherapy, which is used to treat many forms of cancer. Recently, the use of cannabis in treatment of hepatitis C also has shown to have alleviating abilities for underlying conditions. According to a study conducted in 2006 by a research group in northern California, marijuana-using patients were three times more likely to clear the deadly virus from their bodies.
Another naturally occurring substance that has shown medicinal benefits in recent clinical trials, conducted in the UK in 2006, is psilocybin, which is found in several types of mushrooms, but most notably the Psilocybe genus. Mushrooms containing the psychoactive alkaloids are often referred to as “magic mushrooms” due to their hallucinogenic properties. Researchers have found that the active chemical in these mushrooms can have curative properties for those who suffer with a very painful form of headaches known as cluster headaches, or as they are sometimes known suicide headaches, due to the number of suicides amongst sufferers from the high level of pain. The study concluded with the observation, "Our observations suggest that psilocybin and LSD may be effective in treating cluster attacks, possibly by a mechanism that is unrelated to their hallucinogenic properties. This report should not be misinterpreted as...
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