Weed 3: A Marijuana Revolution, by Dr. Sanjay Gupta aired Sunday night on CNN. The documentary featured a number of medical marijuana patients who were suffering from various debilitating illnesses. These patients had exhausted all medications before turning to medical marijuana and since that time have never looked back.
The documentary was an eye opener for many. America is in the middle of a marijuana revolution and it has reached a tipping point. The world has learned a lot since the first Weed documentary aired in 2013. Back then, government agencies did not believe that marijuana had medical benefits.
In Weed 3, you heard from Nora Volkow, the head of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). Volkow began a dialogue with the DEA to provide more marijuana to study. In early April, the DEA recommended that the federal government produce almost 900 pounds of marijuana for research in 2015, more than triple the amount it had estimated it would need
Two years ago, on Weed 1, Dr. Gupta visited the University of Mississippi, who is the sole provider of marijuana for the government to research, and its fields were barren. Today, these same fields are full of marijuana plants, acre after acre.
Studies show that cannabis helps treat sickle cell anemia
Donald Abrams is an oncologist who studies how cannabis affects patients who suffer from sickle cell anemia, a rare blood disorder, in a hospital in San Francisco. He has marijuana sitting in the hospital’s pharmacy right next to all the other drugs prescribed to patients.
During the program, Dr. Gupta met with Janelle, one of his patients who suffers from sickle cell anemia. Dr. Gupta watched as Janelle inhaled medical marijuana out of a vaporizer to treat he illness.
Janelle said that she feels instant relief after inhaling the vaporized marijuana. She said that unlike the other drugs she was prescribed, marijuana has made her able to interact with life. Marijuana has anti-inflammatory affects and dulls the brain’s pain receptors. Marijuana is most often used to help treat pain with fewer side effects on the body than opiates.
Studies show that cannabis helps treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
One of the major diseases that researchers are working on developing a treatment for is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Dr. Staci Gruber PhD., also known as the “Pot Doc” has been at the front lines of this study.
Dr. Gruber is the Director of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Core at McLean Hospital. She is the Director of Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery, as well as an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Gruber has been studying the benefits of marijuana on patients who suffer from PTSD. She is focused on learning how marijuana affects the brains of people who have never used cannabis before. Dr. Gruber checks the patients after one month, three months, six months, and one year to ascertain its effects on the brain. She had her patients undergo brain scans and take cognitive tests before and after the study.
Scientists tried to explain how marijuana can treat people who suffer from PTSD. The brains of many veterans afflicted with PTSD have too many receptors that deal with intense emotions such as fear and anxiety. Researchers have found that in the brains of those with PTSD there is not enough of a certain chemical that binds to these receptors to keep them balanced and in check. Marijuana contains the chemicals that restores the balance.
Amelia Taylor is one of Dr. Gruber’s patients. Amelia is a mother of 3 and never used marijuana before. Amelia was a first-hand witness to the attempted murder of close friend. This trauma turned her into a hermit. She became absent from her roles as a mother and a wife. Amelia was taught that weed was evil but decided it was necessary.
In fall 2014, Amelia joined Gruber’s study. Amelia grew up believing that weed was evil and she never used marijuana. Shortly after she started using marijuana she felt better. Amelia was relaxed, happy, and joyful. She only got better and got her life back.
Dr. Gruber found no evidence of impairment. She notice a change in Amelia’s anterior singular cortex, where emotion is and where PTSD appears. Dr. Gruber noted a 60% decrease in anxiety.
Dr. Gupta sat down with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker and knew something big was happening. He said that they seemed like they were in a hurry to make an everlasting dent in marijuana reform.
He added, “They want marijuana to be rescheduled. They want it now. They want doctors to be able to prescribe it at VA hospitals all over the country. They want it now. They want research dollars freed up to study the plant. They want it now.”
Dr. Gupta said, “Journalists shouldn’t take a position. It makes sense. Objectivity is king. But, at some point, open questions do get answered. At some point, contentious issues do get resolved. At some point, common sense prevails. So, here it is: We should legalize medical marijuana. We should do it nationally. And, we should do it now.”
Change is coming. Soon enough, the world will recognize marijuana for its extraordinary medical value.