For decades, cannabis has been making waves in the field of medicine. From the time the substance was first received approval to be researched as a potential medicinal aid — around 1937 — independent doctors and scientists alike have worked diligently to combat the misconceptions surrounding medical cannabis.
However, these efforts were thwarted rather early on, seeing as the American Medical Association changed their once-positive perspective on the use of medical cannabis and had the drug removed from the United States’ Pharmacopeia in 1942. This act removed its remaining mantle of therapeutic legitimacy, effectively halting any ongoing research.
This continued well into the end of the twentieth century. However, at the beginning of the 1990s, scientists discovered a link between the chemicals found in cannabis and the human body’s own systemic reactions to exposure. Such findings aided scientists in further uncovering the medical benefits of cannabis, which can be targeted to specific receptors in the body — also known as the cannabinoid system — to alleviate the symptoms of specific disorders.
From that period on, the battle to legalize medical cannabis ramped up — and this time, it gained widespread support. In spite of the backlash from the United States government and multiple prominent organizations within the field of medicine, research continued and brought forth impressive results.
For instance, medical cannabis could be utilized to alleviate cancer patients’ chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, reduce intraocular pressure induced by glaucoma, and it would eventually be proven to relieve pain and stiffness in patients with fibromyalgia — amongst other uses.
However, these impeccable results were concealed by the medical community, which was quick to dismiss the usage of medical cannabis to both patients and new, up-and-coming doctors alike. This is why Dr. David Casarett recounted his struggle with admitting the benefits of medical cannabis in his TED Talk, which can be found at the bottom of this post.
Throughout his talk, Dr. Casarett explained how much insight he gleaned from reading case studies on medical cannabis — which were provided by a patient with pancreatic cancer, who had been taking cannabidiol-based medication without her doctor’s knowledge.
This led Dr. Casarett to read more and more case studies on the matter and, eventually, go to a clinic that provided recommendation letters to patients who are seeking prescriptions for medical cannabis. From there, he spent an hour speaking with a licensed distributor of medical cannabis about its benefits, as well as the benefits of certain forms of medical cannabis over others — such as medical cannabis that can be smoked versus that that can be vaporized, eaten, applied topically, and so on.
By the end of the video, viewers will see a Dr. Casarett that is no longer skeptical of the legitimate physical and mental benefits of medical cannabis, but a true advocate of the drug and the implementation of its widespread usage. To hear his poignant words for yourself, please watch Dr. Casarett’s TED Talk, in full, below: