One of the arguments regularly raised against medical marijuana is that THC is available in pill form, so — according to the Drug Enforcement Administration and other opponents — patients don’t need that nasty weed, which has all sorts of other stuff in it.
The problem with that argument is that some of that “other stuff” is really useful, not to mention remarkably safe. For example, an article recently published onlineby the journal Phytotherapy Research reviews the many beneficial effects of a less well-known marijuana component known as cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD, the article notes, “displays a plethora of actions including anticonvulsive, sedative, hypnotic, antipsychotic, antiinflammatory and neuroprotective properties,” while being “well tolerated in humans, with a profile of very low toxicity and devoid of psychoactive and cognitive effects.”
Indeed, CBD seems to counter some of the unwanted effects of pure THC, which in some people can include increased anxiety or the aggravation of a pre-existing vulnerability to psychosis.
Maybe some day human researchers will manage to improve on the natural properties of the marijuana plant, but they haven’t done so yet.