The mission of Patients For Safe Access is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.
Cannabis has been used as a medicine for at least 4500 years, with use reported in many countries around the world. It was first recorded in China by Shennong, who is considered to be the Father of Chinese Medicine and Agriculture, along with many other technological advances. One of the first experiments in the western world using cannabis was by Irishman Dr. William Brooke O'Shaughnessy in the 19th century. During these experiments, Dr. O’ Shaughnessy told of cannabis being beneficial in childhood epilepsy, cholera, and tetanus. In 1851, Cannabis was entered into Pharmacopeia of the United States, which later described the preparation of dried flowers and tinctures.
Cannabis is a plant with over 500 compounds, which have been found to be useful in the treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, multiple sclerosis and other diseases of the central nervous system.
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WHEN MEDICAL CANNABIS IS NOT ADVISED.
A direct correlation between early onset use of cannabis and later development of depression, bi-polar, and suicide attempts. Again Doctors are advised to use their own judgement on the benefits versus the risks, i.e. childhood epilepsy.
During breastfeeding and pregnancy it is not advised or considered safe to consume cannabis, Consuming cannabis during pregnancy has shown low weight and premature babies being born as a result.
Driving on cannabis is not advised and illegal. Studies have shown that cannabis can impair a person's reaction time and control of the vehicle, and can lead to increased collisions. Although smoked cannabis leaves the blood within an hour and a half, chronic users can test positive for cannabis weeks after use.
Due to the habit forming/addictive qualities of cannabis, and the lack of randomised controlled trials, whenever a doctor is considering recommending a cannabis treatment, one should consider if other options have been exhausted and other prescriptions the patient is on, before prescribing cannabis.
Doctors are advised to proceed with caution with patients who suffer from uncontrolled blood pressure, heart disease, chronic lung disease, and severe depression.
To summarise, Medical Cannabis has shown many benefits, however more randomized controlled trials are required. We are just starting to scratch the surface of what this plant is capable of.