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THE CONTROVERSIAL PLANT

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

I'm sure that based off the title of this website, it is no secret that I am not a stranger to Cannabis.While some may argue that a business that supports the use of Marijuana isn't exactly "brand friendly" or the "most professional route." However, I am going to use my platform to educate those who may have these opinions about Cannabis but may have never taken the time to do the research to support these claims.


According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 67,367 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in 2018; Opioids being the leading cause of those deaths. Cannabis also known as Marijuana is a plant composed of over 500 chemicals and used both recreationally and medicinally. As of today, this controversial plant is currently legal for adults in 11 states and legal for medicinal use in 33 states. However, it continues to remain illegal in several states for both medicinal and recreational use, including our very own North Carolina.

Contrary to popular belief, countless studies have confirmed that Cannabis can be extremely beneficial to those who struggle with both mental and physical illness. In addition to this, the legalization of cannabis also has economical benefits and is a safer alternative in reference to our nation’s opioid addiction. Considering Marijuana's extensive list of benefits, opposing its legalization is completely senseless and lack of knowledge is the only factor to blame.


Physical Health Benefits

According to Harvard Medical School (Grinspoon, 2018), the most common use of medicinal marijuana, is pain control. For instance, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, and nerve pain, in general, are a few in particular.. Considering it’s natural properties, marijuana is obviously the safer alternative to treat chronic pain, as opposed to opiates and other prescription drugs. With that being said, America’s lack of factual knowledge and the stereotypes associated with the drug is the reason behind the controversy of its legalization. Not only does marijuana lack addictive properties, but it is impossible to overdose on.

A common use of medicinal marijuana is to ease nerve pain, particularly multiple sclerosis. According to patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, the plant provides them with the ability to maintain performing everyday tasks without feeling entirely catatonic. Marijuana itself is made up of several components, as well as chemicals; THC is the psychoactive chemical in marijuana that causes mind alteration otherwise known as a “high.” The properties of THC are what gives the plant its ability to increase appetite and reduce nausea. When marijuana is inhaled, the chemicals in THC enter our system and begin to sail through our bloodstream. Almost immediately after inhalation, the THC reaches our brain and begins to activate; this occurs because THC can either block or imitate the initial actions of neurotransmitters, causing an interference with the way our brain normally functions.


Inside of our brain, there is something called cannabinoid receptors; cannabinoids are produced by our bodies or inhaled through marijuana causing a reaction in the receptors in our brain. In addition to THC, marijuana also consists of cannabidiol; also known as CBD.

Cannabidiol is the extract from the hemp plant that does not include any psychoactive properties and pertains more to pain reduction, treating epileptic seizures, inflammation, mental disorders, and addiction. (Psychiatric Times, 2017.)


Mental Health Benefits

In addition to this, medical marijuana is actually extremely beneficial to those who struggle with psychiatric disorders and mental illness; cannabis-derived drugs are most commonly used to treat mental illnesses including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc The use of medicinal marijuana pertaining to mental illness can be extremely beneficial to those who suffer from what some would refer to as an“invisible illness.” A few mental disorders in particular that can be treated through the use of medicinal marijuana are PTSD, depression, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), chronic stress, etc.


Several scientific studies have proved the plant to be an effective, yet natural alternative to pharmaceutical medications. Patients often build a tolerance to pharmaceutical medications rather quickly, making them responsible for several overdoses each year. Luckily, the marijuana plant contains chemicals that are able to serve the same purpose of these medications.

Although these medications have been proven to be effective and may work for some people, Cannabis is the natural alternative that engages directly with the cells in the

body; phytochemicals in the herb interact with the brain in a more complex way.


Although not everyone suffers from mental illness, the vast majority of people struggle with stress or chronic stress. Those who struggle with excessive amounts of stress can benefit from the plant as well, due to the ability THC and CBD posses to mimic the chemical responses in our cannabinoid system, and replace the missing chemicals; this allows marijuana to act as a mood stabilizer, eliminating the depressive effects caused by stress. So, if marijuana has such an extensive list of benefits, why is it not an FDA approved medicine? According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, researchers have yet to conduct enough clinical trials proving the beneficial properties of the plant outweighing the risks that are associated with using it to treat patients. (NIDA)


Economical Benefits

However, the benefits of the plant are not limited to its ability to treat illnesses. In fact, another reason marijuana should be legalized is the fact that it is simply too expensive for our justice system. There are so many more important issues our law enforcement should be concerned about than arresting 750,000 individuals a year for possession of marijuana. Marijuana arrests not only increase the expenses of our federal system, but take up jail space for those who commit real crimes, and take away the time police, judges, attorneys, etc. should be putting into violent crime, terrorism, etc. The taxation of marijuana would provide our nation with a much-needed funding.

An additional fact that contributes to the senselessness of prohibiting marijuana use, is simply the fact that it is scientifically proven to be safer than both alcohol and cigarettes; two things that are totally legal if purchased over the age of 18 and 21. Yet, users of the plant are treated much more harshly under the law than both tobacco and alcohol users. Another positive factor to consider is a regulated market of legalization marijuana distribution would not only reduce the amount of marijuana use and sales among adolescents but reduce their exposure to illegal drugs as well! The reality is, the illegality of marijuana actually makes the drug more accessible to teenagers than if it were legal. Illegal distribution of the drug is extremely common among teenagers because it provides them with an easy outlet to make money. In fact, if marijuana was legalized, it would bring an end to the excessive profits made through illegal marijuana sales.


Lastly, the government's efforts to control the use and distribution of marijuana through criminal penalties have failed countless times and will continue to fail. Every day, more scientific evidence is conducted pertaining to and confirming the harmlessness behind the plant; and every day more and more people are exposed to the truth of how not only is marijuana not a terrible thing, but an extremely positive one! Considering all of these miraculous benefits, you’d think the government would just legalize the drug already; so why haven’t they? Some would say that just because Marijuana can be used for medicinal purposes, doesn’t always mean it’s a good idea. While there is truth to that statement, it comes down to whether or not it’s beneficial properties are able to outweigh the possible, yet extremely rare consequences associated with the drug.


However, the possible “risks” associated with the drug all come down to whether or not it is being used properly. That is why it is important that patients using cannabis to treat disorders such as anxiety and depression are aware that different forms of cannabis may be more effective and manage symptoms as opposed to other strains; this is because the different compounds in the plant instill different chemical reactions in the body.



In conclusion, drug use all comes down to one thing, uses, and misuses. This is why it is not only important but essential that we educate ourselves on what these proper uses are before putting anything, legal or not legal into our bodies. Although it becomes closer every day to being legalized throughout the U.S, there are several U.S. citizens and government officials who are strongly opposed to its legalization. However, when all of the benefits of legalizing marijuana are considered, it becomes extremely evident that its prohibition marijuana is simply based on inaccurate stereotypes, lack of knowledge, and misinformation.

Contrary to popular belief, countless studies have confirmed that Cannabis can be extremely beneficial to those who struggle with both mental and physical illness. In addition to this, the legalization of cannabis also has economical benefits and is a safer alternative in reference to our nation’s opioid addiction. Considering Marijuana's extensive list of benefits, opposing its legalization is completely senseless and lack of knowledge is the only factor to blame.

My Personal Relationship with Cannabis:

The primary reason that I am choosing to use my platform to educate people on this particular subject is simply due to the negative stereotypes that surround Marijuana and it's users. Just like any other substance, Marijuana has uses and misuses and it is entirely up to the user on which way they choose to use it. In addition to that, it isn't for everyone.


While this may seem crazy to some of you, I would not have created Sativa Diva without the use of Cannabis. Over the course of my life I have suffered from, depression, anxiety, and severe ADHD. Due to this, I have been on various medications and antidepressants that have been prescribed to me by a doctor. There is not a doubt in my mind that several of you can relate to this and could also potentially relate to the negative effects of these medications that doctors seem to leave out when prescribing them.


Due to this issue, I began using Cannabis as a NATURAL alternative. Contrary to popular belief, Cannabis eases my anxiety, allows me to focus, think more clearly, balances my mood swings, etc. I would also credit this to my extensive knowledge on which specific strains I select and the different effects they may have on the mind and body.


In addition to the mental health benefits I have personally experienced from Cannabis, it also alleviates menstrual pain, and enhances my CREATIVITY.

Every single piece of art that I have created, I did so with the help of a little friend I like to call Sativa, and I refuse to be even remotely ashamed of that.


With all of this being said, I would like to ask that if you know someone in your life who uses Cannabis whether it be recreationally or medicinally, I ask that you do not judge them, or at least educate yourself before doing so.



<3, Kayla



Works Cited Grinspoon, Peter. “Medical Marijuana.” ​Harvard Health Blog,​ 9 Jan. 2018, www.health.harvard.edu/blog/medical-marijuana-2018011513085.

“Medical Marijuana - ProCon.org.” ​Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?​, medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=001325.

“Medical Marijuana and Mental Health: Cannabis Use in Psychiatric Practice.” ​Psychiatric Times,​ 31 May 2017, www.psychiatrictimes.com/special-reports/medical- marijuana-and-mental-health-cannabis-use-psychiatric-practice.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Marijuana as Medicine.” ​NIDA​, www.drugabuse.gov/ publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine.

“Read ‘The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research’ at NAP.edu.” ​National Academies Press: OpenBook​, www.nap.edu/read/24625/chapter/1.

“Drug Overdose Deaths.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 Mar. 2020, ​www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/statedeaths.html​. “Map of Marijuana Legality by State.” DISA Global Solutions, 9 Oct. 2020, disa.com/map-of-marijuana-legality-by-state.

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