The possibility for much-needed income and the effect of the Covid-19 epidemic is driving the idea of cannabis legalization in Africa, which was unthinkable less than a decade ago. Generations of Africans experienced the wrath of the colonial period and the moral legislation about the use of cannabis. People are imprisoned, driven into the underground, or destroyed by their livelihood if they participated in the culture and sale of marijuana. However, as governments seek new income streams, this formerly restricted sector is finally opening, albeit not always for smallholder farmers or local consumers.
Reforms on the continent are being aided by trends through Western markets, where legalization is quickly expanding, and the possibility of profiting from a fast-growing multibillion-dollar industry. At least ten African nations have passed legislation governing the commodity, with many more considering doing so.
Is Cannabis Legalization In Africa Good Or Bad?
According to the NHS, people have been using marijuana or cannabis to treat diseases for at minimum 3000 years. The FDA, on either hand, does not consider marijuana to be an appropriate or effective therapy for any medical condition. In June 2018, cannabidiol, a constituent of marijuana, was authorized as a treatment for some types of epilepsy. This conflict, which exists between the widespread perception that cannabis is an effective therapy for various illnesses and an absence of scientific understanding about its effects, has recently been compounded by a push for legalization.
Marijuana is now legalized in twenty-nine federal recognition counties for medical — and, in some areas, adult — use. Marijuana use is on the rise in the United States, according to a new study published in the journal Addiction. This increase, however, may not be linked to cannabis legalization in Africa as well as other countries. Despite this, the increasing use is causing serious public health issues. In this post, we look at the scientific evidence contrasting marijuana’s therapeutic benefits to its associated health risks to answer the big question: is cannabis beneficial or bad?
What Are Marijuana’s Medicinal Advantages?
Research has shown throughout the years that cannabis may be beneficial when it comes to the treatment of certain illnesses. The following is a list of them.
Last year, Engineering, National Academies of Sciences and Medicine published a comprehensive study examining over 10,000 scientific research on marijuana’s medicinal advantages and drawbacks. One of the issues addressed in detail in the research was the use of medical marijuana to treat chronic pain. Over 25 million individuals suffer from chronic pain, which is the leading risk factor. The review showed that chronic pain is supported well by marijuana or cannabinoid-containing goods — the active components of the marijuana or other chemicals that operate on the same target in the head as marijuana.
Alcoholism And Drug Addiction
In a thorough review of data published last year in the Clinical Psychology Review, individuals with alcohol or opiate addiction may be helped by marijuana to control their habits. This conclusion, however, is controversial; per the National Academies of Sciences, cannabis use increases the risk of abusing and getting addicted to other substances. Furthermore, the more marijuana a person consumes, the more likely they will establish a marijuana addiction. Individuals who started smoking marijuana at an early age are also recognized as at a higher risk of acquiring a marijuana addiction.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, And Social Anxiety
The study, which was published in Clinical Psychology Review, examined all the scientific evidence on the use of cannabis to treat mental disorder concerns. However, they are warning that cannabis is not a suitable therapy for other mental health diseases, such as bipolar illness and psychosis.
The research indicates that cannabis may assist with anxiety sensitivity, but the Engineering, National Academies of Science and Medicine review contradicts this, finding that regular cannabis smokers may be at a greater risk of social anxiety.
Oral cannabinoids were shown to assist with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, as well as some preliminary studies have shown that smoked cannabis may also help with similar symptoms. Specific cancer cell research indicates that cannabis may either delay or stop the development of some cancers. Early human trials, on the other hand, showed that even though cannabinoids are indeed a safe therapy, they are ineffective at treating or curing cancer.
The use of oral cannabis for a short period has been found to decrease spasticity symptoms in people with multiple sclerosis, but the advantages are minor.
What Are The Health Consequences Of Marijuana?
The multitude of research that has shown unfavorable connections between marijuana usage and health are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Nevertheless, here are some of the consequences:
Mental Health Problems
Marijuana usage daily is thought to worsen the symptoms of bipolar illness in individuals who already have it. The Engineering, National Academies of Sciences, and Medical research, on the other hand, claims that there is no evidence of a link between marijuana usage and the emergence of bipolar disorder in those who have never had it. Frequent cannabis users are much more likely to attempt suicide. There is a slightly elevated prevalence of suicide among marijuana users, according to moderate evidence.
Although there is no evidence that marijuana usage increases the incidence of most cancers, the National Academies of Sciences found evidence that marijuana use increases the risk of testicular cancer’s slow seminoma subtypes.
The elevated risk of persistent cough, although it is not apparent if smoking marijuana aggravates the performance of the lung or leads to excessive chronic pulmonary obstruction or asthma. According to a 2014 research. A study published in Trusted Source that looked at the connection between marijuana usage and lung illness concluded that smoking marijuana might cause lung cancer. Still, solid evidence linking the two has been challenging to come across.
Cannabis legalization in Africa seems ideally positioned to serve the increasing European market for medicinal cannabis, given its good climate and closeness to Europe. Warm temperatures, fertile soil, and enough sunlight on the continent may help it compete with established cannabis powerhouses. In contrast to Canada and the Netherlands, where the cold environment necessitates the cultivation of cannabis in resource-intensive conservatories, cannabis in Africa may be produced in open fields. Despite the thriving cannabis growing business in their own countries, many American and Canadian firms have either established or indicated an interest in establishing farms and processing facilities on the continent.