Cannabis beats aspirin in so many ways
Back in 1899 when Bayer first produced aspirin, cannabis was the leading painkiller in the United States. The US Pharmacopoeia, issued by a non-profit body, defines standards for drugs and is currently used by the governments of the United States and over 140 other countries; when cannabis was made illegal in 1937, this listed cannabis as the primary treatment for more than 100 diseases. Cannabis was such an effective painkiller that the American Medical Association, surely believing the drug to be safer than aspirin, argued against its prohibition, to no avail.
Cannabis has been used for over five millennia and nobody has every overdosed from it, while aspirin has been used for 117 years and, every year, 500 people die after taking it. Cannabis is patently safer than aspirin.
The downside of cannabis
If smoked, marijuana can cause respiratory problems because burnt plant matter accumulates in the lungs. For as much as four hours it might lead to short-term memory loss and reduced reaction time and cognitive ability ? so it makes you stupid for a short while. It can also result in hunger (such a terrible, terrible thing), paranoia, depression (except when it alleviates it) and tiredness. It also has the utterly appalling side effects of euphoria and creativity.
The much, much larger downside of aspirin
Cannabis is safer than aspirin. Aspirin can cause stomach bleeding when mixed with alcohol. Even when alcohol is not present, aspirin causes stomach problems that include dyspepsia, heartburn, internal bleeding, ulcers and upset stomach. It causes Reye Syndrome in children, where fat develops around the liver and other organs and which is usually fatal within days. It can kill people who have haemophilia. The list of problems is very, very long and takes in ringing in the ears, liver damage, destruction of the kidney, lethargy (like cannabis; are you still complaining about that?), cerebral oedema (the accumulation of water on the brain, which can be lethal) and many more. Aspirin also interacts with some other drugs, possibly resulting in overdose and death.
More good news about cannabis
A clinical trial by Israel’s Hebrew University featured in The Clinical Journal of Pain found that long-term, daily use of cannabis led to better analgesia in patients whose pain conditions were resistant to conventional medications, which presumably included aspirin. 176 patients were evaluated, with 66 percent reporting improvement to their pain and most finding ?robust? improvements to their quality of life, such as better sleep. 44 percent found they no longer required opiod drugs. Does aspirin do all that? A trial in Canada in 2015 reached similar conclusions. In 2014, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that there were many fewer opiate-related deaths in states that permitted the consumption of cannabis for medical reasons. Cannabis is safer than aspirin, which has no such effect.
It’s going to be legalised
Cannabis will be legalised. In a recent interview, former US attorney general Eric Holder announced, ?I certainly think it ought to be…. You know, we treat marijuana in the same way that we treat heroin now and that clearly is not appropriate.? When he headed the Justice Department, Holder remarked that legalisation was ?something that I think we need to ask ourselves (about) and use science as the basis for making that determination? but shied away from proposing it directly, preferring to shift responsibility to Congress. He was echoed by President Obama, who called legalisation ?a job for Congress.? We’re waiting on Congress, and we won’t be waiting long.