Medical Cannabis Is A Human Right
3 min

Medical Cannabis Is A Human Right... Here's Why

3 min
Editorials News

Research clearly shows that cannabis can be a remedy for a variety of health conditions. Nonetheless, less than 20 countries in the world recognize it as a medicine and give their patients legal, safe access to cannabis, like they do to other medications.

Welcome to Zamnesia's Editorials, where our writer, Steven, shares his opinion on all things related to the cannabis, CBD, and smartshop industries. Remember, all the views expressed in these articles are those of the author and don't necessarily reflect the opinions of Zamnesia as a company. To share your opinions with our author and our team, make sure to leave a comment.


Is Access To Medicinal Cannabis A Human Right?

Many countries around the world consider health a basic right. In fact, international organizations, like the UN, emphasize that every person has the right to basic medical care. Unless that care comes in the form of cannabis.

Over the last few years, countless clinical trials, research papers, and other forms of medical research have looked into the efficacy of cannabis as a medicine. A huge body of research now shows that cannabis has huge potential.

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Nonetheless, patients in most parts of the world still can’t legally and safely access cannabis. In fact, most countries still consider cannabis an illegal and dangerous substance. If the world is really as serious about health as it makes out to be, it’s high time it lifts its ban on weed.

The endocannabinoid system is a regulatory system that helps the body function at its best. Research has shown that targeting this system with plant-derived cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, can help in the treatment of a wide variety of conditions.

The endocannabinoid system is very complex, and how some cannabinoids interact with it still isn’t completely clear. We know, for example, that THC works by binding to CB1 receptors in the brain and body. CBD, however, is much more complex, and researchers still have a lot of questions as to how it affects the body.


Cannabis: A Long-forgotten Medicine

Nonetheless, we know that cannabis has benefits. In fact, we’ve known it for thousands of years. The Pen T’sao (written in 1578), widely regarded as the first pharmacopeia, and countless other ancient Chinese medical texts described cannabis as a treatment. And it is not some ancient substance used thousands of years ago. Although historic use does not qualify cannabis as a treatment by today's standards, its use has persisted across the world as a remedy throughout history up until 100 years ago or so. That's a long time for civilizations across the world to be using cannabis, to then suddenly decide its a danger.

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Ancient Use Of Medical Cannabis

It could be assumed that maybe there was a scientific reason for cannabis becoming outlawed, and that it was founded in a concern for health. However, the opposite is true, the American Medical Association strongly fought against the prohibition of cannabis. The true motives behind its prohibition were industry and greed — with fear campaigns and misinformation having led to the demonisation of cannabis. Today, cannabis has a huge stigma attached to it, that unfortunately not only effects recreational users, but also seriously ill patients who rely on this plant for relief.


Health: A Human Right

Many nations across the world consider health a basic right. In fact, so do major international organizations, like the United Nations and the World Health Organization. The WHO, for example, calls health a fundamental human right[1] in its almost 70-year-old constitution.

The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights[2] also states that every human being has the right to a standard of living that accommodates for their health and wellbeing (including medical care).

So both international and national governments and organizations agree that health is a human right. Unfortunately, we’re hardly seeing that reflected in our current policies on medical cannabis.

So far, out of the 195 countries in the world, less than 20 have completely legalized or regulated medical cannabis programs[3] via which patients can access and use cannabis as they would any other medication.

In the US, for example, patients are still breaking federal law by consuming, buying, or growing cannabis for medicinal purposes, regardless of the laws in their state. In The Netherlands, a country often praised for its stance on cannabis, the government is considering scaling back its medical cannabis programs[4] and prescribing marijuana only for palliative pain relief.

Sure, there’s still a lot we have to learn about this plant, and there are some precautions we need to take in prescribing and administering it, especially when treating children or administering cannabis products with THC. Nonetheless, if the world’s governments and health organizations want to be serious about their statements regarding the importance of health, they need to start changing their stance on medical cannabis.


Cannabis: A Legitimate, Effective Medicine

For some, cannabis is a recreational drug. For many, however, it’s an effective remedy. For many patients, in fact, cannabis is often the only treatment that offers relief without the harsh side effects of the standard treatments available to them.

If we’re really serious about health as a human right, it’s high time we change our stance on cannabis and begin treating it as the medicine that we know (and long have known) it to be.

Steven Voser

Written by: Steven Voser
Steven Voser is an Emmy Award Nominated freelance journalist with a lot of experience under his belt. Thanks to a passion for all things cannabis, he now dedicates a lot of his times exploring the world of weed.

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We are not making medical claims. This article has been written for informational purposes only, and is based on research published by other externals sources.

External Resources:
  1. Health is a fundamental human right -
  2. Universal Declaration of Human Rights | United Nations -
  3. Cannabis Legalization World Map - Cannabis Business Times -
  4. Medicinal cannabis users left high and dry by Dutch tolerance policy - -

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