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Why Isn’t Marijuana Used to Treat Eating Disorders?

Published on October 6, 2015 by   ·   1 Comment

Why Isn’t Marijuana Used to Treat Eating Disorders?

Ladybud

At least 24 million Americans of all ages and genders are currently suffering from an eating disorder, and research shows that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of ANY mental illness. In light of these statistics, it amazes me that eating disorders are often still not considered a “qualifying condition” under state medical marijuana laws.

The human experience is diverse and it seems unfair that some conditions qualify and some don’t. Do we have to wait until people are on their death beds before they can validate their marijuana usage? What about preventative care that works to maintain health, instead of policy that forces patients to treat illnesses that have developed and progressed due to lack of care?

Studies have shown that the cannabinoid Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) naturally stimulates appetite. Using marijuana to treat eating disorders could be very useful in encouraging voluntary eating and weight gain. Although eating disorders are very complicated and cannot be wholly cured by marijuana alone, getting people to eat of their own will is crucial to the success of overcoming eating disorders.

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As only about 10-15% of Americans with eating disorders are men, this problem disproportionately affects women’s access to care options that can help us reach optimal health. Some advocates speculate that women with eating disorders aren’t seen as worthy of medical marijuana qualification due to the stigma of eating disorders not being taken seriously. As rates in men steadily climb, they will also feel the unnecessary sting of marijuana prohibition that stops them from seeking marijuana as a legitimate tool of recovery.

Dealing with an eating disorder is an uphill battle in itself, and there is no need to ignore patient dignity in the healing process. The practice of force-feeding women and men against their own will as a form of treatment is an inhumane and archaic way of going about treating patients, yet it remains a standard treatment protocol. Obviously, medical professionals need more information and education about how marijuana can help those suffering from eating disorders. But what isn’t fair is that doctors and other treatment facilities act as gatekeepers and withhold marijuana as a legitimate option from those battling these conditions. Access to medicinal marijuana for those suffering from eating disorders should be a vital and legitimate option.

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. It is. There are narcotic capsules prescribed as appetite enhancers for patients who are anorexic, either because of mental illness or a complication of some cancers.




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