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Welcome to the Poison Garden: Medicine’s Medieval Roots

The science of using plants to treat human ills is as old as mankind itself. The only problem with this “science” is that it’s always a trial-and-error endeavor: Use a plant in the wrong way or dosage and it can kill as easily as it could possibly help. A tour through the Poison Garden in England highlights plants that can both kill and help. As noted by NPR, some of the plants in the Poison Garden are marijuana.

It’s true that plants can be both deadly and helpful. But the same can be said of most anything, including water: Drink too much and you literally can kill yourself by drowning your body’s tissues. And, yes, some people abuse marijuana as a drug to get high. But that should not be a reason to ban its use for medicinal purposes. The fact is, because of archaic drug laws in the U.S., medical cannabis is a vastly underused therapeutic option.

We've come a long way when it comes to re-normalizing the use of medicinal marijuana. Unfortunately, the Drug Enforcement Administration is still trying to suppress it as best they can. In December 2016, the agency announced cannabidiol (CBD) is being reclassified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, putting it on par with LSD and heroin.

This, despite the fact that CBD has no psychoactive component, meaning it cannot render you "high." Instead, by bringing tissues back into balance, cannabinoids can reduce pain, seizures and muscle spasms. It’s also famous for settling nausea associated with chemotherapy, and for helping you relax and improve sleep.

Additionally, there is no fatal toxicity associated with cannabis. What’s more, a survey found that the majority of physicians — 56 percent — favor nationwide legalization of medical cannabis, with support being highest among oncologists and hematologists.
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