Porphyria is a disambiguation of a group of rare diseases which involve abnormalities in the synthesis of blood cells. Regular blood cells contain the agent called heme - substance that disperses oxygen throughout the body. With porphyria, heme fails to fully synthetize, leaving behind the intermediate chemicals called porphyrins. Heme deficiency, either inherited or acquired, leads to neurological or skin problems, and sometimes, both. Porphyria can come in two forms - acute, with sudden and severe symptoms, which indicate problems with brain and nerve, and cutaneous, which progresses slowly, but does more damage to skin and internal organs in the long run. General signs include overall weakness, digestion and stool abnormalities, nausea, vomiting, rash and changes in skin pigment, painful exposure to direct sunlight.
Porphyria is widely portrayed as one of the classic 'noble' diseases, due to its high chance of inheritance within the same bloodline. There is evidence of numerous notable historical figures who were affected. However, the ailment can appear in patients with no family history of porphyria, and is proven to be found in all human races.
Essentially, the treatment of porphyria aims to supplement and substitute the heme enzyme, which is deficient in the blood. A number of medicines (Hematin, Heme Arginate etc.) have been developed to produce the effect, but in chronic cases they have to be taken continuously, regardless the risk of side effects. While attempting to treat the underlying cause, these meds leave the most discomforting symptoms, nausea and vomiting, untreated, and additional medications have to be prescribed for their management. Medical marijuana may be able to cope with this problem. Being a natural anti-anxiety medicine, with low side effect risk, it is known for compatibility with drugs that are otherwise incompatible. Treatment with heme regulators often requires strict diet and refrains from other medications due to high risk of accumulative side effects. Medical marijuana can used safely to alleviate the symptoms of nausea and vomiting, improve food digestion and decrease diarrhea, while the heme modulators do their job.