Medical Marijuana is the whole, unprocessed plant or extracts used for the treatment of medical conditions and symptoms of illness and other conditions. Marijuana’s chemical content called cannabinoids is now being researched for further development of medications.
The medical interest in Cannabinoids focuses on THC and CBD. THC is a component that helps alleviate pain, inflammation, muscle control problems, reduce nausea and increase appetite.
CBD, on the other hand, is a cannabinoid that doesn’t make its users “high.” CBD-containing drugs are not usually used for recreational use because it is not intoxicating but can be useful in reducing pain, controlling seizures and treating mental illnesses.
The medical benefits of Marijuana treats are widely studied, here are some of them:
1. Chronic Pain
In a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, it was found that there was definitive evidence that marijuana’s chemical component cannabis can be an effective treatment for chronic pain is the most common reason patients request medical marijuana.
2. Muscle spasms
In the same report, it was included that there is strong evidence of medical cannabis alleviating symptoms of muscle spasms related to multiple sclerosis. Treatment of diaphragm spasms was proven effective.
According to the National Eye Institute, Marijuana decreases pressure inside the eye for a few hours, making it effective for treating and preventing eye diseases like glaucoma, damaging the optic nerve and causing loss of vision.
4. Epileptic Seizures
Another marijuana compound known as cannabidiol or CBD is studied for the effective treatment of epilepsy. There has been a number of reports that only marijuana helps control epileptic seizures in children.
5. Spreading of Cancer
A research at the California Pacific Medical Center reports that cannabidiol may help prevent cancer from spreading. Studies that include aggressive brain tumors in mice and/or cell cultures show that CBD AND THC slow or in some cases shrink tumors.
It was reported that low doses of THC reduce stress and lowers anxiety but should be kept at the right amount as having too much can have the opposite effect.
7. Alzheimer’s disease
Marijuana, as studied by Kim Janda of Scripps Research, is said to be able to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. In a 2006 study in Molecular Pharmaceutics, it was reported that THC blocks the enzyme that makes amyloid plaques thus effectively slowing its formation and the progress of Alzheimer’s.
8. Multiple Sclerosis
In a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, it was concluded that Marijuana can ease the pain in multiple sclerosis. THC compound in Marijuana has been found to bind to receptors in the nerves and muscles and effectively treats and relieves pain.
9. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The natural cannabinoids in Marijuana help regulate the system responsible for anxiety and fear in the body and the brain. PTSD is said to be the number one reason patients use medical marijuana.
10. Alcohol Addiction Intervention
Marijuana is less addictive than alcohol and has less physical damage to its users. A research in harm reduction Journal states that marijuana is sometimes used as a less harmful substitute for alcohol or other illegal drugs as its substitution has less negative side effects with less likely causes of withdrawal.
11. Reverse effects of Chemotherapy
Medical Marijuana is largely used to help provide better medical care for those going through chemotherapy. Patients undergoing chemotherapy suffer from nausea, vomiting and persistent loss of appetite and can lead to health complications when the immune system is taking a hit when doing chemotherapy. As marijuana can help reduce side effects of chemotherapy by reducing pain and nausea and stimulating appetite.
12. Improves Lung Capacity
A good amount of evidence proves that marijuana does not harm the lungs. In a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that the use of marijuana does not cause impairment of lung function and instead increases lung capacity.
13. Brain protection from concussions and trauma
In one study on using Marijuana and its neuroprotective properties, it was found that those who use marijuana were less likely to die from traumatic brain injuries.
Use of Marijuana can disturb sleep cycles and interrupts late stages of REM sleep. Patients suffering from severe and frequent nightmares (usually those suffering from PTSD) can be helped in the short term. Nightmares and dreams happen in the REM stages of sleep and interruption caused by Marijuana prevent these dreams to form.
Medical Marijuana studies are increasing and have shown to be effective in many types of ailments and diseases. Limitations on Marijuana research still leaves a lot of big questions about its medicinal use. There are about 400 chemical compounds in Marijuana in which 60 are cannabinoids (the compounds that are used for its medical properties, including CBD and THC.)
More research on the plant will also permit science to see the risks of marijuana. For the time being, there has been a good amount of evidence supporting the medical benefits of marijuana for ailments like chronic pain, seizures, mental disorders, immune system diseases, and inflammation.