The Medical Uses of Marijuana

The times they are a changing.

By 2017, 28 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing marijuana for medicinal use. Today, marijuana is often used for pain relief, helping patients suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, and many more debilitating diseases.

Even the National Institute on Drug Abuse says that THC, one of the active ingredients in the plant, “can increase appetite and reduce nausea.” 

According to the Business Insider, only six percent (6%) of all current federal studies are reviewing the efficacy of the plant’s treatment for illness. This will likely change, as the business of pot continues to expand.

Active Ingredients – Actively Working

There have been many health benefits that have been highlighted in medical studies over the past 10 years. These studies have all been by scientists in research labs and published in reputable medical journals. The research has led states to legalize cannabis consumption for medical use and patients around the world are benefiting from the loosening of these regulations.

These studies agree that the potential health benefits can be attributed to two chemicals that grow within the leaves and buds of this useful plant. Marijuana plants are made up of two identified compounds, cannabidiol (CBD) tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When smoked or eaten, these plants seem to cause true health benefits for people suffering from some of the most difficult diseases to fight. Some of the scientific studies highlighting the benefits of marijuana have shown:

  • According to the National Eye Institute, inhaled marijuana reduces eye pressure, which slows progression of glaucoma. Glaucoma increases the pressure in the eyeball, damaging the optic nerve and causing blindness.
  • A study at the Virginia Commonwealth University showed that marijuana helps prevent epileptic seizures. Even the most severe seizure disorders, such as Dravet Syndrome can be better controlled by medical marijuana.
  • A cannabis compound stops cancer from spreading, according to a study conducted by the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. The findings came after 20 years of researching the issue.
  • Medical marijuana also decreases anxiety, according to a study by the Harvard Medical School.
  • A clinical study from the Scripps Research Institute recommended marijuana to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. The study suggested THC slow the growth of amyloid plaques, which are what wipes out the healthy brain cells during the progression of the disease.
  • A Canadian study suggested marijuana might lessen some of the debilitating and painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis. The THC from smoking cannabis seems to bind to nerve receptors, which lessens the pain and tremors from MS.
  • Pot can help those suffering from hepatitis C undergo medical treatment that is often painful and debilitating, according to a 2006 study.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease can be tamed with marijuana, according to a study in the Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
  • Pain relief, inflammation reduction, and relaxation are all benefits for arthritis sufferers who consume cannabis, according to published rheumatology research.

 

While all agree that more research needs to be done, these studies have laid the groundwork for a movement to legalize this beneficial plant.

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