Pot and Your Health – 3 Studies
The problem with research into the health effects of marijuana lies in the arena of funding. Pot is a Schedule I substance, and still illegal under federal law. This fact can stymie researchers seeking funding, even though there have been prior studies that show marijuana helps with a range of debilitating diseases.
These studies legitimize marijuana’s health benefits, so they’re important to national legalization efforts. Fortunately, there have been a number of studies recently that have made headlines and more research is in the pipeline for the summer. Here’s a summary of three recent health studies on the positive effects of marijuana.
Study #1 – Pot Helps with Pain in Elderly Patients
A study in the European Journal of Internal Medicine sought to quantify the positive effects of marijuana consumption in reducing pain in the elderly. The study looked at 900 patients over 65 years of age that were smoking pot to reduce the pain associated with Parkinson’s, Crohn’s disease, cancer, and other chronic or life-threatening conditions.
The study showed that 93% of these patients reported that marijuana was helpful in reducing pain. 15% of the patients in the study stopped taking opioids for pain as a result.
Study #2 – Pot Protects Against Aging-Related Diseases
Another study in a German medical journal sought to establish a link between marijuana and a reduction in the build-up of excessive minerals in the brain that can lead to Alzheimer’s.
As the body ages, minerals such as iron can build up in the brain. Excessive levels of these minerals are believed to contribute to diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. This study, in the Brain Research Bulletin, revealed that pot is an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory that helps protect the brain from the damaging effects of these minerals over time. While more research needs done this published work illustrated that marijuana could lessen the damaging effects of the brain-wasting diseases plaguing human kind.
Study #3 – Marijuana Helps Prevent Colon Cancer
Our third study goes to the opposite end of the body – the colon. Australian scientists found that cannabis suppresses the tumors found in colon cancers. Pot acts on the tiny receptors in cells, blocking tumor growth by inhibiting cell expansion.
These powerful effects seem to stem from the THC and CBD found in the marijuana plant. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, which comes from the resin in the pot plant. THC attaches to the receptors in the brain and provides the calm, pleasurable sensation that most people feel when consuming weed.
CBD is a cannabinoid, a non-psychoactive yet powerful compound that seems to offer the biggest medical benefit found in marijuana. This is the chemical in pot that helps reduce inflammation, anxiety, pain, seizures, and more.
What These Studies Tell Us
While the scientific and clinical studies must continue, this early research has shown the promise of marijuana to help with a whole host of drugs, including:
- Chronic pain
As more states move to legalize marijuana for recreational and medicinal use, it seems clear that will pave the way for more research to be done on this useful and life-saving plant.