The argument over the pros and cons of medical marijuana is ongoing. Despite the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington and Colorado, it is still illegal in most states. Many states even refuse to legalize it strictly for medical uses. While there are many people who argue against the use of marijuana for medical purposes, there are many great medical benefits to marijuana.
According to Psychiatrist Tod H Mikuriya and the National Cancer Institute, medical marijuana can help with many different debilitating symptoms of over 200 health problems. Here are ten of the great medical benefits to using marijuana.
Prevents Cancer from Spreading
The search for a cure for cancer continues, and while marijuana does not cure cancer, it does help prevent it from spreading. Last month Federal Government reported marijuana is effective in combating certain cancers.In a 2007 study at California Pacific Medical Center, researchers showed that cannabidiol (a chemical in marijuana) stopped the Id-1 gene. More than other genes, cancer cells love the Id-1 gene and use it the most to spread throughout the body. By blocking this gene with cannabidiol in breast cancer cells, the researchers were able to significantly reduce how aggressively the Id-1 genes spread.
Relieves the Pain of Arthritis
Arthritis is a common condition that affects many people. It is an inflammation of the joints and causes pain that often limits mobility and activities. In 2011, researchers announced the results of a study on the effects of cannabinoid on pain in arthritis patients. Many patients were given a pain medication called Sativex and others were given a placebo for two weeks. At the end of the study, the Sativex patients had significant pain relief.
Helps Improve and Prevent Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
There are many different inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn’s. Living with these conditions is uncomfortable and unpleasant, but studies show that marijuana may help patients with these types of diseases. A University of Nottingham study showed that the chemicals in marijuana help with proper intestine function by stopping bacteria from slipping into the intestine.
Helps with Hepatitis C Treatment Side Effects
There are many types of hepatitis, but Hepatitis C is one of the most unpleasant forms and often requires drastic and unpleasant treatment. The side effects of this treatment are severe and lasting. However, studies have shown that marijuana helps with the side effects of hepatitis C treatments. The study appeared in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. The 2006 study looked at patients who used marijuana and patients who did not. Out of the patients using marijuana, 86 percent were able to complete their treatment. Out of the patients that did not use marijuana, only 29 percent were able to complete treatment.
Relieves the Pain and Pressure of Glaucoma
Using marijuana for glaucoma is probably one of the best known arguments for medical marijuana. This is because it really helps treat and prevent glaucoma. Glaucoma is caused by pressure in the eye, but marijuana helps to decrease that pressure, making it great for treating as well as preventing glaucoma. Studies on the effectiveness of marijuana on glaucoma began in the 1970s. These studies show that marijuana decreases the eye pressure for both glaucoma sufferers and healthy people.
Improves Lung Function and is Better Than Tobacco
While marijuana doesn’t cure lung diseases or problems, smoking marijuana is significantly better for your lungs than smoking tobacco. According to the Journal of American Medical Association, researchers studied tobacco and marijuana smokers to learn about lung function. As expected, the tobacco smokers lost some of their lung function over 20 years. However, surprisingly, the marijuana smokers did not lose lung function. In fact, they had an improvement in lung function.
Alleviates Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating neurological condition that is characterized by blindness, pain, numbness, weakness, fatigue and tingling. There is no cure, but studies suggest that marijuana may help people suffering from multiple sclerosis. In a study by Jody Corey-Bloom, patients were given different medications, including marijuana to help with their symptoms. None of the treatments helped any of the patients’ symptoms except for marijuana. After only a few days, the THC in marijuana helped to relieve the pain by interfering with the pain receptors.
Helps Prevent Epileptic Seizures
In a study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Robert J DeLorenzo presented his findings regarding marijuana and epileptic seizures. According to DeLorenzo, epileptic rats were given cannabinoids, which is a chemical in marijuana. The cannabinoids stopped the rat’s seizures. The treatment lasted for ten hours and worked by promoting relaxation and blocking the receptors that cause seizures.
Slows the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease
Another brain-affecting disease that is helped with the use of marijuana is Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that causes patients to lose memories and the ability to perform daily functions. Like other forms of dementia, there is no cure, but a 2006 study showed that marijuana is capable of slowing the disease’s progression. Alzheimer’s Disease is caused by amyloid plaques that destroy brain cells. Kim Janda led the study and found that the THC in marijuana helps blocks the production of amyloid plaques.
Relieves Anxiety and Promotes Calmness
While anxiety may not be considered a deadly disease, it is painful and debilitating for anyone who suffers from it. Two of the most common effects of marijuana are pain relief and nausea suppression, which make it a great medication for many medical problems. However, a study at Harvard Medical School shows that the reason it improves pain and nausea is because it reduces anxiety. In addition to treating painful symptoms of medical diseases and conditions, low doses of marijuana work well to promote relaxation and ebb anxiety.
The argument over the use and benefits of marijuana is not over. However, many states allow marijuana use for medical conditions, and some states have even legalized recreational marijuana use. Marijuana really does help with many diseases and ailments that cause pain, nausea and anxiety. Using marijuana for medical uses allows people suffering from painful symptoms and side effects to enjoy their lives again.
The author of this post is editor at Scientific Man, an Indian Science News portal.