The healing properties of Marijuana have been known for a long time. Cultures from all around the world have been using cannabis seeds, flowers and buds for medical purposes. Ancient texts in the Chinese and Indian cultures speak of the herbs therapeutic effects. Some of the benefits include relieving pain, boosting energy and reducing anxiety.
Unfortunately, marijuana became associated with criminal activity in the U.S at the turn of the century. Racial prejudices may have played a role in creating negative views about the drug. It was often used by Mexican and Black communities and the drug was banned in the country, despite having been used for a hundred years in medicine and healing tinctures.
Recent push for medical marijuana legalization has led to improvements in the laws. Medical marijuana is now legal in 29 states including New York and California. You can legally purchase marijuana medication in these states after registration through our medical marijuana practice.
Medical Marijuana Research
A majority of American public is in favor of medical marijuana legalization in the U.S. A Pew survey shows that at least 84% are in favor or easing medical marijuana restrictions. It is interesting to note that a substantial number of police officers are also in favor of easing the regulations.
One reason why opinions on marijuana have become positive is due to recent medical research. Some of the recent studies show that medical marijuana can have positive health benefits for patients suffering from a number of medical conditions.
Marijuana contains dozens of known cannabinoids but two of these have been researched in particular. Cannabidiol (CBD) binds to the brain receptors and creates feelings of relaxation. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for producing the high and has pain relieving properties.
Some of the positive health benefits, linked with medical marijuana, are outlined below.
1. Marijuana Helps Relieve Pain
Cananbinoids in medical marijuana combine with receptors in the brain to help reduce pain for patients. Chronic pain is one of the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana prescription.
Medical marijuana is supported by ex-athletes involved in impact sports like football. Most of these athletes develop physical pain problems and internal injuries. Medical marijuana helps numb the pain and lets them live a normal life.
Marijuana may also be prescribed for cancer patients going through chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Cancer treatments leave the patient’s body broken and weak. Marijuana oils and medication has proven effective in reducing pain for cancer patients.
2. Improves Appetite
Recreational marijuana users have known the hunger inducing properties of the drug for a long time. Pot smokers often get a severe craving for the munchies. Researchers believe that cannabinoids in marijuana attach to the brain receptors that trigger hunger for people.
People suffering from cases of anorexia or lack of hunger due to digestive disorders can enhance their appetite by using medical marijuana.
3. Treats Bowel Disease Inflammation
Medical marijuana helps relieve the symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Researchers discovered that THC and CBD attach to cells in the digestive tract that help reduce inflammation for the patients.
Some researchers believe that inflammation is caused by the immune system in the body. Problems in the immune system cause the cells to start attacking the body. Cannabinoids block these cells and provide relief for the patient.
4. Improves Sleep
A lot of people suffering from anxiety have problems sleeping comfortably at night. Marijuana medication improves sleeping for people. Cannabinoids in the drug produce a relaxing effect that reduces anxiety, normalizes heart rate and clears the mind from anxious thoughts.
5. Treatment for Arthritis Discomfort
People affected with arthritis suffer from a combination of pain, insomnia and hunger. They experience spastic movements and shaking of limbs. The pores of the fingers and toes specifically suffer and become numb to any sensations.
Arthritis patients can gain significant benefits from medical marijuana and it is now a qualifying condition for medical marijuana therapy.
6. Effective Treatment of PTSD
PTSD is caused due to stressful or tragic events that occur in a person’s life. A significant number of veterans returning from active duty report PTSD. The disorder has a negative impact on a person’s ability to live a normal life as the person becomes prone to over reacting and outbursts.
Medical marijuana has active cannabinoids that can help regulate anxiety and fear in the brain and body. Marijuana therapy combined with PTSD psychotherapy has been positively linked with helping the person move past the tragic memories and severely reduce panic attacks.
7. Protects the Brain
Researchers believe that cannabis can protect the brain in the case of traumatic events like concussions.
The active compounds in marijuana connect with the receptors in the brain and cerebral cortex. These cannabinoids help form a protective coating and numb the brain to the effects of shock. This is beneficial in the case of a stroke as it reduces the size of the area that can be negatively affected.
8. Benefits for the Heart
In a recent study, researchers found that medical marijuana might have a positive effect on the heart. The results showed that people who used marijuana were less likely to experience Atrial Fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat which makes heart failure symptoms worse.
Researchers still cautioned that smoking marijuana might lead to worsening the condition.
Atrial Fibrillation can both cause a heart failure and be the consequence of a stroke. The two conditions often occur together and people who experience both have a higher risk of mortality.
9. Reduces Tremors
Tremors can be caused by a number of medical complications like Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. While the research on the marijuana treatment for tremors is limited, the drug seems to have a positive effect on the brain chemistry.
Both THC and CBD are potent antioxidants that have been seen to have neuroprotective effects in trial studies. In a study of 20 patients with Parkinson’s, it was noted that marijuana consumption helped improve sleep, pain and tremor control.
10. Lowers the Chances of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is an eye condition in which the optic nerve becomes damaged over time. It impairs vision and can even lead to blindness for the patient.
Research shows that glaucoma can be controlled by lowering Intra Ocular Pressure (IOP) within the eye. Marijuana has been linked with lowering IOP for quite some time. There has been research, supported by the National Eye Institute, which shows that marijuana does reduce the IOP within the eyes.
The effects last for a short period of time and patients would need to take regular pills in order to keep the disorder from affecting their eyes. Researchers believe that more studies would allow them to create pills that last for longer periods of time.
11. Reduces Stress Related Disorders
Perhaps the most widely known use of cannabis has been to reduce stress and anxiety as the drug can create a feeling of euphoria in smokers.
The effects of smoking pot are more pronounced than medical pills or oils used in vaporizers. Nonetheless medical marijuana is effective for relaxing the mind and releasing hormones in the body that produce a calming effect for patients.
12. Prevents Tumors and Cancers
Researchers have noted that cannabinoids in marijuana can reduce the growth of tumors in the body and prevent cancers from spreading. Medical marijuana can slow down the process of unhealthy cell growth and multiplication.
Animal studies in laboratories have shown that THC and CBD kill cancer cells in mice without harming healthy cells nearby. The preclinical trials give hope to cancer patients that marijuana extract may one day completely stop the growth of cancer in their body.
13. Helps Against Alzheimer ’s Disease
Studies show that chemicals found in cannabis could be helpful in treating dementia. THC can aid the removal of dangerous proteins from the brain cells.
Researchers used a small quantity of synthetically produced cannabinoids in their study. It was observed to stimulate the removal of toxins associated with dementia in the brain.
14. Reduces Seizures and Spasms
Laboratory studies have shown that medical marijuana is particularly effective for people suffering from seizures and epilepsy attacks. Two gold standard studies showed that marijuana consumers reported a drop in their seizure by up to 40%.
Epilepsy can be particularly problematic. People who suffer from a seizure have the risk of falling on their head or and receive a traumatic injury.
Cannabis can significantly improve the condition for patients. Given its proven record for treating the disorder, epilepsy is now a qualifying condition for medical marijuana prescription in a large number of states.
15. Prevent Damage from Neuropathy Disorders
Neuropathy disorders such as peripheral neuropathy occur due to the breakdown of the perennial nerves or central nervous system. Damage to the nerves occurs due to a number of reasons.
One specific case for neural damage occurs when the immune system in the body starts attacking the central nerves. Marijuana can help treat this condition as the cannabinoids attack the immune cells responsible for the break down of the nerves. This can help prevent the problem from getting worse.