There is a shift in how the world views cannabis. First simply seen as a gateway drug in the United States, it is now gaining traction and being legalized for use as medical marijuana. New Mexico was the first to license and regulate production and distribution of cannabis using a state agency. Now Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska have successfully legalized medical marijuana as part of a group of over 23 states that have legalized all or part, such as cannibidiol, of the plant. There are many reforms underway with Uruguay the first country to legalize marijuana. Our country is coming to a turning point with approximately half of our United States approving the use of medical marijuana. Through we have seen a turnaround, there are those who hold to the belief that marijuana harms users and resist this recent perception and new findings. Understanding of cannabis and how it can be used to treat a range of medical issues safely with fewer side effects can offer another view of this health-promoting substance.
Mind-changing Benefits of Cannabis
There are an array of ways in which medical marijuana has been used to treat patients and provide relief, reduce occurrence of symptoms, or inhibit the spread of possibly mortal diseases. Cannabis, and its parts, have been found to help in:
Glaucoma treatment. Glaucoma can lead to blindness and those individuals that also have diabetes can experience an increase in intraocular pressure. Smoking marijuana can help patients relieve pressure from eyes and experience improved eyesight.
Epilepsy management. Smoking marijuana has helped those that suffer from seizures and disorders experience relief and relaxation.
Pain reduction. Individuals diagnosed with MS, Rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, HIV, alcoholism, or have experienced amputation or spinal surgery, have found that marijuana ingestion offers them pain relief as part of a medical marijuana treatment protocol. A 2010 Canadian study found that medical marijuana was substantially more effective as compared to aspirin in limited perceived pain.
Prevention in the spread of Cancer. Cannabidiol, a chemical found in cannabis, may turn off the Id-1 gene, inhibiting cancer cell growth. Research using breast cancer cells showed that those treated with cannibidiol shoed a lower incidence of the gene and any remaining cells were less invasive. Other studies abroad showed a correlation to the death of cancer cells.
Slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s. THC appears to positively impact Alzheimer’s patients. According to a 2006 study, chemicals in THC can help prevent the formation of amyloid plaques. This means longer and more cognizant lives for individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s.
HIV treatment. Research has shown support to help with symptoms that impact patients with HIV, such as weight loss and body aches. In addition, a Louisiana study found that THC given to infected primates seemed to decrease the damage to their immune system in the stomach.
Appetite stimulation. Studies supported by the National Cancer Institute reveal that cannabis inhalation has a positive result on calorie consumption, increasing the number of calories consumed. Also, the American Journal of Medicine showed users to be thinner than the average person, with a healthier metabolism and improved response to sugars.
Parkinson’s tremor reduction. Research in Israel found that smoking pot reduced pain and tremors in patients with Parkinson’s and had also shown a correlation to better sleep quality and improved fine motor skills. Muscle tension relief and a reduction in tremors also benefits multiple sclerosis patients.
PTSD relief for veterans. Marijuana has been found to be a safer treatment alternative to traditional PTSD treatment. Marijuana has a relaxing effect on users without a fuzzy mental state experienced with antidepressants. Soldiers can relieve anxiety without the feeling of being medicated. Most prescribed drugs have a high risk of addiction and are not to be used over long periods. Marijuana use can fluctuate with the needs of the patient and no conclusive studies demonstrate that marijuana is addicting in the common sense of drug addiction as with substances containing opiates.
While some may have a vague knowledge that marijuana can increase the appetite, reduce feelings of nausea and provide some modicum of pain relief, it is truly outstanding to see the applications and implications for the medical use of cannabis.