After years of public service announcements telling people how marijuana is bad for them, one may wonder how on earth medical marijuana gets so much hype in the media and in the world of modern medicine.
These days, everyone from your relatives to your boss has a story about how their lives have been enhanced by medical marijuana. As it turns out, weed can be an effective and safe alternative to over-the-counter and prescription medicines that often entail a wide range of dangerous side effects.
Let’s focus on the 11 ailments marijuana can cure, based on the current scientific evidence.
Millions of Canadians use OTC and prescription medications to control their levels of stress and anxiety. However, they often forget that these meds only mask the symptoms of their conditions instead of getting down to the roots of the problem. This is where medical marijuana steps in. An article published by Harvard Medical School suggests that medical cannabis can drastically reduce the feelings of anxiety and symptoms of trauma in war veterans. The findings relate to high-CBD marijuana strains that have low levels of THC — enough to soothe anxiety but not enough to backfire and elevate it.
Arthritis is a broad term to describe the inflammation of a joint. There are over 100 types of arthritis, with the most common types including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis. The condition typically includes redness and swelling around the joint, limited range of motion, stiffness, fatigue, and chronic pain. According to a study published by the British Society for Rheumatology, marijuana produces “a significant analgesic effect and the suppression of disease” in rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Cancer is a collection of diseases in which the body’s damaged cells start spreading to other tissues instead of dying. This often leads to the formation of dangerous tumors. Cancer is now the second most common cause of death in the USA. Hopefully, according to The American Cancer Society, medical marijuana can aid patients in treating neuropathic pain, nausea, and vomiting from chemotherapy. Several studies have also suggested that marijuana can effectively trigger apoptosis in cancer cells and inhibit the growth of certain tumors.
Around 10% of Canadians suffer from chronic pain. With so many patients seeking help to live a normal, pain-free life, marijuana has emerged as a natural remedy for chronic pain. The analgesic properties of cannabis are the most thoroughly researched of all its medical applications. Marijuana can ease chronic pain to the point where it becomes manageable, to say the least, without the life-threatening side effects associated with common painkillers (which are often based on opioids).
The National Center for Biotechnology Information has supported the anti-inflammatory properties of marijuana with a series of articles about the use of medical pot in treating the crippling symptoms of Crohn’s Disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Not only does marijuana seem to reduce inflammation, but it also helps relieve symptoms of nausea, pain, and appetite loss in patients.
Epilepsy is a debilitating disorder that causes uncontrolled, recurrent seizures. It affects around 3 million Americans, but the worst forms of epilepsy are resistant to conventional treatment methods. As shown by studies from 2016, participants who were taking oral doses of 2 to 5 mg of highly-concentrated CBD oil every day for 12 weeks noted 36.5% fewer seizures per month. The American Epilepsy Society then issued a statement claiming that cannabis research offers hope for finding an effective solution for treatment-resistant seizure disorders, although we still need more studies to understand the exact mechanism behind the anticonvulsant effects of the plant.
Glaucoma starts with a pressure buildup in the eye, which may cause pain, blur the sight, and if neglected, lead to total blindness. The use of cannabis for glaucoma dates back to the times of Ancient Egypt when people used the herb to reduce the intraocular pressure. The mechanism behind this is pretty simple. Once THC enters the bloodstream, it causes the ocular capillaries to dilate, which increases the blood flow in the eyes, hence the reduced pressure and the bloodshot-eye symptom after smoking marijuana.
HIV is a virus that destroys infection-fighting cells of the immune system. HIV-infected patients often experience neuropathic pain that often compromises their quality of life. AIDS, in turn, can trigger muscle wasting (cachexia), nausea, and appetite loss. It appears that cannabinoid receptors located in the peripheral and central nervous system can alleviate the above symptoms when activated. Many clinical trials have shown significant drops in nausea, pain perception, and weight loss in HIV/AIDS patients after medical cannabis treatment.
Huntington’s disease is a genetic brain disorder that impairs a person’s ability to talk, walk, and reason. People affected by HD may experience compulsory twitching movements on top of changes in their personality. The growing body of scientific evidence suggests that cannabinoids may have strong neuroprotectant properties and improve the functioning of mitochondria as well as reduce the cellular debris caused by inflammation in the brain.
A good night’s sleep is invaluable for your health. People experiencing sleep deprivation are bombarded with multiple sleep-aid options from OTC sedatives to mattresses that can cost as much as a small car, but none of them seem to be as effective as cannabis. According to an article published in Psychology Today, medical marijuana provides a deeper, more serene sleep. On top of having strong sedative properties, medical marijuana reduces the REM phase of sleep; in simple words, you spend more time in deep sleep and less time tossing and turning in your bed.
Parkinson’s disease involves movement-affecting tremors that are caused by a disorder of the nervous system. It starts with barely noticeable tremors in just one hand but it eventually takes control over the entire body, compromising a person’s cognitive functioning, too. Researchers have observed that vaporized THC and CBD alleviate tremors and shakes associated with Parkinson’s disease.
While we still have a lot to learn about medical marijuana and the mechanism behind its therapeutic effects on such a wide range of ailments, it has brought hope for many patients who suffer from debilitating, chronic conditions. With the galloping legalization trend across the world, we can expect more secrets about the medical applications of marijuana being revealed by scientists.
Did you cure any ailment with marijuana? What condition did you use the herb for? Share your stories with other readers — we’d love to hear your voice!