Marijuana is Changing the Face of Medicine: Research is Changing Conservative Minds
Cannabis has been found to be an excellent treatment for many ailments. What makes it a medicine? The two cannabinoids (chemical compounds) that have been found to be effective for treatment are tetrahydrocannabinol, THC and Cannabidiol, CBD.
Overall, THC is best known for its psychoactive effects which give users a high. This high is what led marijuana to be labeled dangerous and criminalized. However, along with its psychoactive effects are a host of medicinal properties including its ability to relieve pain, induce sleep, relax, stimulate appetite and improve moods.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in pot. It is also anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. Lab studies on mice suggest some CBD concentrates can combat some cancer cells. It has also been found to act against the effects of THC which could explain why some strains of marijuana cause people to become more alert instead of tired. THC can be anxiety inducing but some strains (theoretically higher in CBD) decrease anxiety and improve mood.
What does Cannabis Treat?
Epilepsy, Seizure Disorders
Evidence from lab studies, anecdotal reports and small clinical studies have found that CBD may be effective in the suppression of seizure activity. So far there has not been definitive scientific proof for its use as main treatment. However, no negative side effects have been noted from use of CBD which makes pot as treatment for epilepsy a viable and worthwhile option.
The majority of migraine sufferers have found that using weed has reduced their migraines in frequency and duration. If marijuana is ingested at the onset of a migraine, it has been shown to stop it in its tracks. Patients have also reported migraines happening less often when they use herb as treatment.
Some studies have shown that THC helps to stimulate the removal of toxic plaque build-up in the brain. There have been reports that those suffering from dementia who use marijuana as treatment have found some relief from the confusion and agitation that often occurs.
Marijuana use as a medicinal treatment for cancer has been found helpful in multiple ways. In some cases, cannabis has slowed or even killed cancer cells. One study found that the injection of synthetic THC eliminated malignant brain tumors. Although these cases require much more scientific research, weed is an effective treatment to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy.
Chemo causes patients to feel nauseous. Pot is an appetite stimulant, ensuring that patients are eating and nurturing their bodies which are in desperate need of nutrients. Radiation treatment for cancer can damage the nerves in the body, cause blisters on the skin, mouth sores, nausea, diarrhea, among many other symptoms. Cannabis acts as an excellent pain reliever that is strong enough to counteract these ailments while still allowing people to function.
Patients suffering from HIV have similar ailments caused by chemotherapy and radiation. Cannabis acts as an appetite stimulant, pain reliever and mood enhancer which benefit the overall well-being of those suffering.
Some of the diseases that inflict chronic pain include fibromyalgia, glaucoma, arthritis, Crohn’s disease and neuropathy. Weed is a major pain reliever and effective in treating these conditions.
Marijuana is known for it's sleep inducing effects. Some people cannot even ingest it without going to sleep, which makes it a wonderful sleep-aid for those suffering with a sleep disorder. You can get particular strains that act as a sedative, which is called "indica".
Depression, Anxiety, Mood Disorders
Studies have revealed CBD as a very promising treatment for depression, anxiety and mood disorders for its mood enhancing, anxiety reducing and non-psychoactive properties.
Overall, the use of pot is a treatment for many conditions. The above list is just an example and certainly not conclusive. Pot allows those suffering from a disease to eat better, sleep better, be in better moods and experience less pain. There is a lack of concrete scientific evidence that proves marijuana is an effective treatment for all of these conditions. But one thing is for certain, cannabis has a host of beneficial effects that treat many symptoms. Medicinal marijuana is set to change the face of modern medicine.
Now that we are seeing the green light on medical marijuana research, the studies are showing quite astounding results. Cannabis is starting to look like a wonder plant and is proving to relieve pain and helps combat particular health conditions mentioned above and this is just a short list of them.
It's exciting to see the list of ailments this plant can help and it's crazy that up until this last decade, we have been restricting sick patients from it. But evidence is evidence and even the rightest wing conservatives, are starting to see the benefits that this plant contains and now the US has 28 states that have legalized medicinal marijuana and with recreational on the rize, hopefully, we might see the federal ban lifted within the next few years....fingers crossed.