20 Health Benefits of Marijuana
Over 20 states across the U.S. have legalized medical marijuana – and more are on the way. Health professionals such as Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Oz have reversed their opinion on medical marijuana.
Why is there so much support for marijuana?
Marijuana has clear medicinal benefits that can no longer be denied.
There are two active chemicals in marijuana that have medicinal applications:
- Cannabidiol (CBD) – impacts the brain without any high
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – has promising pain relieving properties
Keep in mind. The best way to get the medicinal benefits from marijuana is to consume it in an edible (not smoking it!).
Research in Israel and the United States shows that cannabis might help alleviate symptoms of PTSD. (source: Sanjay Gupta: Why I changed my mind on weed)
Researchers at Vanderbilt University discovered cannabinoid receptors in an emotional hub of the brain in mice, which monitors anxiety as well as the flight-or-fight response. The authors state this is the first time that cannabinoid receptors have been found in the amygdala, a region of the brain, in a mouse model. It “could be highly important for understanding how cannabis exerts its behavioral effects,” Dr. Sachin Patel, senior author of the study, said in a press release. (source: Medical Daily)
CBD stops cancer from spreading. “CBD represents the first nontoxic exogenous agent that can significantly decrease Id-1 expression in metastatic breast cancer cells leading to the down-regulation of tumor aggressiveness.” (source: National Center for Biotechnology Information)
4. Multiple sclerosis
A study published in May 2014 found that for 30 MS patients with muscle “spasticity,” a few days of marijuana smoking brought relief. (source: Reuters)
5. Muscle spasms
There is currently a cannabis-based medicine on the market in Canada and the United Kingdom known as Sativex. It’s a natural plant extract that is sprayed under the tongue. This medication is produced by GW Pharmaceuticals, and it has undergone scientific testing and has received governmental approval for use. It’s indicated for use in the treatment of MS symptoms such as neuropathic pain and muscle spasticity. See more here.
“Certain cannabinoid drugs have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to relieve nausea and vomiting and increase appetite in people with cancer and AIDS.” (source: Cancer.org)
Marijuana can help people cut back on drinking (study).
8. Alzheimer’s disease
THC is effective at blocking clumps of protein that can inhibit memory and cognition in Alzheimer’s patients (study).
9. Dravet syndrome
Charlotte Figi suffered day and night for five years with Dravet Syndrome. At age six, she now has a new life with no side effects after using a specific strain of marijuana.
Here’s Charlotte’s story…
Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.
11. Lung health
According to a January 2012 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, low to moderate marijuana users actually showed increased lung capacity compared to nonsmokers on two tests.
12. Hepatitis C
Cannabis use improves retention and virological outcomes in patients treated for hepatitis C (study).
13. Bowel Diseases
Chemicals found in cannabis could prove an effective treatment for the inflammatory bowel diseases Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, say scientists. Read more here.
A study in The American Journal of Medicine found that marijuana use was associated with lower levels of fasting insulin and smaller waist circumference.
“Steve, who has been using marijuana for 30 years (long before it was medically legal), smokes a bowl and a half every day and more at night. He says this helps him sleep and relieves pain, and he hasn’t experienced any major side effects over the years, but admits that it can precipitate what he calls “couch lock.” “It makes you lazy,” he says.” See full article here.
16. Crohn’s disease
In a recent trial marijuana was shown to induce ‘complete remission’ for patients suffering from Crohn’s disease, which is also known as inflammatory bowel disease. Read more here.
Chemical compounds found in the marijuana could help shrink the area of the brain affected by stroke. Read more here.
Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a well regarded Harvard professor emeritus, has a suggestion for the NFL: start funding marijuana research as a way to treat concussions (more here).
Dr. Grinspoon was senior psychiatrist at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston for 40 years. He has testified before Congress, and as an expert witness in various legal proceedings, including the deportation hearings of John Lennon.
“Already, many doctors and researchers believe that marijuana has incredibly powerful neuroprotective properties, an understanding based on both laboratory and clinical data,” says Grinspoon.
A 2009 study indicated the potential benefits of nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, in patients with PTSD experiencing poor control of nightmares.
20. Parkinson’s disease
Researchers from Israel report that cannabis appears to reduce tremors and pain and improve sleep among Parkinson’s disease patients. Read more here.
Do you have a story on how marijuana has helped you? I’d love to hear from you. I’m always looking to learn as much as I can about this powerful medicine and share that knowledge with others. Please leave a reply in the comments section below.
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