Even though cannabis has been around for centuries, The Medical Benefits of Marijuana wasn’t a very popular idea until the 21st century. However, with society leaning towards wanting a more “natural” way to combat various medical conditions and diseases, medical marijuana has had many positive health benefits for people who have been suffering for a long time. Researchers have discovered marijuana’s positive side effects. The drug that was once thought of as just something to do recreationally or for “lazy stoners,” has become a mainstay in the fight against cancer, multiple sclerosis, pain, depression, and much more.
The best place to start is to know how cannabis can help you. It is important to first understand what medicinal properties marijuana contains. There are at least two active chemicals in marijuana that researchers have shown to have medicinal applications and properties. These are the compounds that break down when smoked or ingested. They are cannabidiol (CBD), which seems to impact the brain without a high and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has pain relieving properties and is largely responsible for the high.
It’s important to know how, exactly, cannabis can help, and what it does. One word that you are going to want to insert into your marijuana vocabulary is cannabinoid, which is made up of the chemical compounds THC and CBD that are found in the secretion of the cannabis flowers. These compounds are then ingested into our bodies and bind with our own receptors to produce the healing medicinal properties that we need to fix our bodies. That’s a lot of science to be thrown your way, but understanding what these compounds do will help you in your quest to heal yourself.
Medical Benefits of Marijuana
Researchers have shown that our bodies are actually naturally tuned to interact and bind with cannabinoids. This among other properties continue the growing evidence that we can benefit from cannabis treatments. The healing properties, from THC and CBD found in marijuana, can benefit you and help you finally find the relief from many ailments and diseases.
Cannabis has many anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that can bring relief to people suffering from both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Certain prescription drugs, like Prednisone, may provide temporary relief to the pain in the joints. Studies have shown that, over time, this drug can have detrimental side effects to the body that can cause more damage than the disease for which the script was written. Marijuana can help bring down the inflammation of the joints by targeting the receptor areas that signal pain to the brain. The cannabinoid receptor system has been implicated in a wide range of physiological and pathophysiological processes. Recent pre-clinical and clinical studies have demonstrated that cannabis-based drugs have therapeutic potential in inflammatory diseases, including RA.
A diagnosis with MS can mean the end of a once active lifestyle for many people. The treatment for this horrible disease is usually a cocktail of drugs that seem to treat everything else (BUT) MS. THC and CBD have been used successfully to treat the muscle spasticity associated with MS. Studies have shown that cannabis has helped with an array of MS symptoms like muscle spasms, pain, sleep disturbances, inflammation, and mood issues, to name a few.
This is probably the most well-known disease that has seen significant treatment, success, and health benefits from ingesting marijuana. Most recently, scientists have reported that THC and other cannabinoids such as CBD, have slowed the growth and even killed off some cancers. All this from a plant that was once considered as dangerous as heroin or other opiates. Smoking marijuana has helped cancer patients with pain associated with chemotherapy, and has helped stimulate their appetites that were suppressed due to their cancer treatments. Also, by incorporating cannabis oil into their treatments, either with or without chemo, many patients saw significant changes to their health and found relief from the excruciating pain from cancer. It has also helped stop cancer from spreading. A man named Rick Simpson found relief from cancer and has his own cannabis treatment called the Rick Simpson Oil Treatment. Again, these treatments involved smoking marijuana, or ingesting the cannabis oil through different derivations that greatly improved the lives of the cancer patients, and some even had their cancer go into remission.
One of the common diseases that marijuana has been known to help is glaucoma. It’s probably the easiest thing that you can say to your doctor to get a marijuana card, and has been widely used by comedians as a joke for their reason to smoke weed. Glaucoma is a medical condition so severe that the pressure in the eyeball has grown so much that the optic nerve becomes damaged and the patient runs the risk of losing their eyesight. Marijuana decreases the pressure in the eye. Cannabis works as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. Cannabis helps relieve the pressure from the optic nerve and helps restore the patient to clearer vision without having to resort to dangerous laser surgeries.
Chronic Pain, Alcoholism, and Opioids
Many individuals have found relief from chronic pain that they have been experiencing for years. One of the things that they are most happy about, aside from being pain-free, is that they don’t have to rely on pain medications from pharmaceutical companies. They have a more healthful option that won’t compromise their bodies. It might also help them to finally heal instead of just using something that only gives them temporary relief from just the symptoms. Also, with the current opioid epidemic, medical marijuana has shown to have fewer side effects and risks involved than taking highly addictive opioid medications. Researchers believe that marijuana has helped some states see a decline in opioid deaths. Cannabis has also been shown to help those suffering from alcoholism. Marijuana has less side effects, and is also less likely to cause withdrawal symptoms.
Anxiety and PTSD
Smoking marijuana in small doses has been shown to have phenomenal effects on people who suffer from anxiety. These studies support the “Goldilocks” theory,” where it’s not too much weed, but not too little either. Just enough to make the person feel relaxed and calm. People suffering from PTSD have found great benefits from using cannabis. New Mexico has seen a rise in medical licenses for marijuana due to PTSD. These studies have shown benefits from patients smoking small doses of weed. More than the recommended amounts could possibly result in the opposite effect.
Dogs and Cats Need Medical Marijuana, Too!
The health benefits of cannabis for medicinal purposes has greatly benefitted many people who have been suffering from a wide variety of diseases and medical conditions. However, weed doesn’t only help humans. Animals have also seen many of their medical conditions get better and have had many positive side effects of medical marijuana treatments.
Dogs and cats, like humans, suffer from many disorders and medical conditions like arthritis, seizures, noise phobias, itching, and chronic pain. Prescription medications are often worse for animals than they are for humans. They can cause nausea, vomiting, and can even worsen the symptoms that they were prescribed to relieve. CBD and hemp oils have shown significant improvements in dogs and cats suffering from cancer, anxiety, and chronic pain conditions.
Dogs suffering from seizures have had them minimized. Dogs and cats affected with cancer have seen the tumors shrink and some animals have had their cancer go into remission. Animals that have been affected with arthritis have seen great improvements to their health with the help of cannabis. However, it is recommended that pet owners stick to CBD and hemp in order to avoid any side effects that may accompany THC.
As stated before, marijuana can no longer be a drug associated with “lazy stoners” or “potheads.” The health benefits of marijuana have seen endless possibilities and have helped those who have been needlessly suffering from diseases like cancer, MS, and even mental disorders. The Journal of the American Medical Association published that cannabis has been shown to have substantial health benefits and that smoking weed doesn’t harm the lungs. It has even shown that marijuana smoke has positive effects.
With continuing research on the medicinal properties of THC and CBD, cannabis will continue to pave the way for medicine now and in the future. With current research, more scripts will be written for medical marijuana than for opioids and other prescription medication. Using cannabinoids will, hopefully, help our society find a way to stop diseases and other disorders from taking our lives from us and let us return to living them.
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