Therapeutic and Medical Benefits of Medical Marijuana

What Is Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana is the medical use of the Cannabis sativa or indica plant to relieve symptoms or treat diseases and conditions. There are at least two active chemicals in marijuana that researchers believe in having medicinal applications. Those are cannabidiol (CBD) — which impacts the brain without a high— and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — which offers pain-relieving (and other) properties. The Cannabis plant was used medically around the world until the early 1900s. Medical marijuana facts can be challenging to find because strong opinions exist, both pros and cons.

Medical marijuana can be used for:

  • Chronic Pain Relief
  • Appetite Loss
  • Glaucoma
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Cancer
  • Mental Health
  • And More

Medical Marijuana For Chronic Pain Relief

Chronic pain is one of the most common ailments for which doctors prescribe medical marijuana. Cannabinoids found in medical cannabis have been linked to providing relief of chronic pain due to their chemical makeup, which is why cannabis’s by-products, such as medical cannabis, are commonly used for chronic pain relief.

 

Studies suggest medical marijuana offers relief for various types of pain, including:

  • Chronic pain
  • Neuropathic pain

Appetite Loss and Cannabis

“Munchies” is one of the most significant cannabis clichés. Despite the silly implication, studies suggest that the endocannabinoid system helps stimulate the appetite. This is especially interesting for the effective treatment of eating disorders.

 

Cannabis is famously used to reduce the feelings of nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite for people going through chemotherapy, but studies suggest it could have many digestive benefits. Medical marijuana could play a role in several digestion-related health conditions, including:

  • Crohn's Disease
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

Medical Cannabis to Treat Glaucoma

Marijuana use can be used to treat and prevent the eye disease glaucoma, which leads to additional pressure on the eyeball, damaging the optic nerve and causing loss of vision. Medical cannabis reduces the pressure inside the eye, providing some temporary relief to individuals with glaucoma. According to the National Eye Institute: “Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.” These effects of medical cannabis may slow the progression of glaucoma, preventing blindness.

Alzheimer’s Disease & Medical Marijuana

Alzheimer’s disease is one of many that is caused by cognitive degeneration. As we age, mental decline is almost unavoidable. The endocannabinoid in medical cannabis contains anti-inflammatories that fight the brain inflammation that leads to Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Interestingly enough, the studies suggest that marijuana can reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other detrimental brain disorders. Recent research indicates that awakening the brain’s cannabinoid receptor system may trigger an “antioxidant cleanse” of sorts. By activating this part of your brain, damaged cells are removed, and your brain cells’ efficacy is vastly improved. These effects lead to a higher-functioning brain, which, in turn, reduces the chances for the brain inflammation that causes Alzheimer’s and other heart-breaking diseases.

Using Medical Cannabis for Seizures

The FDA recently approved Epidiolex, which is made from CBD, as a therapy for people with very severe or hard-to-treat episodes. In studies, some people had a dramatic drop in seizures after taking this drug. 

 

A 2003 study showed that giving marijuana extract and synthetic marijuana to epileptic rats rid the animals of the seizures for about 10 hours. Cannabinoids, like the active ingredients in marijuana, control seizures by binding to the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation. 

 

Medical marijuana also decreases the symptoms of a severe seizure disorder known as Dravet’s Syndrome. The doctors who recommended this treatment say that the cannabidiol in the plant interacts with the brain cells to quiet the brain’s excessive activity that causes these seizures.

Medical Cannabis & Cancer

One of the most significant medical benefits of cannabis is its link to fighting cancer. There is a fair amount of evidence that shows cannabinoids can help fight cancer or at least certain types of it.

 

It has continually been prescribed to counter the side effects caused by chemotherapy, but oncologists worldwide are working to determine whether cannabis can be used to treat cancer itself. Many patients choose to take the Rick Simpson Oil treatment plan to cure cancer, but there are many different treatment methods.

 

Past research showed promise for THC in cancer treatment, but many are skeptical of using THC-based products because of its psychotropic, or high, effects. Because of this, many oncologists have turned their focus toward cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG). However, a recent British study suggests that cannabinoids may be most effective against cancer cells when combined to act synergistically with one another. 

How Medical Cannabis Can Help Cancer Patients

Studies have looked at the benefits medical marijuana can have on cancer symptoms and treatment side effects.

 

Nausea and vomiting- A few small studies have found that smoking marijuana can ease chemotherapy’s side effects. The FDA has also approved dronabinol and nabilone, man-made cannabinoids, to treat these symptoms when other nausea medications don’t work.

 

Pain- Some studies have found that medical marijuana can ease cancer-related pain and inflammation by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and other parts of the body.

 

Nerve pain- Neuropathy is weakness, numbness, or discomfort as a result of nerve damage. It can happen as a side effect of chemotherapy or other cancer treatments. A few studies have found that medical marijuana can help this specific type of nerve pain.

 

Appetite and weight loss- Dronabinol is FDA-approved for loss of appetite in people with AIDS, but not specifically for cancer. Some small studies show marijuana may also help improve appetite for people with cancer.

Cannabinoids Kill Cancer Cells and Slow Tumor Growth

Cannabidiol stops cancer by turning off a gene called Id-1, a study found. Cancer cells make more copies of this gene than non-cancerous cells, helping them spread through the body. Researchers studied breast cancer cells in the lab with high expression levels of Id-1 and treated them with cannabidiol. After treatment, the cells had decreased Id-1 expression and were less aggressive spreaders.

Mental Health and Medical Marijuana

A common misconception of medical cannabis is that it has detrimental effects on mental health. It is possible that high doses of THC could trigger anxiety in some patients, but this has yet to be proven by any reputable studies.

The recent trend in the mental health field has been to investigate our relationship with medical cannabis.

 

In turn, studies have linked cannabinoids to aiding in the treatment of several mental health disorders, including:

Depression

Depression is reasonably widespread without most people, even knowing they have it. The endocannabinoid compounds in medical cannabis can help in stabilizing moods, which can ease depression.

 

Anxiety

While medical marijuana is commonly known to cause anxiety, there is a way around that. When taken in a monitored dosage and properly, medical cannabis can help alleviate stress and calm users down.

 

 

Autism

Medical cannabis is known to calm users down and control their mood. It can also help children with autism that experience frequent violent mood swings.

 

 

 

ADHD/ADD

Individuals with ADHD and ADD have trouble focusing and tend to have problems with cognitive performance and concentration. Medical marijuana has shown promise in promoting focus and helping individuals with ADHD/ADD. It is also considered a safer alternative to Adderall and Ritalin.

PTSD

PTSD doesn’t just affect veterans but any individual that goes through a trauma. As medical cannabis is legalized, its impact on helping treat individuals with PTSD is being studied more. Medical cannabis helps control the fight-or-flight response, preventing it from going into overdrive.

Insomnia

Many different reasons can cause insomnia; cannabis thankfully can assist by tackling the source. If you feel tired constantly and napping during the day shorts your desire to sleep at night, Sativa strains will help to keep you feeling energized, restoring your sleep cycle. Indica strains induce a tranquil state that helps insomniacs to relax and stay asleep. These strains may be better for those who have a hard time calming down before sleeping. Cannabinol (CBN) has a sedating effect that can also vastly improve sleep habits.

Health Benefits of Medical Cannabis are Ever-Growing

Worldwide, cultures have been using cannabis seeds, flowers, and buds for medical purposes. Ancient texts in both Chinese and Indian cultures speak of the herb’s therapeutic effects. Some of the benefits include relieving pain, boosting energy, and reducing anxiety. People worldwide consume cannabis, and their reasoning is frequently identical: it makes them feel better.

We know that humans have cannabinoid receptors housed inside the body that are ready to bind with cannabinoids found in medical cannabis to provide therapeutic benefits for various ailments. Cannabinoid receptors are present in humans before birth, and the compounds themselves are found in breast milk. 

Medical marijuana gains merit when you consider our bodies are naturally tuned to interact with cannabinoids, and even more so when you acknowledge the growing evidence of benefits to medical cannabis consumption.

Medical dispensaries typically stock a wide array of cannabis products that come in various forms—from flower and concentrate to edibles and topicals. Whatever products you choose, make sure to pay close attention to dosing.Okie Weed Finder is here to help you learn more about the various methods of medicating and can help locate OMMA doctors in Oklahoma near you.

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