You can’t spell cannabis without controversy. As far as most of us can remember, the more “responsible” members of society have told us to not use it. They claim that it will turn us into zombie-like addicts that don’t care about the rest of the world.
Cannabis (both strains of marijuana and hemp) is illegal in our country because it is sweepingly branded as a dangerous drug. A little research on the legality of cannabis in other countries will show you that most of the the countries that allow the use of cannabis for medical use are progressive first world countries. A lot of celebrities are supporters of it’s legalization due to its medical and practical uses. Celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake, Kristen Stewart, Miley Cyrus, and even the great Morgan Freeman (to name a few) are open marijuana users that support its legalization. A little digging into the history of hemp, on the other hand, shows it’s various industrial uses, resulting in getting outlawed along with it’s sister strain as it posed a threat to big businesses.
Aside from that, there are a lot of published journals on the medical benefits of cannabis that are all but unrecognized in our country, as well as in countries similar to us. There is a lot of stigma in the place of important information regarding something that can improve the lives of our sick friends and family.
Most people are aware that medical marijuana is commonly used to help treat glaucoma, but there are several other medical benefits to it that you may not know about.
So, what are the health properties of cannabis that people should know about?
Most asthmatics who have suffered a lifetime of attacks, medications, and treatments to cure (or at least weaken) their illness will be surprised to learn that smoking marijuana could actually be good for you. It seems that medical marijuana has the ability to improve one’s breathing, and the research goes as far back as the 70s. Studies concluded that smoking marijuana actually calms down asthmatics during attacks.
The use of medical marijuana by cancer patients is well-known, but how much it helps patients makes it worth another mention.
Patients often take chemotherapy in order to cure or stave off the effects of their cancer. Unfortunately, the side-effects of chemotherapy can be adverse and painful. The side-effects range from painful nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. This in turn causes additional health problems. Marijuana helps greatly in reducing these side effects by alleviating pain, decreasing nausea, and stimulating the appetite. There are also a variety of drugs called cannabinoids that use THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active chemical in marijuana.
Marijuana use can prevent epileptic seizures. Tetrahydrocannabinol (also known as THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, controls seizures by binding itself to the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation. This is helpful, especially for kids who would suffer more frequent attacks which disable them from having a normal childhood.
The findings were published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Based on research done at California Pacific Medical Center, a compound found in marijuana may help prevent cancer from spreading. The results of this study were reported way back in 2007.
The study, published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, found that cannabidiol (or CBD) stops cancer by turning off a gene called Id-1. Cancer cells are spread by making more copies of this gene than non-cancerous cells.
In 2010, Harvard Medical School did research which suggested that that some of the drug’s benefits may actually be from reduced anxiety, which would improve the smoker’s mood and act as a sedative in low doses.
Always, in moderation.
According to Kim Janda of the Scripps Research institute, marijuana may be able to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.
The study, published in the 2006 Molecular Pharmaceutics Journal, found that THC slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. These plaques are what kill brain cells and cause Alzheimer’s Disease.
A study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal mentioned that marijuana may ease painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
30 multiple sclerosis patients that reported painful attacks were subjected to a study that used a variety of treatments. They didn’t respond to the other treatments but found themselves in less pain after smoking marijuana for a few days. It was determined that THC binds to receptors in the nerves and muscles, relieving pain.
Marijuana also helps sufferers of arthritis. Researchers found that it alleviates pain, reduces inflammation, and promotes sleep, which may help relieve pain and discomfort for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
According to a study in the American Journal Of Medicine, marijuana smokers are skinnier than the average person, have healthier metabolism and react way better to sugars. (Even though they do end up eating more calories because of a major case of the munchies.)
Over 4,500 adult Americans participated in a study—579 of whom were current marijuana smokers, meaning they had smoked in the last month. About 2,000 had used marijuana in the past, while the remaining 2,000 had never used the drug. They studied their body’s response to eating sugars (namely their levels of the hormone insulin and their blood sugar levels) over a nine hour period of fasting, and then after consuming sugar. It found that marijuana users are skinnier and that their bodies had a healthier response to sugar.
Know of any other health benefits we didn’t tackle here? Leave a comment and let us know!