According to Statista, California had the highest number of legal medical marijuana patients (approximately 916 thousand) at a given time. Recent research has proven numerous benefits of medical marijuana, which has resulted in gaining popularity surrounding the drug.
We’ve smoked out eight of these science-backed benefits. That way, you too can experience the legitimate medical uses this plant can offer.
Whether you grow medical cannabis yourself or are a patient, medical marijuana can benefit everyone!
Here are the eight conditions medical cannabis can help treat.
1. Chronic Pain
According to this research, almost 65 percent of medical cannabis patients use the drug to treat chronic pain.
When we’re hurt, our body’s damaged tissues send inflammatory and immune cells to repair the damage. This causes chemicals and proteins to awaken receptors on our nerves. As a result, we experience the sensation of pain.
The endocannabinoid system determines how the body regulates and manages pain. Very often, this pain is caused by inflammation.
However, THC and CBD both have anti-inflammatory effects. These cannabis chemical compounds reduce pain at the site of the injury.
CBD also enhances the activity of receptors for the GABA neurotransmitter in the brain.
This allows CBD to dampen pain signals as they travel to our brain, which helps us focus away from where it hurts.
2. Muscle Spasms
Medical marijuana can help relieve muscle spasms connected to multiple sclerosis as well.
Multiple sclerosis causes 2.5 million people across the globe to experience aching, stiff, and cramping muscles. This can cause pain and discomfort, make it difficult to sleep, and limits movement.
Medical marijuana, however, can help decrease the muscle spasms these patients experience.
It can also relieve their nausea and help patients relax and sleep.
Multiple sclerosis patients also experience muscle spasticity, which causes muscles to tense, making them resistant to stretchy. Patients noted reduced muscle spasticity with medical cannabis use as well as pain relief.
3. Lung Capacity
Most people expect to hear marijuana causes lung damage. Instead of impairing lung function, medical marijuana actually increases lung capacity.
According to this long-term study, researchers studied the lung function in 5,115 young adults over the course of 20 years.
While tobacco smokers showed a decrease in lung function, marijuana smokers showed increased lung compacity. This included the amount of air a person breathed out in the first second as well as the total volume of air exhaled.
This study also concluded that marijuana can benefit pain control, mood, appetite, and chronic symptom management.
Marijuana users are also not more likely to have cancers associated with smoking.
One of the most common benefits of marijuana use is for treating and preventing glaucoma. This eye disease causes increased pressure in the eyeball. As a result, many patients experience optic nerve damage and loss of vision.
According to the National Eye Institute, marijuana can decrease pressure inside the eye.
When smoked, marijuana lowers intraocular pressure.
This occurred both for people with normal pressure as well as those with glaucoma.
However, it’s noted that marijuana only lowers intraocular pressure for a few hours. That means it’s not an effective long-term treatment.
5. Epileptic Seizures
The cannabidiol (or CBD) compound in marijuana can also help patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy.
CBD is non-psychoactive, so it doesn’t cause the high associated with marijuana’s THC compound.
Almost one-third of epilepsy patients have this treatment-resistant form. This condition is associated with increased mortality and severe morbidity.
According to this study, cannabidiol can reduce seizure frequency.
These patients ranged from one to 30 years of age. They were given oral CBD at two to five mg/kg each day.
CBD also benefited patients who experienced seizures due to a disorder known as Dravet’s Syndrome. The doctors noted CBD’s ability to interact with brain cells. This allowed the drug to quiet excessive activity in the brain that caused the seizures.
6. Cancer Growth
Medical marijuana’s CBD compound can also keep cancer from spreading.
According to this study, scientists at the California Pacific Medical Center discovered marijuana could stop metastasis in many aggressive cancers. They found CBD could halt ID-1, the gene that causes cancer to spread.
They began their research with breast cancer and have since explored brain and prostate cancer as well.
Other studies have shown THC and CBD can slow or shrink tumors. This includes the type of brain tumor associated with 80 percent of malignant brain cancer.
More investigation is required to further determine how CBD and marijuana can benefit cancer patients.
Medical marijuana doesn’t just benefit physical ailments. At low doses, it can also decrease anxiety and promote relaxation.
This study showed medical cannabis can reduce levels of anxiety, depression, and stress for the short-term. The study also reported that repeated use didn’t appear to cause a long-term reduction in symptoms.
According to this study, anxiety decreased in 79.2 percent of patients after their first month of using CBD.
Meanwhile, 66.7 percent of patients reported sleep improvements during that time. Since a lack of sleep can increase depression and anxiety symptoms, the benefits of marijuana can also help patients experiencing these conditions.
Some studies have noted marijuana and THC’s ability to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
According to this study, THC can slow the formation of amyloid plaques, which kill brain cells. This occurs when THC blocks the enzyme in the brain that creates these plaques. By stopping amyloid plaque production, THC stops brain cell death associated with Alzheimer’s.
Some studies have also shown a mixture of CHD and THC can preserve memories in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.
However, many of these studies are still in their early stages. Additional exploration is necessary to further help Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
Brought to You By Science: 8 Wonderful Medical Marijuana Benefits
Puff, puff, and pass on the pain. With these eight wonderful medical marijuana benefits, you can cut your pain short. Start growing your own medical marijuana today to experience these health benefits and share the relief with others.