Medical Marijuana Health Benefits
Medical marijuana has been used to treat patients in California for two decades. The health benefits of marijuana are numerous, and many patients prefer the effectiveness of its naturally occurring cannabinoids over man-made pharmaceuticals and their uncomfortable or even dangerous side effects.
Marijuana’s most highly concentrated medically effective cannabinoids are the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and the body calming cannabidiol (CBD). Between them, these two primary components of marijuana boast myriad health benefits, and these are the top ten.
Ease nausea and increase appetite
A well known health benefit of marijuana is its ability to reduce the side effects of other treatments, particularly cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. The nausea and appetite suppression resulting from difficult treatments and pharmaceutical interactions may be counteracted with use of cannabis.
A common complaint treated by medical marijuana is insomnia. The THC in marijuana causes drowsiness and may induce sleep, though there are indications a higher percentage of CBD may actually promote wakefulness.
Soothe hives and rashes
Though a lesser known use of medical marijuana, use of topical cannabinoid products, such as lotions or ointments, may reduce allergic and other histamine reactions of the skin. This may even work to soothe the itching and swelling of insect bites.
Some are at odds with the notion marijuana can reduce anxiety, as high amounts of cannabis are often blamed for causing anxiety and paranoia. But in low amounts, marijuana has been shown effective in reducing anxiety, and studies suggest strains with a higher percentage of CBD content may be more effective.
By any account, post traumatic stress disorder is anxiety on steroids. Studies have indicated men and women who suffer from PTSD may be experiencing a lack of endocannabinoids in their neural receptors, which results in feelings of fear, anxiety and a focus on bad memories. There’s rising evidence the similarly structured cannabinoids in marijuana work as an effective endocannabinoid supplement, with the potential to greatly ease PTSD symptoms.
Reduce inflammatory bowel syndromes
Marijuana provides a health benefit to many digestive issues, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Marijuana’s anti-inflammatory properties contribute to easing the pain of cramps and diarrhea brought, while patients also benefit from the aforementioned boost in appetite.
Reduce muscle spasms
The calming effects of marijuana aren’t just in your head. Both ingested and topical uses of marijuana may alleviate muscle spasms and cramping to some extent, whether caused by athletic activity, dehydration or chronic conditions.
Prevent epileptic seizures
One controversial health benefit of marijuana has been its use to prevent epileptic seizures. An increasing number of studies show the CBD in cannabis show a significant reduction in the number of seizures experienced by those with epileptic disorders, including the especially debilitating Dravet’s Syndrome.
Slows progression of Alzheimer’s disease
A huge health benefit of marijuana may be the ability to slow the progressive memory loss of Alzheimer’s disease. Medical studies indicate THC is effective in blocking the enzyme in the brain that leads to the development of amyloid plaques, the culprit blamed for the prevailing loss of brain cells behind Alzheimer’s most devastating symptom.
Stops the spread of cancer
There’s still much to learn about CBD and other lesser known cannabinoids in marijuana, but recent research indicates its top health benefit could be a crucial bridge to the development of noninvasive cancer treatments. Studies show CBD may shut down a gene used by cancer cells to self-replicate, slowing their growth in the process.