With medical marijuana laws being passed so often these days, the debate around medical marijuana and its efficacy is still a flash point issue. However, many people are unaware of the studies coming out every day about the benefits of marijuana and its potential in the medical field. Here are seven of the most helpful benefits of medical marijuana.
- It is an Active Pain Reliever
Marijuana offers anti-inflammatory pain relief, which has been shown to be effective in treating a multitude of various aches and pains. From headaches and backaches, to more complicated nerve pain, marijuana is a healthier alternative to chronic pain medicines, which can be addictive and even lead to overdose. Marijuana is also shown to be a safer pain relief for patients who cannot take NSAIDs like Advil due to stomach related issues.
- It Helps Anxiety
A 2014 study by Dr. Sachin Patel showed how nerve cells in the amygdala of the brain make and release their own natural “endocannabinoids”. When a person is exposed to stress or anxiety, these levels drop. Dr. Patel has shown that in low doses, marijuana can make up for the lack of endocannabinoids by providing cannabinoids to the brains receptors, thus relieving the anxiety.
The natural endocannabinoid system regulates anxiety and the response to stress by dampening signals in the brain.
- It Slows the Spread of Cancer Cells
A 2013 study published in the Anticancer Research Journal showed that certain cannabinoids in marijuana could slow the growth of leukemia cells and in certain circumstances even kill the cancer cells entirely.
Wai Liu in the department of Oncology at the University of London found that certain cannabinoids, “caused a simultaneous arrest at all phases of the cell cycle,” and that continued treatment to a previously treated cell “resulted in dramatic reductions in cell viability.”
- It Helps Treat Glaucoma
Research showed that, when ingested orally, marijuana decreased the pressure in the eye that causes nerve damage. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world, and proponents say it helps reverse deterioration as well.
- It Combats Depression
Studies have shown that marijuana can decrease symptoms of depression in regular users. A study published in 2005 states, “those who consume marijuana occasionally or even daily have lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who have never tried marijuana.” The study added, “Weekly users had less depressed mood, more positive affect, and fewer somatic complaints than non-users.”
- It Helps Treat Epilepsy
A study at Virginia Commonwealth University discovered that certain cannabinoids “play a critical role in controlling spontaneous seizures in epilepsy.” Parents have also stated that marijuana has helped their children’s seizures and 2013, the FDA gave the go-ahead to study the efficacy of medicinal marijuana in treating pediatric epilepsy.
- It May Slow the Progression of Alzheimer’s
A study published in Molecular Pharmaceutics showed that marijuana can slow the production of beta-amyloid proteins, which is thought to be a primary characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.
More benefits of medical marijuana are being discovered every day, and the evidence is difficult to dispute. With innumerable health and psychiatric benefits, medical marijuana is certainly a force for good.