More and more, almost daily now, scientists are uncovering new therapeutic uses for cannabis. Medically, it seems a wonder drug, just a natural one. Unlike prescription drugs, the health benefits of marijuana are seemingly endless. It promises no dangerous side effects and no risk of death. Cannabis is completely safe to consume, and it turns out that it contains a wealth of medicinal value too.
In fact, science is proving cannabis just as effective, if not more so, than prescription drugs at treating most symptoms of most ailments. Burgeoning research is exploring the health conditions most suited to cannabis therapy, and how, in definite cases, it goes one up by outperforming conventional medicines. Despite this, evidence is still rare, mostly because of strict federal oversight of prohibited pot research.
Health Benefits of Pot
According to Sue Sisley, a researcher and doctor at the University of Arizona, “Millions of patients are using this plant, and we need to understand it.” Sisley is talking about study. “It is negligent for all these states to go selling cards to marijuana patients without activity conducting rigorous medical marijuana research that is necessary.” These six benefits are fact, enough to ditch prescriptions drugs for weed:
- Chronic Pain
The most famous of weed’s properties is its ability to kill pain. Outright. People use it in their hundreds of thousands as a painkiller. Several studies show the effectiveness of pot at successfully treating various types of pain, including the severe form endured by HIV/AIDS sufferers and a difficult-to-treat type called neuropathic pain.
Besides its obvious effectiveness, proven in scientific study, the biggest reason to use weed as a painkiller is to avoid reliance, definitely dependence, on more dangerous, addictive opioids. One study showed chronic pain patients reducing opiate intake after using marijuana. The risk of common painkillers is astoundingly high. Ditching them for weed could save your life.
- Appetite Issues and Nausea
Pot consumers know about the munchies. All of them. It encapsulates the need to eat everything in sight when stoned. There is nothing at all surprising, then, when the Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Health at the Institute of Medicine supports this claim, citing marijuana as a great way to treat both loss of appetite and nausea.
Managing such symptoms during a severe illness can be the difference between surviving or not. It is that important. Treating the side effects of cancer, for example, such as nausea and appetite loss, can prove pivotal in recovery. Ensuring such patients eat well and avoid rapid weight loss could make getting better easier and faster for them, making cannabis study a subject of huge interest in clinical circles.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
IBD, or inflammatory bowel disease, is not the same as irritable bowel syndrome. A life-risking illness that causes extreme pain when chronic inflammation attacks the digestive tract, IBD has no known cure. Crohn’s disease is a very serious example of IBD. It can cause major abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, and ultimately, this leads to severe malnutrition.
Because no cure exists, existing therapies rely on prolonging periods of remission for as long as possible. However, a recent research study shows cannabis producing immense benefits, steroid-free, for patients of Crohn’s disease, and without any side effects. In a comprehensive review, other scientists confirmed the results match scientific and historical expectations of cannabis as an IBD treatment.
- Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is truly debilitating. This disorder causes extreme shaking. It makes even minor movement difficult, such as holding a coffee cup. It also causes terrible pain and deprives sufferers of crucial sleep, ultimately causing a horde of other potential health issues, as well. Fortunately, it appears that marijuana can play a significantly beneficial role in helping those afflicted with this disease.
One particular study showed the psychoactive properties of cannabis especially suited to treating Parkinson’s disease. Another, published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, showed Parkinson’s sufferers enjoying notably less pain and fewer sleep problems. Both studies advise more research into these effects, but early findings show enormous promise indeed.
Despite the scarcity of cannabis research, more people know of its effects on epilepsy than any other medical condition. News is widespread, anecdotal stories abound. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, marijuana should be legal to epileptics everywhere, as well as anyone suffering uncontrollable seizures, the regularity and intensity of which varies between individuals.
Sadly, albeit temporarily, scientific evidence remains bound to animal studies. Until the Drug Enforcement Agency relaxes its pot classification, research will stay challenging. Of the studies already conducted, it is clear that cannabis has a huge impact on both stopping and preventing both the frequency and severity of epileptic seizures in almost all who try it.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Victims of extreme emotional trauma often develop an anxiety issue called post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. It can wreak havoc with all aspects of life, from relationships to employment and more. It is a well-identified issue suffered by many military veterans, but to date, there are no adequate prescription drugs to treat it.
Marijuana appears to be all that helps. Now, science seems to back it. New York University recently released the results of a brain-imaging study, which found sufferers benefiting enormously from cannabis therapy. “There is a consensus among clinicians that existing pharmaceutical treatments, such as antidepressants, simply do not work,” said the study’s lead author, Alexander Neumeister.
“In fact,” Neumeister continued, “We know very well that people with PTSD who use marijuana, a potent cannabinoid, often experience more relief from their symptoms than they do from antidepressants and other psychiatric medications.” Therein lies the truth of the matter: Cannabis seems more effective and less dangerous than taking prescription drugs that seldom work.
There is no doubt that the effectiveness of pot in treating a myriad of mild to severe medical disorders is provable in many notable studies. More and more people are finding relief from marijuana than ever before. More doctors are recommending it to patients and more are ditching their prescription pills for the safety and efficacy of cannabis therapy. It is certainly worth considering.