Over 25 states now having legalized marijuana for medical use so it would seem prudent to be educated on the medical benefits of cannabis. This is not just a legalized way to perpetuate a bad drug habit. As more and more research is developed, more medical benefits are being discovered.
As with any discipline, understanding the terminology leads to greater wisdom and acceptance with less preconceived prejudices. Medical Marijuana is described as the unprocessed whole plant, or its main extracts utilized in such a way as to treat a disease or a symptom. As of 2015, the FDA has not approved the use of the marijuana plant as medicine.
The main chemical in the marijuana plant is what is known as cannabinoids. The use of these extracts in chemicals is found in two medications that are currently in pill form and approved by the FDA. So the trend is to continue with the clinical trials with a very large group of human beings to determine the benefits and risks.
The term cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical that is associated with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This THC is marijuana’s main mind-altering ingredient. However, that is just the beginning. The marijuana plant also has within its structure over 100 other cannabinoids. When used improperly, it is the combination of all these cannabinoids that have led to some serious health abuse issues.
Consequently, as with any other plant-derived drug or extract, understanding the proper use and learning more on how to harness the natural benefits of this amazing plant will lead to human benefits. So the two main extracts, CBD and THC is the focus now.
Uses of CBD and THC
As a cannabinoid, CBD use as a medical benefit of cannabis has been researched! Here is a brief list.
- Does not alter the mind or affect behavior
- Can be useful in reducing pain
- Can be useful in reducing inflammation
- Has been researching to help control epileptic seizures
- Oddly enough can help treat mental illness and addictions.
THC has been researched to help in the following areas.
- Increase appetite
- Reduce Nausea
- Decrease pain and inflammation
- Help in muscle control problems
As more research is being performed, it is important to accept the fact this is still a plant that is not easy to research. It is known as a schedule-1 drug. This means that they are classified under the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) of 1970. Being a schedule-1 drug classifies medical marijuana as a drug with high risk and very little offsetting benefits. It is a high-risklow-reward drug by classification.
As a result, the will to put the money into it for research does not produce the return on potential investment partly because of this schedule-1 classification. The consequences of this are that anecdotal evidence is more widespread than actual scientific proof. The use of Marijuana then for medical benefits of cannabis has created more of a situation that one is not sure what they are getting.
In an article by Business Insider in 2014, it was stated that “only 6% of studies on marijuana analyze its medicinal properties”. Even with that, there have been studies that have shown that marijuana can also be used to treat Glaucoma and reverse carcinogenic effects associated with smoking tobacco.
Within the properties of CBD, it actually can help stop the spread of cancer through its ability to turn off the Id-1 gene. Decreasing anxiety, slowing down Alzheimer’s disease, pain management is, even more, uses that have been scientifically researched.
One could say that we are just at the tip of the iceberg in the good sense of discovering all the benefits of medical cannabis. It is not just about smoking the plant. It is being able to discover the various human benefits from the extracts of this wonderful plant that will lead to improving the quality of life for more people throughout the world.