Marijuana Health Benefits: Everything You Need To Know

As more research is being done every year, the benefits of marijuana are becoming more apparent. Almost two decades ago, a US government-sponsored study by the Institute of Medicine revealed the cannabis health benefits in specific medical conditions, like nausea caused by chemotherapy and wasting caused by AIDS. Since then, numerous other studies have shown that consuming marijuana has pain-reducing effects.

Legal marijuana use

California became the first state in 1996 to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal reasons. Now, the number of states with some type of medical marijuana legislation has reached 29. You will be pleasantly surprised by the many marijuana health benefits described in this article. Hopefully, you live in one of those 29 states so that you may reap the benefits of marijuana without being prosecuted.

Cancer prevention

A study published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics found that cannabidiol has the ability to stop cancer by turning off a gene called Id-1. Researchers at California Pacific Medical Center reported in 2007 that CBD might prevent cancer from spreading. Breast cancer cells with a high level of Id-1 were experimented on and treated with cannabidiol. The positive outcome showed that cells had decreased Id-1 expression and spread less aggressively. The American Association for Cancer Research claims that marijuana causes tumor growth in the brain, the lungs, and the breast to slow down.

THC slows Alzheimer's disease

A study led by Kim Janda of the Scripps Research Institutes suggests that marijuana could slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease. The study, published in Molecular Pharmaceutics in 2006, found that THC slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the brain enzyme that makes them. It's these plaques that kill brain cells and cause Alzheimer's disease.

Marijuana benefits for epilepsy

The benefits of marijuana continue to impress, as we see the use of marijuana to control epileptic seizures. In a 2003 study by Robert J. DeLorenzo at the Virginia Commonwealth University, marijuana extract and synthetic marijuana were given to epileptic rats. For about 10 hours, marijuana stopped seizures from occurring. THC controlled the seizures by binding the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation.

Marijuana health benefits for rheumatoid arthritis

People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can also turn to marijuana for help. In 2011, researchers reported that cannabis reduces pain and inflammation and promotes sleep. Sativex, a cannabinoid-based pain-relieving medicine, was given to patients at several hospitals. Compared to the placebo users, patients using Sativex had a significant reduction in pain and improved sleep quality after two weeks.

Glaucoma Treatment and prevention

Glaucoma is an eye disease that increases the pressure in the eyeball, damaging the optic nerve and causing loss of vision. One of the benefits of marijuana is that it can be used to treat and prevent this disease. According to the National Eye Institute, cannabis decreases the pressure inside the eye. This is also why your eyes turn red after smoking a joint; the capillaries and blood vessels dilate. Studies have shown that cannabis lowered intraocular pressure in both people with a normal level of pressure and those with glaucoma. These effects could slow the progression of the disease and potentially prevent blindness.

Less pain for MS sufferers

If you can believe it, there are even more health benefits associated with marijuana. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that cannabis may ease painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Jody Corey-Bloom studied 30 multiple sclerosis patients who had painful contractions in their muscles. Other medications did not help these patients but after smoking marijuana for a couple of days, they were in less pain. This could be because the THC in cannabis binds to receptors in the nerves and muscles to relieve pain. According to other studies, THC also helps to control muscle spasms.

Fewer side effects with Hep C treatment

Marijuana also benefits those who are getting treatment for hepatitis C. Negative side effects from the treatment of the disease include nausea, loss of appetite, depression, fatigue, and muscle aches that can last for months. The side effects are so bad that many people cannot finish the treatment. Thankfully, they can turn to cannabis to cope with the side effects. A 2006 study, published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, found that 86% of patients using cannabis completed their hepatitis C treatment compared to 29% of those not using the drug. Not only does it help with side effects, but it also makes the treatment more effective. Of hepatitis C patients consuming cannabis, 54% kept their viral levels low compared to only 8% of non-smokers.

New discoveries

It's clear that the medicinal benefits of marijuana reach far and wide. Cannabis can be a great aid for people suffering from the conditions mentioned above. As more research is being done, more benefits will surely be discovered.