A 5-Part Guide To Marijuana Benefits
Marijuana And Its Medicinal Properties
Medical marijuana has been legalized in over 20 states in the U.S., and experts have also been increasingly changing their minds. Recently, Sanjay Gupta, the chief medical correspondent at CNN, reversed his opinion about medical marijuana. Although recreational pot usage remains controversial, numerous individual agree with the new stance taken by Gupta and think that for medical uses marijuana should be legal. Although marijuana legalization advocates might overstate the benefits that smoking pot brings, new laws will assist researchers with studying the medical uses of the drug and understand better how it impacts the human body. Only 6% of marijuana studies to date have analyzed its medicinal properties.
However, you need to keep in mind that there are adverse effects associated with using pot for non-medicinal purposes or smoking too much of it. When abused or overused, it can result in individuals becoming dependent on the drug and disrupt emotions and memory. There are two active chemicals at least that are contained in marijuana that researchers believe have medicinal applications. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has pain relieving as well as other properties, and cannabidiol (CBD) appears to have an impact on the brain without producing a high. Also, some of the health benefits potentially be gained by taking THC pills such as Dronabinol, which is a synthetic version of THC, and in some ways might be more effective than smoking marijuana is.
Prevents And Treats Glaucoma
Marijuana may be used for preventing and treating glaucoma, which is an eye disease. The disease increases the pressure inside the eye. This results in the optic nerve becoming damage and loss of vision may occur as well.
Marijuana helps to decrease the amount of pressure inside the eye. The National Eye Institute reports that studies conducted during the early 1970s showed that smoking marijuana lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in individuals with glaucoma as well as those with normal pressure. Also, the drug's effect might slow down glaucoma's progression and prevent blindness.
Lung Health Is Improved
A study published in January 2012 in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that lung function is not impaired by marijuana. It can, in fact, increase lung capacity. Tobacco's carcinogenic effects might even be helped.
Researchers searching for heart disease risk factors tested 5,115 young adults' lung function over a 20 year period. Over time, lung function was lost by tobacco smokers, but pot users showed an actual increase in their lung capacity. The increased lung capacity might be due to taking very deep breaths when inhaling marijuana and not from any therapeutic chemical contained inside the drug.
Controls Epileptic Seizures
There was a study conducted in 2003 that showed that using Marijuana can help to prevent epileptic seizures. Synthetic marijuana and a marijuana extract were given to epileptic rats by Virginia Commonwealth University's Robert J. DeLorenzo. For around 10 hours the drugs eliminated seizures from the rats. Like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is an active ingredient of marijuana, cannabinoids also control seizures through binding to brain cells that regulate relaxation and control excitability. The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics published the findings.
Furthermore it decreases the symptoms of Dravet's Syndrome, which is a severe seizure disorder. While Gupta was conducted research for the making of his documentary called "Weed," he interviewed the Figi's, which is a family that gives their 5-year-old daughter named Charlotte a medical marijuana strain that is low in THC and high in cannabidiol for treatment purposes. She has Dravet Syndrome, which has caused severe developmental delays along with seizures. The film states that her seizures have been decreased by the drug, going from 300 per week down to only one seizure every seven days. In the state, forty other children are using the same marijuana strain for treating their seizures, and it does appear to be working effectively.
Stops Spread of Cancer
In 2007 California Pacific Medical Center researchers in San Francisco reported that CBD might help to prevent the spread of cancer. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics journal published a study that shows that cancer is stopped by cannabidiol by turning a gene off called Id-1. More copies of the gene are made by cancer cells compared to non-cancerous cells, and this helps them spread throughout the body.
In the lab breast cancer cells were studied by the researchers that had high Id-1 expression levels, and they were treated with cannabidiol. Following treatment, the cells showed an Id-1 expression that was decreased and was not as aggressive with spreading. Gupta in his documentary "Weed" mentioned a few studies done in Israel, Spain and the U.S. that suggest that compounds contained in cannabis might even be able to kill cancer cells.
Eases Pain And Reduces Anxiety
Users of medical marijuana claim that the drug helps to suppress nausea and relieve pain; those are the two primary reasons why it is frequently used for relieving chemotherapy side effects. In 201, Harvard Medical School researchers suggestions that some of the benefits of the drug might be due to decreased anxiety, which in low doses would act as a sedative and improve the mood of the smoker. However, you need to be aware that in higher doses it might make you paranoid and increase anxiety.
In May the Canadian Medical Association Journal published a study that suggests that painful multiple sclerosis symptoms might be eased by marijuana. The study involved 30 multiple sclerosis patients being studies who had painful contractions within their muscles. The patients had not responded well to other treatment, however after they smoked marijuana for a couple of days, the patients felt less pain. The Pot contains THC which binds to the receptors within the muscles as well as nerves which relieves pain. It has also been suggested by other studies that this chemical helps with controlling muscle spasms.