Many users claim the drug (Medical Marijuana) helps relieve pain and suppress nausea — the two main reasons it’s often used to relieve the side effects of chemotherapy.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School suggested that that some of the drug’s benefits may actually be from reduced anxiety, which would improve the smoker’s mood and act as a sedative in low doses. Beware, though, higher doses can increase anxiety and make you paranoid.
A study, published in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, found that THC, the active chemical in marijuana, slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. These plaques seem to be what kill brain cells and potentially cause Alzheimer’s.
A synthetic mixture of CBD and THC seem to preserve memory in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Another study suggested that in population-based studies, a THC-based prescription drug called dronabinol was able to reduce behavioral disturbances in dementia patients.
Marijuana may ease painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis, a study published in the Medical Association Journal in May suggests a few marijuana doctors in florida.
A researcher studied multiple sclerosis patients with painful contractions in their muscles. These patients didn’t respond to other treatments, but after smoking marijuana for a few days they reported that they were in less pain.
The THC in the pot binds to receptors in the nerves and muscles to relieve pain. Other studies suggest that the chemical also helps control the muscle spasms.
Other types of muscle spasms respond to marijuana as well. Gupta also found a teenager who was using medical marijuana to treat diaphragm spasms that were untreatable by other, prescribed and very strong, medications.
His condition is called myoclonus diaphragmatic flutter (also known as Leeuwenhoek’s Disease) and causes non stop spasming in the abdominal muscles which are not only painful, but interfere with breathing and speaking.
Treatment for hepatitis C infection is harsh — negative side effects include fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and depression — and lasts for months. Many people aren’t able to finish their treatment course because of the side effects.
But, pot to the rescue: A 2006 study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that 86% of patients using marijuana successfully completed their Hep C therapy, while only 29% of non-smokers completed their treatment, possibly because the marijuana helps lessens the treatments side effects say lakeland marijuana experts.
Marijuana also seems to improve the treatment’s effectiveness:Over 50% of hep C patients smoking marijuana got their viral levels low and kept them low, in comparison to less than 10% of nonsmokers says sarasota marijuana doctors.
Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis could benefit from marijuana use, studies suggest.
University of Nottingham researchers found in 2010 that chemicals in marijuana, including THC and cannabidiol, interact with cells in the body that play an important role in gut function and immune responses. The study was published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
THC-like compounds made by the body increase the permeability of the intestines, allowing bacteria in. The plant-derived cannabinoids in marijuana block these body-cannabinoids, preventing this permeability and making the intestinal cells bond together tighter.
One study in Israel showed that smoking a joint significantly reduced Crohn’s disease symptoms in 10 out of 11 patients compared to a placebo and without side effects.
That’s a small study, but other research has shown similar effects. Even more research finds that people with Crohn’s and other inflammatory bowel disorders use cannabis to help deal with their symptoms, even if there are questions about how much marijuana can or can’t help.
Marijuana alleviates pain, reduces inflammation, and promotes sleep, which may help relieve pain and discomfort for people with rheumatoid arthritis, researchers announced in 2011
Medical marijuana is also being used to treat the autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus Ertyhematosus, which is when the body starts attacking itself for some unknown reason.
Both THC and CBD have anti-inflammatory properties, which may be how cannabis helps deal with symptoms of Lupus and arthritis. The rest of the positive impact of the marijuana is probably from the effects on pain and nausea.
Researchers from rheumatology units at several hospitals gave their patients Sativex, a cannabinoid-based pain-relieving medicine. After a two-week period, people on Sativex had a significant reduction in pain and improved sleep quality compared to placebo users.
A note of caution, though, a recent study in Arthritis Care & Research suggests there isn’t enough evidence to back up the use of marijuana for these kinds of diseases, mostly because there aren’t comprehensive studies on the side effects and little regulation of dosage and consistency in the chemical make up of medical marijuana.
A study published in the American Journal Of Medicine on April 15 of 2013 suggested that pot smokers are skinnier than the average person and have healthier metabolism and reaction to sugars, even though they do end up eating more calories.
The study analyzed data from more than 4,500 adult Americans — 579 of whom were current marijuana smokers, meaning they had smoked in the last month. About 2,000 had used marijuana in the past, while another 2,000 had never used the drug.
They studied their body’s response to eating sugars: their levels of the hormone insulin and their blood sugar levels while they hadn’t eaten in nine hours, and after eating sugar.
Not only were the pot users skinnier, but their body had a healthier response to sugar.
Contrary to stoner stereotypes, marijuana usage has actually been shown to have some positive mental effects, particularly in terms of increasing creativity. Even though people’s short-term memories tend to function worse when high, people get better at tests requiring them to come up with new ideas.
One study tested participants on their ability to come up with different words related to a concept, and found that using cannabis allowed people to come up with a greater range of related concepts, seeming “to make the brain better at detecting those remote associations that lead to radically new ideas,” according to Wired.
Other researchers have found that some participants improve their “verbal fluency,” their ability to come up with different words, while using marijuana.
Part of this increased creative ability may come from the release of dopamine in the brain, lessening inhibitions and allowing people to feel more relaxed, giving the brain the ability to perceive things differently.
Recent research from Israel shows that smoking marijuana significantly reduces pain and tremors and improves sleep for Parkinson’s disease patients. Particularly impressive was the improved fine motor skills among patients.
Medical marijuana is legal in Israel for multiple conditions, and a lot of research into the medical uses of cannabis is done there, supported by the Israeli government.
Marijuana is approved to treat PTSD in some states already PTSD is the number one reason for people to get a license for medical marijuana.
Naturally occurring cannabinoids, similar to THC, help regulate the system that causes fear and anxiety in the body and brain.
But there are still questions about the safety of using marijuana while suffering from PTSD, which this study will hopefully help answer.
Research shows that marijuana may help protect the brain from damage caused by stroke, by reducing the size of the area affected by the stroke at least in rats, mice, and monkeys.
This isn’t the only research that has shown neuroprotective effects from cannabis. Some research shows that the plant may help protect the brain after other traumatic events, like concussions.
There is some evidence that marijuana can help heal the brain after a concussion or other traumatic injury. A recent study in the journal showed that in mice, marijuana lessened the bruising of the brain and helped with healing mechanisms after a traumatic injury.
Harvard professor emeritus of psychiatry and marijuana advocate recently wrote an open letter to saying they should stop testing players, and that the league should start funding research into the plant’s ability to protect the brain.
“Already, many doctors and researchers believe that marijuana has incredibly powerful neuroprotective properties, an understanding based on both laboratory and clinical data,” he writes. He recently said that he’d consider permitting athletes to use marijuana if medical research shows that it’s an effective neuroprotective agent. This is a complicated one, because it involves effects that can be both positive and negative. As it disturbs sleep cycles by interrupting the later stages of REM sleep. In the long run, this could be a problem for frequent users. However, for people suffering from serious nightmares, especially those associated with PTSD, this can be helpful. Nightmares and other dreams occur during those same stages of sleep. By interrupting REM sleep, many of those dreams may not occur. Research into using a synthetic cannabinoid, like THC, but not the same, showed a significant decrease in the number of nightmares in patients with PTSD. Additionally, even if frequent use can be bad for sleep, marijuana may be a better sleep aid than some other substances that people use says a few miami marijuana doctors. Some of those, including medication and alcohol, may potentially have even worse effects on sleep, though more research is needed on the topic.
One of the most well-known medical uses of marijuana is for people going through chemotherapy. Cancer patients being treated with chemo suffer from painful nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. This can cause additional health complications. Marijuana can help reduce these side effects, alleviating pain, decreasing nausea, and stimulating the appetite. There are also multiple FDA-approved cannabinoid drugs that use THC, the main active chemical in marijuana, for the same purposes. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. That’s not to say it’s completely risk free, but it’s much less addictive and doesn’t cause nearly as much physical damage. Disorders like alcoholism involve disruptions in the endocannabinoid system. Because of that, some people think cannabis might help patients struggling with those disorders. Research shows that some people use marijuana as a less harmful substitute for alcohol, prescription drugs, and other illegal drugs. Some of the most common reasons for patients to make that substitution are the less adverse side effects from marijuana and the fact that it is less likely to cause withdrawal problems. Some people do become psychologically dependent on marijuana, and this doesn’t mean that it’s a cure for substance abuse problems. But, from a harm-reduction standpoint, it can help.
Marijuana’s official designation as a Schedule 1 drug something with no currently accepted medical use, means it’s pretty tough to study. Yet both a growing body of research and numerous anecdotal reports link cannabis with several health benefits, including pain relief and helping with certain forms of epilepsy. In addition, researchers say there are many other ways marijuana might affect health that they want to better understand as many other Physicians as well can contest to. A massive report released in January by helps sum up exactly what we know and, perhaps more importantly, what we don’t know about the science of cannabis say a florida medical marijuana researcher. One of cannabis active ingredients, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, interacts with our brain’s reward system, the part that’s primed to respond to things that make us feel good, like eating and sex. When overexcited by drugs, the reward system creates feelings of euphoria. This is also why some studies have suggested that excessive marijuana use can be a problem in some people, the more often you trigger that euphoria, the less you may feel during other rewarding experiences. Within a few minutes of inhaling marijuana, your heart rate can increase by between 20 and 50 beats a minute. This can last anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The new report found insufficient evidence to support or refute the idea that cannabis might increase the overall risk of a heart attack. The same report, however, also found some limited evidence that smoking could be a trigger for a heart attack. Pot also contains cannabidiol, or CBD — and this chemical, while not responsible for getting you high, is thought to be responsible for many of marijuana’s therapeutic effects such as pain relief or potentially treating certain kinds of childhood epilepsy. The new report also found conclusive or substantial evidence — the most definitive levels — that cannabis can be an effective treatment for chronic pain, which could have to do with both CBD and THC. Pain is also “by far the most common” reason people request medical marijuana, according to the report. One of the ways scientists think it may help with pain is by reducing inflammation, a component of painful illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis. A preliminary 2005 study of 58 patients with RA, roughly half of whom were given a placebo and roughly half of whom were given a cannabis-based medicine called Sativex, found “statistically significant improvements in pain on movement, pain at rest, quality of sleep” for patients on Sativex. Other studies testing both other cannabinoid products and inhaled marijuana have shown similar pain-relieving effects, according to the report. Some people with inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis could also benefit from marijuana use, studies suggest. A 2014 paper, for example, describes two studies of people with chronic Crohn’s in which half were given the drug and half were given a placebo. That study showed a decrease in symptoms in 10 of 11 subjects using cannabis, compared with just four of 10 on the placebo. But when the researchers did a follow-up study using low-dose CBD, they saw no effect in the patients. Researchers say that, for now, we need more research before we’ll know whether cannabis can help with these diseases.
Here are just ten of the many health benefits attributed to the plant, as well as some of the problems associated with its use:
Marijuana may be able to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, according to research by the Scripps Research Institute published in “Molecular Pharmaceutics.”
Harvard Medical School found that marijuana may have anti-anxiety effects. Of course, keep in mind that high doses may increase anxiety and paranoia.
Marijuana can alleviate pain and inflammation linked to arthritis.
The use of cannabis to treat epilepsy and other neurological conditions has been studied for a number of years. It has been hotly debated too.
On June 25, 2018, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved EPIDIOLEX® (cannabidiol, CBD) oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with two epilepsy syndromes – Lennox-Gastaut syndromeand Dravet syndrome – in people two years of age or older. Epidiolex represents a new medication option for children with these types of epilepsy. It is also the first ever FDA approved medication to treat seizures in Dravet syndrome. Studies conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University indicate that marijuana may stop seizures. The FDA approval of Epidiolex will soon bring to market the first plant-based drug derived from the cannabis plant in the U.S. Before it can be distributed on the market, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) must place it on the Drug Schedule and states must create a pathway for it.
Researchers are working to develop new cannabis-based drugs to treat glaucoma pain after determining marijuana’s effectiveness for treating the condition. Glaucoma is a condition that increases pressure inside the eyeball and can lead to vision loss.
7. Lung health
Research in the “Journal of the American Medical Association“ found that marijuana can increase lung capacity – not decrease it, as many people have long believed.
8. Multiple sclerosis
A study published in the “Canadian Medical Association Journal” found that cannabinoids significantly reduced multiple sclerosis pain.
Marijuana contains a minimum of 60 cannabinoids. THC is the primary chemical associated with its mind-altering effects. THC has been used in the treatment of nausea, including drug- or chemotherapy-induced nausea.
10. Parkinson’s Disease
Research published in medpage found that marijuana use eased tremors and improved fine motor skills in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Despite these health benefits, it’s also important to consider the potential health risks of marijuana use:
• Addiction can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms in people who discontinue marijuana use.
• In high doses or in sensitive individuals, marijuana can cause anxiety and paranoia.
• Marijuana may impair memory.
• Mind-altering effects are particularly evident among young and first-time users.
• One study found an increase in risk of heart attack within the first hour of smoking marijuana.