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Benefits of Marijuana
August 23, 2018

What Are the Many Benefits of Marijuana?

You may have heard a lot about the benefits of marijuana, but few are based on medical studies. As a matter of fact, the benefits touted by may experts range from curing cancer to stomach issues. However, which of these benefits are medically proven and shown to work? Fortunately, quite a few as we’ll examine in this article.

How do the Benefits of Weed Come About?

The Marijuana plant or weed as it is commonly referred to has two active ingredients with medical properties the first being Cannabidiol or CBD and Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. The CBD has been shown to impact the brain for the most part while THC relieves pain and causes the famed ‘high.’

Now before you go out a buy a bag of weed from the nearest dealer, there are marijuana side effects. The biggest one being an addiction. The other one which isn’t a side effect but rather an oversight is the lack of research to answer some of the biggest questions related to its use. While THC and CBD may be the chemicals with medical properties, there are 400 others of which 60 are cannabinoids. So, the rule of thumb like with the use of any other drug medical marijuana should be smoked with medical guidance. We strongly advise against swinging by your nearest drug dealer and grabbing a few keys of weed because you think it will make your headache go away. What are the good things about smoking weed that’s medical proven? Well, read on!

 

The Best Supported Medical Proof is the Use of Marijuana for Treating Chronic Pain

 

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published a paper on the medical benefits of Marijuana. The paper reported that there was evidence to suggest a link between the use of cannabinoids aka cannabis and chronic pain treatment. That’s why it is the most common use of medical marijuana.

 

Help Cure Muscle Spasms

 

In the report mentioned above it was stated there was evidence suggesting that it helped with fixing muscle spasms which is related to multiple sclerosis. However, marijuana fared well when it came to curing other types of muscle spasms too. So, it is often used to treat diaphragm spasms which can’t be treated with prescription medication.

 

Helps Improve Lung Capacity

 

It is surprising, but the benefits of cannabis include improving lung capacity. As a matter of fact, there are studies to suggest that it does not negatively harm the lungs unless tobacco is mixed with the weed. A study of the good facts about weed showed that marijuana increased lung capacity.

The researchers tested the lungs of 5115 adults and tracked their progress through twenty years of perhaps smoking weed. The group that smoked tobacco lost the function of their lungs after a couple of years while weed smokers saw an increase in capacity. One reason cited by researchers for the increased capacity is taking in deep breaths as opposed to any chemical in the drug.

The one takeaway from this research is that those who smoked weed for twenty years continuously showed no signs of harm to their lungs. So, one of the benefits of smoking marijuana is perhaps staying clear of cancer which can be associated with smoking a bunch of other stuff.

 

Health Benefits of Marijuana Includes Treating Glaucoma

 

One of the most common reasons for many states allowing the use of medical marijuana is its effect on treating eye diseases. It can prevent and treat conditions like glaucoma which is a buildup of pressure in the eyeball resulting in damaged optic nerve and eventual loss of sight.

Marijuana smokers end up seeing a decrease in pressure on the eyeball. However, for now, medical experts are only willing to admit that it lowers IOP for a couple of hours. So, there is no long-term treatment proven for now. But that also means it is the only drug if any that can provide relief.

 

Control Epileptic Seizures

 

We have seen a handful of studies showing that one of the benefits of marijuana is the treatment of epileptic seizures. It also seems to help people who are otherwise resistant to treatment. Though there is yet to be any gold standard or double-blind studies conducted to prove it. So, more data is obviously needed.

 

Relieves symptoms of Dravet’s Syndrome

 

When researching his documentary rightly entitled “Weed,” Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN fame interviewed the Figi Family who had previously treated their 5-year-old daughter with medical marijuana with high concentrations of cannabidiol but with low THC. The five-year-old was suffering from Dravet’s Syndrome which is responsible for causing retarded development and seizures.

Weed was able to decrease the seizures from three hundred each week to just one. It is considered one of sativa benefits (a strain of weed). It was reported that forty other kids were treated in the same way.

According to the doctors administering the treatment the cannabidiol within the plant helps to interact with gray matter in the brain to reduce its excessive activity. That said the kicker if you may, is that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the DEA haven’t yet endorsed this as a viable treatment.

 

Stops the Spread of Cancer

 

What are the good things about smoking weed? For one it can cure cancer. The CBD in weed according to researchers can help to prevent cancer from spreading. Many preliminary studies on brain tumors in various cells and cultures have proven that CBD and THC can help to shrink it with the right dose. Though more research is needed.

A similar study in 2014 found that marijuana can help to slow the growth of malignant brain cancer. Though the findings are limited to cell cultures and mainly animal tests. So, they don’t necessarily translate to real-world cures unlike what some may hope.

 

Helps to Decrease Anxiety When Taken in Small Doses

 

Another one of the pros of medical marijuana is that it relaxes a person. However, there is enough data to show that smoking too much weed will give you anxiety. A recent scientific study found that the right amount to smoke to keep calm was a few puffs. Though a few more can amp you up. That said since everyone is different so each person may have a different experience.

 

Slow Alzheimer’s Progress

 

Out of the many benefits of Marijuana, this may be the most startling and perhaps useful for older folk. A study by the Scripps Research Institute found a direct relationship between THC and the slowing down of the amyloid plaques.

The 2006 study showed that by blocking the formation of amyloid plaques by shutting down an enzyme in the brain slowed down the progress of the disease. When tested on mice they found that a combo of THC and CBD preserved memory. They also studied dronabinol a THC based prescription medicine which reduced behavioral disturbances in patients who have dementia.

 

Eases Multiple Sclerosis Pain

 

Some good facts about weed, in general, is that it helps to reduce if not eliminate all types of pain. The same goes for multiple sclerosis. Canadian Medical Association Journal published a study of 30 patients suffering from painful contractions. These patients were not responding to other forms of prescription medication. Though smoking marijuana for just a couple of days reduced their pain.

Initial research into it shows that THC may be binding to receptors in the muscles and nerves to eliminate pain.

 

May Help Treat Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

 

One of the benefits of marijuana is proper digestion as it helps to cure diseases similar to Crohn’s diseases as well as ulcerative colitis. Research by the University of Nottingham found that various chemicals in marijuana including THC work by interacting with the body to play a role in gut function.

Our bodies believe it or not make a compound similar to THC which helps to make the intestines more permeable to allow good bacteria to grow and enter. Though the cannabinoids will block the compounds by making the intestinal walls bound tightly together and reduce their permeability.

 

Helps to Relieve Arthritis Pain

 

Another significant benefit of medical marijuana is its use to reduce arthritis pain, promote sleep and reduce inflammation. People with rheumatoid arthritis may see a drastic reduction in their pain as announced by researchers back in 2011.

The study saw patients from several hospitals given Sativex which is a marijuana-derived cannabinoid pain relief medicine. After just 14 days of taking the medicine the patients saw a significant reduction in their pain with improved sleep compared to those receiving a placebo.

A couple of other studies also showed that cannabinoids derived from plants when inhaled help to decrease arthritis pain.

 

Final Word on Marijuana Use

 

One of the most significant problems even today despite all the above benefits of marijuana is it’s still pretty hard to find in most states and countries. Though the best way to get your hands on marijuana either for medical purposes or otherwise is to grow it yourself. Growing the right strain, you need for a medical condition also helps to reduce the cons of medical marijuana. Our in-depth growing guide should help you get started.