Marijuana has a bad reputation. While some think having a few drags will make you a bum for life, others think it is a gateway drug. There are a lot of myths about marijuana that have no basis. The earliest use of the drug can be traced back to 2737 BC when the Chinese emperor Shen Nung.
He is known to have used Marijuana to treat Gout, rheumatism, malaria and ironically absentmindedness. Since then, Marijuana made its way over to India to Africa to Europe finally reaching the United States. The health benefits of Marijuana were recognized by doctors and utilized to make people’s lives until a few decades ago. Then it was criminalized.
We are not recommending Marijuana for recreational purposes. The health benefits of marijuana are listed for medical marijuana users with valid prescriptions. So, is weed bad? Or can it make life better? Let’s find out.
Health benefits of Marijuana:
The health benefits of marijuana are plenty. Since it was decriminalized in some states in the US, scientists have invested time and effort in studying marijuana’s effect on humans and animals alike. It is now public knowledge that the plant does indeed help in the treatment, if not completely cure some major and minor ailments.
Effect on Cancer:
Over 100 types of cancers affect humans. These cancers can often be detected early, helping in treatment. In a research article published in the journal Molecular Cancer, it was published that Marijuana has the ingredient to stop cancer. A gene called Id-1 can be turned off by Cannabidiol, which stops cancer. Another research carried out in California Pacific Medical Center in 2007 proved that cannabidiol can stop cancer cells from spreading.
The research showed positive results when cannabidiol treatment was offered to breast cancer patients with high levels of Id-1. It was shown that on the administration of cannabidiol, the expression of Id-1 was significantly reduced and the spread became controlled. American Association of Cancer Research has informed that health benefits of Marijuana can considerably reduce tumour growth in brain, lung and breast.
Increased lung capacity:
The deep breaths taken while inhaling marijuana smoke is shown to increase lung capacity in marijuana smokers according to a study published in January 2012 in a journal of the American Medical Association. Not only that, it improves overall lung function.
This is exactly the opposite effects of tobacco smoke where the lung function and lung capacity keeps reducing with time. Thus, weed does help in other ways. The health benefits of marijuana are not limited to its ingredients.
Assistance when treating Hepatitis C:
Treating Hepatitis C can have a lot of side effects. These side effects from the treatment are so severe, they can discourage the patient from going on with the treatment. They include nausea, muscle aches, fatigue and reduced appetite. Besides, they can last for months. A study published in 2006 in a European journal informed that 86% of marijuana smokers who underwent the treatment were able to successfully finish it.
On the other hand, only 29% of patients who were not using Marijuana were able to complete the treatment. In addition to this, the study found that Marijuana improved the body’s positive response to Hep C treatment. While only 8% of non-smokers were able to keep the viral levels low, the percentage of smokers that were able to do it was 54%.
A magical plant for people with Dravet’s syndrome:
Dravet’s syndrome is an ailment where the patient suffers from constant seizures and extreme development delays. In a research carried out by a popular doctor, Dr. Sanjay Gupta who works for CNN, it was found that Medical administration of Marijuana can significantly impact patients with Dravet’s syndrome. It was found that the number of seizures from 300 a week was brought down to just once a week.
The medical marijuana used had high levels of cannabidiol and low levels of THC. The same treatment was carried out on 40 other children, which helped them as well. The reason cited for this significant drop in symptoms of Dravet’s syndrome was that cannabidiol in marijuana binds itself with brain cells to prevent them from excitement. This excitement results in seizures. This is one of the best-known health benefits of Marijuana.
The health benefits of Marijuana can be seen when treating patients with Crohn’s disease. It is a disease of the gut where abnormal digestion makes the sufferer vomit frequently. It is also responsible for pain, diarrhea and weight loss among other symptoms. In one of the latest studies carried out in Israel, it was discovered that Marijuana helps 10 out of 11 patients suffering from Crohn’s disease. To add to this, it cured 5 out of 11 patients completely. It is guessed that the cannabidiol in the plant helps keep gut bacteria and intestinal function in check.
Reduces pain from Multiple sclerosis:
Multiple Sclerosis can cause the affected immense pain by means of muscle spasms. A study printed in the Canadian Medical Association claimed that Marijuana can positively impact multiple sclerosis patients. It gave information on how medical marijuana reduced muscle pain caused by contractions. The THC in cannabis helps to relieve pain by attaching itself to pain receptors.
Arthritis is another ailment where the patient suffers from extreme pain and exhaustion. One of the benefits of cannabis is to reduce pain. The same benefit was found to be useful in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers gave the patients Sativex, which is a cannabidiol based painkiller medicine. On administering it to patients, they reported a massive reduction in pain and enhanced sleep.
Summing it up:
In recent years, comprehensive research has been carried out on Marijuana, leading to a lot of incorporation of weed in treating ailments. So, is weed bad? Well, we don’t need to make that decision as the results speak for themselves. We have not done justice to the long list of benefits of cannabis as we have only mentioned a few.
There are myths about marijuana that can discourage potential benefactors of marijuana from getting their much-needed treatment. Still, it is advised to seek out health professionals before trying on your own. Also, be mindful of your state laws and if you as a patient can qualify for a medical marijuana license as per the laws if your state permits the use of it.