Health benefits and potential uses of medical marijuana
Ever since the legalization of medical marijuana in 26 states, the District of Columbia and Guam, heated debates by proponents and opponents of marijuana are doing the rounds. Historians claim that the use of marijuana for medicinal and therapeutic purposes dates back to 2737 B.C when the Chinese Emperor Shen Neng touted Cannabis tea as a treatment for gout, rheumatism, malaria, and even poor memory. Cannabis sativa’s popularity as a medicine spread throughout Asia, the Middle East, and then to Africa and India, where Hindu sects used it as pain relief agent.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (cannabidiol), and CBN(Cannabinol) are the major active components present in marijuana which gives people the ‘high’. Currently, the two main cannabinoids that are of medical/therapeutic interest are THC and CBD. Though THC may decrease pain, muscle control problems, nausea etc a little extra can make the person ‘high’ whereas CBD doesn’t impart any mind-altering effects.
Health benefits of medical marijuana
- Most commonly medical marijuana is used as a pain reliever for age related muscle pains and joint pains but isn’t strong enough to provide relief from post-surgical pain, pain due to broken bone etc)
- Accoding to National Eye Institute, "Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma." Hopefully, medical marijuana can save many from becoming blind due to glaucoma.
- Some pregnant women report that using medical marijuana helped them with the nausea and morning sickness. Since there’s no medical proof to agree on, doctors generally don’t recommend it.
- A 2003 animal testing on rat showed that medical marijuana can control seizers for about 10 hours. The scientists demonstrated that THC present in marijuana bind to the brain cells and controls excitability and regulates relaxation.
- Along these lines, researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco reported in 2007 reported that cannabidiols interfered with the gene expression of Id-I (an oncogene involved in the cancer progression) in breast cancer cells when treated with cannabidiol.
- Researchers even proved that THC present in marijuana slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that produces them. These plaques are what kill brain cells and cause Alzheimers disease.
- Few say that the marijuana smoke has the power to calm the muscle spasms by calming the intercostals muscles and diaphragm.
- Medical marijuana is reported to help in Hepatitic C therapy by reducing negative side effects of the therapy like fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and depression.
- Another health benefit of medical marijuana is in the treatment of Systemic Lupus Ertyhematosus – an autoimmune disease wherein the chemical compounds present in marijuana calm the immune system.
- Many veterans and their doctors report of the drastic improvement marijuana imparted on post-traumatic stress disorders.
Remember, Medical marijuana is not monitored like FDA-approved medicines and the claimed health benefits of medical marijuana need a lot of further studies. Only people who have a card are using medical marijuana, but as time goes on, many states are using it as recreational use. Time is proving that marijuana has many uses that can help people in so many ways.