Medical cannabis is now way more popular than ever before. It is now legal in 33 states; and more and more people are now using medical cannabis for their health problems. You just need to get a medical marijuana card to buy medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary. A marijuana doctor can provide you this card after evaluating your condition. As more studies are going on regarding the benefits of cannabis, we are learning more about this magical herb.
Unfortunately, the United States Federal Government still classifies cannabis as a Schedule-1 drug. This defines that cannabis is a psychoactive substance that has no medicinal value. Cannabis is a tricky plant to study, but the studies till now show the promising health benefits of cannabis. This is why it has left the shady image it once had, and moving into its rightful position. Various studies show that using cannabis for a long time does not lead to a decline in health. In fact, it has some positive effects on people’s health.
There are thousands of years of anecdotal evidence that suggest that cannabis is not bad for your health. In 2737 BC, Chinese people used cannabis as a medication for rheumatism, malaria, gout, and absent-mindedness (this one funny). Slowly, the use of cannabis started spreading from China to India. Then it further moved to North Africa and made its way to Europe by the beginning of AD 500. In fact, from 1850 to 1942, cannabis was listed in the United States Pharmacopeia. Doctors prescribed cannabis for various medical uses like nausea, rheumatism, and labor pain. This history of cannabis use is enough to show that it has medicinal value and can be beneficial for health. Now, more studies are going on to learn more about the benefits of cannabis. Having said that, here are some of the top health benefits of cannabis.
Cancer is one of the top causes of death in the United States. And lung cancer is the most deadly form of it. Research shows that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a compound found in cannabis, has anti-tumor effects. It can fight against brain cancer, lung cancer, leukemia.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is another compound present in cannabis. In 2007, researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco found that CBD can prevent the spread of cancer. It does so by turning off a gene called Id-1. Cancer cells tend to create more copies of Id-1 than non-cancerous cells, which helps them spread through the entire body.
The researchers studied breast cancer cells having high levels of Id-1, and treated them with CBD. The outcome showed a decrease in Id-1 expression, and they were less aggressive spreaders. The American Association for Cancer Research found that cannabis can slow down the growth of tumors in the brain, lungs, and breast.
Alzheimer’s disease is also one of the top causes of deaths in the United States. Fortunately, THC can help in slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. THC slows the process of amyloid plaques. It does so by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. These plaques are responsible for killing the brain cells, and also lead to Alzheimer’s disease. But cannabinoids can successfully prevent the neurodegenerative process caused by the disease. This is because of the neuroprotective and antioxidant qualities of cannabis.
Arthritis causes physical disability, and it is one of the most common types of chronic pain that people experience. But, cannabis is known to help people get relief from arthritis pain. In 2011, researchers found that cannabis can be beneficial in reducing pain and inflammation, and promotes sleep. This may help people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis as cannabis reduces their pain and discomfort. THC has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. And CBD helps in regulating autoimmune conditions such as arthritis. Researchers working in rheumatology units gave their patients Sativex. Sativex is a cannabinoid-based medicine that relieves pain. After a short time, they noticed that patients reported a reduction in pain and more improvement than placebo users.
Researchers at the University of Nottingham found that cannabis can help in protecting the brain from damage caused by stroke. Cannabis reduces the size of the area that the stroke affected. A study in 2003, also showed that cannabis can be helpful in controlling epileptic seizures.
More research shows that cannabis may also be able to protect the brain from other traumatic events, such as concussions. Research shows that THC can control the seizures. THC binds the brain cells that control excitability and regulate relaxation.
A study was also done by Robert J. DeLorenzo on epileptic rats. He gave cannabis extract and synthetic cannabis to these rats. Cannabis was able to stop the seizures in about 10 hours.
Cannabis is a great option to stop muscle spasms and negative neurological effects that are caused by multiple sclerosis. Cannabis is capable of easing the painful symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis.
THC present in cannabis can bind to receptors in the muscles and nerves to alleviate pain. Research shows that consuming cannabis can be more effective than other treatments for managing pain related to multiple sclerosis. Patients reported improved spasticity, quality of sleep, and muscle spasms.
Studies from Israel shows that consuming cannabis can be helpful in reducing pains and tremors for Parkinson’s disease patients. Cannabis is also shown to improve the quality of sleep for patients suffering from Parkison’s disease. The research also shows that cannabis helps in improving the fine motor skills of patients. The various studies and research shows that cannabis is an effective way to soothe tremors for people dealing with Parkinson’s disease.
In 2004, a survey was conducted at Nunavik Inuit Health. 57.4 percent of people in the survey, who used cannabis, were having a lower average percentage of fat mass. These people also had a lower body mass index and fasting insulin levels.
Many studies have shown that people who consume cannabis are generally slimmer than those who do not. Cannabis is associated with promoting weight loss and lowering fasting insulin levels. A study published in The American Journal of Medicine shows that cannabis users have smaller weight circumferences, and lower obesity rates.
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