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23 health benefits of marijuana you may not have known

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23 health benefits of marijuana you may not have known

Before we begin, we go back to the year 2737 BC. It has since been investigated that the first direct reference in China was found in the writings of Chinese Emperor Shen Nung during that period. The first use of cannabis product was used for psychoactive substances.

The writings emphasized its strength as a medicine for rheumatism, gout, malaria, and funny enough, for distractions. The importance of medicinal value mainly focused on the intoxicating properties.

Gradually, use spread from China to India, then to North Africa, reaching Europe as early as 500 AD. Marijuana was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1850 to 1942. It was prescribed for a variety of medical uses such as pain in childbirth, nausea, and rheumatism.

Medical use

From 1850 to 1930, cannabis started to become famous for recreational purposes. As drug intake increased over time, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classified it as a Scheduled 1 Drug in the United States. So, of course, controversies arose over the medical use of marijuana.

To make it more medically friendly, the active ingredient THC was synthesized in 1966 and finally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1985.

A 1999 U.S.-sponsored Institute of Medicine study revealed the beneficial properties of marijuana in certain medical conditions such as nausea caused by chemotherapy and vomiting caused by AIDS. Since 1999, several studies have been conducted to show that smoking marijuana has pain-reducing effects.

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and about 24 of the states in America now have some type of medical marijuana law.

Medical benefits of marijuana

You will be surprised to know why studies have been done on this herb, and for your interest, here is the list of 20 medical benefits of marijuana you probably didn't know all of them!

1. Slow down and stop the spread of cancer cells

The study, published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, found that Cannabidiol has the ability to stop cancer by turning off a gene called Id-1. In 2007, researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco reported that CBD may prevent the spread of cancer. The researchers experimented with breast cancer cells in the laboratory with a high Id-1 content and treated them with cannabidiol.

The outcome was quite positive, the cells had reduced Id-1 expression and were less aggressive propagators. In fact, the American Association for Cancer Research has found that marijuana significantly slows tumor growth in the brain, chest, and lungs.

2. Treat glaucoma

Marijuana can be used to treat glaucoma. Glaucoma increases the pressure in the eyeball, damages the optic nerve, and causes vision loss. According to the National Eye Institute, marijuana reduces the pressure in the eye.

"Studies in the early XNUMXs showed that smoking marijuana reduced intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and in people with glaucoma."

These effects of the drug can prevent blindness.

3. Relieve arthritis

In 2011, researchers reported that cannabis reduces pain and inflammation and promotes sleep, which may help relieve pain and discomfort in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Researchers from the rheumatology departments of several hospitals gave their patients Sativex, a cannabinoid-based analgesic drug. After two weeks, patients on Sativex had a significant reduction in pain and improved sleep quality compared to placebo users.

4. Control epileptic seizure

A 2003 study showed that marijuana use can control seizures.

Robert J. DeLorenzo, of Virginia Commonwealth University, gave marijuana extract and synthetic marijuana to epileptic rats. The drugs stopped the seizures in about 10 hours.

The THC has been discovered to control attacks by binding the brain cells responsible for controlling irritability and regulating relaxation. The results were published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

5. Prevent Alzheimer's

THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, slows the progression of Alzheimer's disease, a 2006 study led by Kim Janda of the Scripps Research Institute found. THC slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. These plaques kill brain cells and may lead to Alzheimer's disease.

6. Soothes vibrations for people with Parkinson's disease

Recent studies from Israel show that smoking marijuana remarkably reduces pain and tremors and improves sleep for patients with Parkinson's disease. What was impressive about the study was the improvement in fine motor skills in patients.

Israel has made medical marijuana legal and there is a lot of research on the medical use of cannabis, supported by the Israeli government.

7. Relieve the pain of multiple sclerosis

Marijuana works to stop the negative neurological effects and muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association suggests that marijuana may ease painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Jody Cory Bloom studied 30 patients with multiple sclerosis with painful contractions in their muscles. These patients did not respond to other medications, but after smoking marijuana for a few days, they reported experiencing less pain. The THC in the cannabis binds the receptors in the nerves and muscles to relieve pain.

8. Reduce the symptoms of Dravet syndrome

Dravet syndrome causes seizures and severe developmental delays. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, renowned chief medical correspondent for CNN, treated a five-year-old girl, Charlotte Figi, with Dravet syndrome, with medicinal marijuana strain with a high cannabidiol content and a low THC content.

During the investigation for his documentary "WEED", Gupta interviewed the Figi family, and according to the film, the drug reduced her attacks from 300 a week to just one every seven days. Forty other kids are on the same drug, and it has helped them too.

The doctors who recommend this drug say the cannabidiol in the plant interacts with the brain cells to satisfy the excessive activities in the brain that cause the attacks.

9. Help with Crohn's disease

Cannabis can be useful in curing Crohn's disease. Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and more.

But a recent study in Israel found that smoking a joint significantly reduced Crohn's disease symptoms in 10 of 11 patients, and caused complete discontinuation of the disease in five of those patients.

This is, of course, a small study, but other studies have produced similar results. Cannabinoids from cannabis seem to help the gut control bacteria and gut function.

10. Reduce anxiety

In 2010, researchers at Harvard University suggested that one of the benefits of the drugs may be to reduce anxiety, which would improve the smoker's mood and act as a sedative in low doses.

However, be careful with higher doses as these can increase anxiety and make you more paranoid.

11. Help reverse the cancer-causing effects of tobacco and improve lung health

In January 2012, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that marijuana improved lung functions and even increased lung capacity. Researchers looking for risk factors for heart disease, tested on 5.115 young adults over a 20-year period, found that only weed users showed an increase in lung capacity, compared to the tobacco smokers who actually lost their lung function over time.

It is believed that the increased lung capacity is due to the deep breaths taken while inhaling the cannabis, and not from a therapeutic chemical in the drugs.

12. Reduce side effects of hepatitis C treatment and increase treatment effectiveness

Treating hepatitis C infection has serious side effects, so serious that many people cannot continue their treatment. Side effects range from fatigue, nausea, muscle pain, loss of appetite and depression - sometimes lasting for months.

But cannabis can save you:

A 2006 study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that 86% of patients who used marijuana successfully finished their therapies, while only 29% of non-smokers completed their treatments, perhaps because marijuana's side effects of these treatments are Hepatitis C helps reduce.

Cannabis also helps improve the effectiveness of the treatment. 54% of Hep C patients who smoked marijuana had low viral levels and kept them low, compared to the only 8% of non-smokers.

13. Improve the symptoms of Lupus, an autoimmune disease.

Medical marijuana is used to treat the autoimmune disease called Systemic Lupus Ertyhematosus, which is when the body starts attacking itself for unknown reasons.

It is believed that some of the chemical compounds in cannabis are responsible for calming the immune system, which may be the reason to help treat the symptoms of lupus. The rest of the positive impact of marijuana probably comes from the effects of the pain and nausea.

14. Protect the brain after a stroke.

Research (conducted in rats, mice and monkeys) at the University of Nottingham shows that cannabis can help protect the brain from damage caused by stroke by reducing the size of the stroke.

This is not the only study to show neuroprotective effects of cannabis. Some research shows that the plant can help protect the brain after other traumatic events such as concussions.

15. Reduce severe pain and nausea from chemo, and stimulate appetite

One of the most common uses of medical marijuana is for people undergoing chemotherapy. Cancer patients undergoing chemo suffer severe pain, painful nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. This can lead to further health complications.

Marijuana can help reduce these side effects, reduce pain, reduce nausea and stimulate the appetite. There are also other FDA (in America) approved cannabinoid drugs that use THC for the same purposes.

16. Treat inflammatory bowel disease

Like Crohn's disease, patients with other inflammatory bowel conditions such as ulcerative colitis could benefit from marijuana use, studies suggest.

In 2010, researchers at the University of Nottingham discovered that chemical compounds in marijuana, including THC and cannabidiol, interact with cells in the body that play important roles in gut function and the immune system.

THC-like compounds made by the body increase intestinal permeability, allowing bacteria to enter. The plant-derived cannabinoids in marijuana block these body cannabinoids, stop their permeability, and tighten the gut band.

17. Helps veterans suffering from PTSD

Marijuana is approved for the treatment of PTSD in some states of America. In New Mexico, PTSD is the primary reason for people to get a medical marijuana license, but this is the first time the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has approved a proposal that includes smoked or vaporized marijuana.

Naturally occurring cannabinoids, similar to THC, help control the system that causes anxiety and jitters in the body and brain.

18. Manage other types of muscle spasms

Other types of muscle spasms also respond to marijuana.

Dr. Gupta, Chaz, has a condition called myoclonus diaphragmatic flutter (also known as Leeuwenhoek's disease). This causes non-stop spasms in the abdominal muscles that are not only painful, but also interfere with breathing and speaking.

Chaz has used medical marijuana to treat this disease because other very strong medicines have been unable to treat him properly.

Smoking marijuana is able to calm the attacks almost immediately, which also relaxes the mucous membranes of the diaphragm.

19. Protect the brain from concussion and trauma

A recent study in the journal Cerebral Cortex showed possibilities that marijuana can help heal the brain after a concussion or other traumatic injury.

The study indicated that the experiments were performed on mice and that marijuana reduced bruising in the brain and aided in healing mechanisms after traumatic injury.

Lester Grinspoon, emeritus professor of psychiatry and marijuana lawyer at Harvard, recently wrote an open letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall saying that the NFL should stop testing players for marijuana and instead raise money for research into the marijuana plant's ability to protect the brain. In the open letter he writes:

"Many doctors and researchers already believe that marijuana has incredibly powerful neuroprotective properties, a concept based on both laboratory and clinical data."

Goodall recently said he would consider allowing athletes to use marijuana if medical research shows it to be an effective neuroprotective.

20. Helps eliminate nightmares

This is a bit of a “tricky” one because it has both positive and negative effects. Marijuana can disrupt the sleep cycle by interrupting the later stages of REM sleep.

However, people who suffer from severe nightmares, especially in patients with PTSD, can benefit from this. Nightmares and other dreams occur during those same sleep stages.

By interrupting REM sleep, many of those dreams may not occur. Research with a synthetic cannabinoid, such as THC, showed a reduction in nightmares in patients with PTSD.

Marijuana may be a better sleep aid than some other medications or even alcohol, as the latter two may have worse effects on sleep, although more research is needed on this topic.

21. Helps you lose weight

If you look around, you will notice that the avid cannabis user is usually not overweight. That's because cannabis has been linked to helping your body regulate insulin while efficiently managing calorie intake.

22. Shows promise in the treatment of autism

Cannabis has been known to calm users and control their mood. It can help children with autism who are regularly confronted with (violent) mood swings.

23. Helps with alcoholism

Another one of the many health benefits of cannabis is that cannabis is undoubtedly much safer than alcohol. While it may not be 100% risk-free, it can be a smarter way to curb alcoholism by replacing it with cannabis.

In conclusion

This list of more than 20 medical benefits of marijuana are among the myriad of benefits that this plant has. It is still a mystery how medical marijuana is still not legal in most of the world and often still has such a negative reputation.

Hopefully, in the near future, medical science will continue to prove its benefits in more areas and make this plant a famous remedy for all major types of conditions.

In case you are considering using cannabis and have no experience with this yet or you already have medication, always consult your doctor first. This article is based solely on the medical benefits of marijuana for people with a valid medical prescription. We only emphasize the positive aspects, based on research and scientific evidence.

Sources including Health Europe (EN), life hack (EN)

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