Whatever we might call them—weed, marijuana, hemp, or any other obscure slang—we can all agree that cannabis has had a colourful history. From when it was first discovered and used by an emperor in ancient China centuries ago, its use has now spawned a variety of both medicinal and recreational uses. With a reputation as a highly potent mind-altering drug, cannabis is enjoyed for the pleasant high and relaxation it provides, whether you’re rolling it up in a joint or smoking it in a bong.
Now that more parts of the world are legalizing its use, more people are realizing its wide-ranging benefits, particularly medicinally. This is especially true in countries like Canada, where a growing number of people use cannabis to cure illnesses and physical ailments. In this piece, we’ll take a look at this plant and its numerous effects. Below are some of the most prominent medical marijuana facts.
- Medical marijuana can reverse the effects of tobacco, improving previously lost lung function. There is evidence that occasional weed smoking can increase lung volume and lung airflow rates. This means that casual pot smokers might even have stronger lungs compared to non-smokers.
- Medical marijuana can prevent epileptic seizures. The CBD (cannabidiol) component of marijuana has been shown in a study to be effective in reducing or even stopping seizures in half of epilepsy patients, which greatly improved their quality of life in the process.
- Medical marijuana decreases symptoms of Dravet’s syndrome. A rare genetic lifelong dysfunction of the brain, this seizure disorder causes frequent and prolonged seizures in infants in their first year of life. Studies have shown that weed can reduce its symptoms.
- Medical marijuana can stop cancer from spreading. Cannabis can stop the growth or spread of several kinds of aggressive cancer. One particular compound that’s derived from cannabis forces the cancer calls to “freeze,” thus preventing their growth.
- Medical marijuana can decrease anxiety, relieve pain, and suppress nausea. Smoking weed triggers the production of dopamine, or “the happy hormone.” It also supports neurogenesis that produces chemicals in the brain that makes users feel good.
- Medical marijuana can slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), an active compound in cannabis, has been found to promote the removal of toxic amyloid beta protein in the brain, which starts the progression of Alzheimer’s.
- Medical marijuana can be helpful for MS patients. Patients suffering from multiple sclerosis can gain relief by smoking pot as it reduces the pain of the nerves and muscles—plus it can control spasms.
- Medical marijuana treats Hepatitis C infections. The cannabidiol in cannabis contains properties that play a big role in treating this infection. In fact, it was reported that it has an 86 percent effectiveness
- Medical marijuana can even treat bowel diseases. Chemicals found in marijuana are able to mimic the signals that the human body uses to regulate inflammation in the gut, helping treat serious chronic bowel conditions.
- Medical marijuana reduces discomfort among arthritis patients. With its anti-inflammatory properties, weed can help reduce the swelling and ease the pain brought about by arthritis without the side effects of frequent opiate or NSAID use.
- Medical marijuana can promote stronger metabolism. The CBD and THC in cannabis help increase metabolism, lower cholesterol, and speed up fat loss. Another study also found that THC helps improves insulin sensitivity.
- Medical marijuana can help patients with Parkinson’s disease. Although not yet entirely conclusive, studies done on marijuana and its ingredients show promise for PD patients as it may help with overall symptom management.
- Medical marijuana can help stroke patients. Weed has potential tp reduce the affected area of a brain following a stroke, in addition to having reparative effects and preventing further brain injury.
- Medical marijuana is a great sleep aid. Cannabis is an effective sleep aid because it restores the natural sleep cycle of a person, which is usually disrupted by busy daily activities.
- Medical marijuana stimulates appetite. This is especially helpful among chemotherapy patients. These patients find it hard to eat because of the side effects of their medications. Cannabis helps fix this problem.
Even with all these facts, there’s still so much to be said about the benefits of marijuana and its compounds. Knowing that only a small percent of cannabis studies analyze its benefits on health, it’s high time that more research is done to learn more about this plant. After all, there’s prominent evidence of its positive use, which is probably why more and more states are legalizing its use.