The legalization of medical Marijuana is a very hot-button issue for people, but if you take away the emotion and simply look at the medicinal benefits you may change your mind.
Let me be clear before we continue:
The Wellness Way does not support, promote or endorse recreational smoking of marijuana. We are referring to the use of cannabinoids, a group of terpenophenolic compounds found in cannabis, which can be eaten, juiced, reduced to oil or turned into a cream.
The reason we feel so passionate about cannabis is simple, it works. It works better than most prescription medications that come out of the numerous pharmaceutical companies.
We know that cannabis has been used as a medicine for at least 3000 years in Asian cultures. It made its way west in the first half of the 19th century when a surgeon named W.B. O’Shaughnessy brought it back from India where he had seen it used effectively on a great number of illnesses. He spoke of it’s antispasmodic, sedative, analgesic, anticonvulsant and anti-inflammatory uses.
Where medicinal Cannabis has been used in clinical studies it’s benefits are clearly revealed.
1. Marijuana Treats and prevents glaucoma.
The National Eye Institute says that marijuana lowers interocular pressure (IOP), preventing damage to the optic nerve, causing loss of vision. Cannabis oil can be dropped directly onto the eye.
2. It can improve lung health by reversing the carcinogenic effects of tobacco.
A 20-year study showed that people who smoked tobacco lost lung function over time. People who used marijuana showed an increase in lung capacity.[i]
3. Cannabis can control seizures and lessen the effects of Dravet’s Syndrome.
A study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) says that cannabinoid compounds have an anticonvulsant effect and that marijuana extracts “completely abolished spontaneous seizures.”[ii]
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN very publicly changed his opinion of medical marijuana when he met a five-year old child named Charlotte Figi who suffered from Dravet’s Syndrome- a severe form of epilepsy. Charlotte went from having hundreds of seizures a week to one a month while using a measured and monitored amount of the Cannabis plant.[iii][iv]
4. Cannabidiol stops breast cancer by turning off a gene called Id-1.
Researchers studying breast cancer cells with a high level of Id-1 found that treating them with cannabidiol made them spread less aggressively.[v] In his film, “WEED”, Dr. Gupta suggests that the compounds in cannabis can even kill cancer cells.
5. Marijuana has been used for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and decreases anxiety in general.
Medical marijuana has been approved to treat PTSD in several states already. Why? Because it works. “Naturally occurring cannabinoids, similar to THC, help regulate the system that causes fear and anxiety in the body and brain.”[vi]
This creates an amazing contradiction when you consider that Cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug, which means that it has no accepted medical applications. This creates a precedent and could move us closer to legalization.
6. THC slows the progression of Alzheimer’s, eases the pain of multiple sclerosis, soothes tremors connected to Parkinson’s and relieves muscle spasms.
- Alzheimer’s disease is created when amyloid plaque destroys brain cells. THC blocks the enzyme that makes amyloid plaque, slowing their formation.[vii]
- A 2012 study showed that patients with MS who were suffering from painful contractions of their muscles were in less pain after using marijuana. The THC in the pot binds to receptors in the nerves and muscles to relieve pain.[viii]
- Studies done in Israel, where medical marijuana is legal, show that marijuana reduces pain and tremors for patients with Parkinson’s disease.[ix] Other studies have shown marijuana helped with painful spasms almost immediately.
7. THC treats inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.
In 2010 researchers at the University of Nottingham discovered that THC and cannabidiol can have an important role in gut function and immune responses.[x] In Israel a study showed that half the people with Crohn’s disease that they treated with marijuana had “complete remission.”[xi]
8. Cannabis relieves arthritis discomfort.
Marijuana reduces inflammation and reduces pain. Sativex is a mouth spray with cannabidiol and THC (and is not yet available in the United States) made by GW Pharmaceuticals. Tests they conducted in Canada showed improvements with their patient’s pains.[xii]
9. Marijuana reduces the pain and nausea from chemo and stimulates the appetite.
Chemo therapy has some nasty side effects; loss of appetite, vomiting and nausea, etc. Studies have shown that marijuana not only alleviates pain, but it is a helpful treatment for neurological pain and can be helpful in treating nausea. [xiii]
10. It’s good for your metabolism and helps you process sugars more safely.
A study published in The American Journal of Medicine (July 2013) details how marijuana use is associated with smaller waist circumferences and lower fasting insulin levels.[xiv]
We know that not all states have legalized medical marijuana yet, so this isn’t an option for everybody reading this. Our hope is that we can educate as many people as possible, and that those people will work to effect change in their state. When you look at this list of ten things cannabis can help with, which is only the tip of the iceberg, it becomes clear that this is a medicine that can help many, many people.