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21 medical benefits of marijuana

Discussion in 'Marijuana' started by Lizel, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. Lizel

    Lizel Community Champion

    Weed can be used to treat Glaucoma.

    Marijuana use can be used to treat the eye disease glaucoma, which increases pressure in the eyeball, damaging the optic nerve and causing loss of vision.

    Marijuana decreases the pressure inside the eye, according to the 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" — though they still said that pharmaceutical drugs were more effective.

    These effects of the drug may slow the progression of the disease, preventing blindness.

    It may help reverse the carcinogenic effects of tobacco and improve lung health.
    There's a fair amount of evidence that marijuana does no harm to the lungs, unless you also smoke tobacco, and one study published in Journal of the American Medical Association found that marijuana not only doesn't impair lung function, it may even increase lung capacity.

    Researchers looking for risk factors of heart disease tested the lung function of 5,115 young adults over the course of 20 years. Tobacco smokers lost lung function over time, but pot users actually showed an increase in lung capacity.

    It's possible that the increased lung capacity may be due to taking a deep breaths while inhaling the drug and not from a therapeutic chemical in the drug.

    Those smokers only toked up a few times a month, but a more recent survey of people who smoked pot daily for up to 20 years found no evidence that smoking pot harmed their lungs.

    It can help control epileptic seizures.
    Marijuana use can prevent epileptic seizures in rats, a 2003 study showed.

    Robert J. DeLorenzo, of Virginia Commonwealth University, gave marijuana extract and synthetic marijuana to epileptic rats. The drugs rid the rats of the seizures for about 10 hours. Cannabinoids like the active ingredients in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (also known as THC), control seizures by binding to the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation.

    The findings were published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

    It also decreases the symptoms of a severe seizure disorder known as Dravet's Syndrome.
    Charlotte Figi has Dravet's Syndrome, and her parents are giving her marijuana to treat her seizures.

    During the research for his documentary "Weed," Sanjay Gupta interviewed the Figi family, who treats their 5-year-old daughter using a medical marijuana strain high in cannabidiol and low in THC.

    There are at least two major active chemicals in marijuana that researchers think have medicinal applications (there are up to 79 known active compounds). Those two are cannabidiol (CBD) — which seems to impact the brain mostly without a high— and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — which has pain relieving (and other) properties.

    The Figi family's daughter, Charlotte, has Dravet Syndrome, which causes seizures and severe developmental delays.

    According to the film, the drug has decreased her seizures from 300 a week to just one every seven days. Forty other children in the state are using the same strain of marijuana (which is high in CBD and low in THC) to treat their seizures — and it seems to be working.

    The doctors who recommended this treatment say that the cannabidiol in the plant interacts with the brain cells to quiet the excessive activity in the brain that causes these seizures.

    As Gutpa notes, a Florida hospital that specializes in the disorder, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Drug Enforcement agency don't endorse marijuana as a treatment for Dravet or other seizure disorders.
  2. Lizel

    Lizel Community Champion

    A chemical found in marijuana stops cancer cells from spreading in the lab.

    CBD may also help prevent cancer from spreading, researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco reported in 2007.

    Cannabidiol stops cancer by turning off a gene called Id-1, the study, published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, found. Cancer cells make more copies of this gene than non-cancerous cells, and it helps them spread through the body.

    The researchers studied breast cancer cells in the lab that had high expression levels of Id-1 and treated them with cannabidiol. After treatment the cells had decreased Id-1 expression and were less aggressive spreaders. But beware: these are studies on cancer cells in the lab, not on cancer patients.

    Other very preliminary studies on aggressive brain tumors in mice or cell cultures have shown that THC and CBD can slow or shrink tumors at the right dose, which is a great reason to do more research into figuring out that dose.

    One 2014 study found that marijuana can significantly show the growth of the type of brain tumor associated with 80% of malignant brain cancer in people.

    In "WEED," Gupta also mentioned a few studies in the U.S., Spain, and Israel that suggest the compounds in cannabis could even kill cancer cells.

    It may decrease anxiety.

    Medical marijuana users claim the drug helps relieve pain and suppress nausea — the two main reasons it's often used to relieve the side effects of chemotherapy.

    In 2010, researchers at Harvard Medical School suggested that that some of the drug's benefits may actually be from reduced anxiety, which would improve the smoker's mood and act as a sedative in low doses.

    Beware, though, higher doses can increase anxiety and make you paranoid.

    THC may slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

    Marijuana may be able to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease, a study led by Kim Janda of the Scripps Research Institute suggests.

    The 2006 study, published in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, found that THC, the active chemical in marijuana, slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. These plaques seem to be what kill brain cells and potentially cause Alzheimer's.

    A synthetic mixture of CBD and THC seem to preserve memory in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Another study suggested that in population-based studies, a THC-based prescription drug called dronabinol was able to reduce behavioral disturbances in dementia patients.

    The drug eases the pain of multiple sclerosis.

    Marijuana may ease painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis, a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in May suggests.

    Jody Corey-Bloom studied 30 multiple sclerosis patients with painful contractions in their muscles. These patients didn't respond to other treatments, but after smoking marijuana for a few days they reported that they were in less pain.

    The THC in the pot binds to receptors in the nerves and muscles to relieve pain. Other studies suggest that the chemical also helps control the muscle spasms.

    Other types of muscle spasms could be helped too.

    Other types of muscle spasms respond to marijuana as well. Gupta also found a teenager named Chaz who was using medical marijuana to treat diaphragm spasms that were untreatable by other, prescribed and very strong, medications.

    His condition is called myoclonus diaphragmatic flutter (also known as Leeuwenhoek's Disease) and causes non stop spasming in the abdominal muscles which are not only painful, but interfere with breathing and speaking.

    Smoking marijuana was able to calm the attacks almost immediately, at least it seemed to in this patient.
  3. Lizel

    Lizel Community Champion

    It lessens side effects from treating hepatitis C and increases treatment effectiveness.

    California dispensaries have been the subject of federal raids

    Treatment for hepatitis C infection is harsh — negative side effects include fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and depression — and lasts for months. Many people aren't able to finish their treatment course because of the side effects.

    But, pot to the rescue: A 2006 study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that 86% of patients using marijuana successfully completed their Hep C therapy, while only 29% of non-smokers completed their treatment, possibly because the marijuana helps lessens the treatments side effects.

    Marijuana also seems to improve the treatment's effectiveness: 54% of hep C patients smoking marijuana got their viral levels low and kept them low, in comparison to only 8% of nonsmokers.

    Marijuana treats inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn's disease.

    Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis could benefit from marijuana use, studies suggest.

    University of Nottingham researchers found in 2010 that chemicals in marijuana, including THC and cannabidiol, interact with cells in the body that play an important role in gut function and immune responses. The study was published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

    THC-like compounds made by the body increase the permeability of the intestines, allowing bacteria in. The plant-derived cannabinoids in marijuana block these body-cannabinoids, preventing this permeability and making the intestinal cells bond together tighter.

    One study in Israel showed that smoking a joint significantly reduced Crohn's disease symptoms in 10 out of 11 patients compared to a placebo and without side effects.

    That's a small study, but other research has shown similar effects. Even more research finds that people with Crohn's and other inflammatory bowel disorders use cannabis to help deal with their symptoms, even if there are questions about how much marijuana can or can't help.

    It relieves arthritis discomfort.


    Marijuana alleviates pain, reduces inflammation, and promotes sleep, which may help relieve pain and discomfort for people with rheumatoid arthritis, researchers announced in 2011.

    Medical marijuana is also being used to treat the autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus Ertyhematosus, which is when the body starts attacking itself for some unknown reason.

    Both THC and CBD have anti-inflammatory properties, which may be how cannabis helps deal with symptoms of Lupus and arthritis. The rest of the positive impact of the marijuana is probably from the effects on pain and nausea.

    Researchers from rheumatology units at several hospitals gave their patients Sativex, a cannabinoid-based pain-relieving medicine. After a two-week period, people on Sativex had a significant reduction in pain and improved sleep quality compared to placebo users.

    A note of caution, though, a recent study in Arthritis Care & Research suggests there isn't enough evidence to back up the use of marijuana for these kinds of diseases, mostly because there aren't comprehensive studies on the side effects and little regulation of dosage and consistency in the chemical make up of medical marijuana.

    It keeps you skinny and helps your metabolism.

    A study published in the American Journal Of Medicine on April 15 of 2013 suggested that pot smokers are skinnier than the average person and have healthier metabolism and reaction to sugars, even though they do end up eating more calories.

    The study analyzed data from more than 4,500 adult Americans — 579 of whom were current marijuana smokers, meaning they had smoked in the last month. About 2,000 had used marijuana in the past, while another 2,000 had never used the drug.

    They studied their body's response to eating sugars: their levels of the hormone insulin and their blood sugar levels while they hadn't eaten in nine hours, and after eating sugar.

    Not only were the pot users skinnier, but their body had a healthier response to sugar.

    While not really a health benefit, marijuana spurs creativity in the brain.

    Contrary to stoner stereotypes, marijuana usage has actually been shown to have some positive mental effects, particularly in terms of increasing creativity. Even though people's short-term memories tend to function worse when high, people get better at tests requiring them to come up with new ideas.

    One study tested participants on their ability to come up with different words related to a concept, and found that using cannabis allowed people to come up with a greater range of related concepts, seeming "to make the brain better at detecting those remote associations that lead to radically new ideas," according to Wired.

    Other researchers have found that some participants improve their "verbal fluency," their ability to come up with different words, while using marijuana.

    Part of this increased creative ability may come from the release of dopamine in the brain, lessening inhibitions and allowing people to feel more relaxed, giving the brain the ability to perceive things differently.

    Source: Read on more there. :)
    MyDigitalpoint likes this.
  4. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    Whilst I agree that marijuana has many medical benefits, what I have just read goes against the results of other similar studies which I have looked in to. According to most of those studies, the medical benefits were not there when smoking it due a change in the chemical composition of the marijuana once it's burned, so I'm quite surprised by this. Also, I know two people with epilepsy and if they smoke marijuana it brings on small fits and if they smoke a lot of marijuana they may have epileptic seizures.
    deanokat likes this.
  5. AAngelo

    AAngelo Senior Contributor

    Marijuana spurs creativity in the brain? I never really experienced that and I doubt it really does that. But my friends are graphic artist and they insists it helps. I always thought they just thought they were being more creative and their Fine Arts degrees were the ones taking over at their work.
    deanokat likes this.
  6. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    With marijuana like with any other substance, effects are not the same for each individual. It can really boost creativity if the individual is suitable to experience this, but not everybody will, same as some other of the positive effects (or negative) are going to happen to all of them.

    This is the problem when it comes to legalize weed and the approach people give to defend or attack this resolution. There is not enough information at all because even with useful facts like these, what it is not said is that not all people should expect all of the positive/negative result associated with this and other drugs.
  7. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    I have to agree with you that there are countless medicinal purposes for Marijuana use. But what about the people that smoke it for the euphoric sensations. What about them? They are not using it for medicinal purposes at all. I have to agree that there is a time and place for alcohol. Maybe it's time we have a place for pot as well.
    deanokat likes this.
  8. Marijuana has some benefits, but you won't get them through smoking. Medical marijuana was never meant to be smoked. It is usually cannabis oil that does the job. There is, however, not as much harm in marijuana as there is in tobacco. I think tobacco should be banned as well or marijuana should be legalised. Nevertheless, people should not exaggerate the benefits of weed.
  9. bsthebenster

    bsthebenster Community Champion

    While these benefits may be true, one could assume that some of these are just excuses to smoke pot. Sort of like the middle-aged woman who drinks wine for the "health benefits", when in reality she could just take an anti-oxidant supplement without the booze to achieve the same effects. That being said, pot can be a great alternative to opiate pain killers due to it's low(er) abuse potential and lack of physical withdrawal symptoms.
  10. bsthebenster

    bsthebenster Community Champion

    This is false. You in fact can get some benefits even while smoking. For example, to state that smoking pot won't help treat glaucoma makes no sense, as we know that it does work. And tobacco shouldn't be banned by the way. Here in Ontario they're trying to discourage use, so people just get them illegally.
  11. eveliner

    eveliner Senior Contributor

    Great post and great information! I'm actually amazed by all these good effects marijuana's got, but I do believe that in spite of all of these, it should still remain illegal. I don't foresee it being used for the aforementioned effects at all by the vast majority.
  12. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    Awesome! I had no idea marijuana kept you skinny and helped with IBD! I'd not like to get addicted to it though, I'll be living in a place where buying and smoking small quantities of marijuana is legal. So I really don't want to fall into temptation and start heading to those ''coffee shops'' that sell pot right after a long day.

    Very nice and informative article though, thanks for sharing :p Not sure this is the right place to post this tough, since this forum is targeted at people with addictions ;)
  13. Mzpeaceful1

    Mzpeaceful1 Active Contributor

    I suffer from chronic migraines and it has helped me tremendously in the past. I used to live in California and now live in North Carolina and it is illegal here and since I hardly know anyone it is very difficult to even find medical grade weed and so I continue to suffer.

    I am so convinced it does help in so many other ways. I also used it when I was tapering off of a benzo to help ease my symptoms and make sure I didn't have any additional seizures and it worked like a charm. There are so many great uses for marijuana instead of big pharma. We are getting there but we still have a ways to go.
  14. Rory

    Rory Active Contributor

    I take medical marijuana because I have horrible anxiety and panic attacks. It was prescribed by my doctor, I didn't even ask for it. I don't know where my life would be without medical marijuana. That being said, recreational marijuana's usage should be a little more conservative. Like anything else in the world, marijuana is habit forming.
  15. MrAmazingMan1

    MrAmazingMan1 Active Contributor

    It definitely has it's benefits, but it is no excuse for your average person to start smoking and using medical as an excuse for bypassing law.
  16. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I saw 'marijuana may' quite a bit in that opening post. I would like to suggest that more than 21 reasons may be provided speaking to the negative effects of marijuana as well.

    I guess it comes down to who's looking for what.
  17. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    I won't deny that marijuana has its benefits, but this is no excuse to start smoking it right away. The only reason to smoke it is only if you need to do so. It's like taking medication you don't need: it will lead to an addiction and do you more bad rather than good.
  18. juno

    juno Community Champion

    This is very helpful to gain perspectives on the benefits of marijuana. However, it is important to remember that the benefits come if you are under some medical circumstance. It is not going to prevent and you don't smoke it like a vitamin. It should be treated like any prescription drug would be for any of the above mentioned circumstances. The problem with marijuana is that even you carry a prescription for it due to your medical condition, some countries and states will still arrest you if you are found in possession of it.
  19. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    It is my first time to read detailed benefits of marijuana. Does those benefits can really be through smoking marijuana or drinking it on other forms like pulverized marijuana, boiled marijuana etc. I just have that thought since it is usual that herbal plants are used that way and not through smoking or burning it.
  20. amin021023

    amin021023 Community Champion

    It definitely does improve verbal fluency as rappers use it because it helps them write...and personally I have noticed that I could write better poems while high.