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5 Health Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana contains over 400 chemicals, including about 66 that are unique to the marijuana plant.  These are known as cannabinoids, and they resemble the endocannabinoids that are naturally produced and used by various systems in  the human body.

The interactions between cannabinoids and  the endocannabinoid system are complex and are not yet completely understood. In some of the eleven diseases and related conditions for which medical marijuana can be prescribed, the body produces abnormally low levels of endocannabinoids. Medical marijuana may help to compensate by taking over the role of the missing endocannabinoids. In addition, medical marijuana has psychoactive effects that help relieve painful and unpleasant symptoms.

Here are five health benefits of medical marijuana:

May reduce chronic pain

Medical marijuana is effective in managing chronic pain resulting from cancer, arthritis, rheumatism, and various neuromuscular disorders, without the unpleasant and sometimes dangerous side effects of opiates. Cannabis acts in a different way from opioid painkillers, alleviating the brain’s emotional response to pain rather than suppressing the sensation of pain.

Unlike opioids, medical cannabis is not addictive. The patient does not require higher and higher doses to achieve the same level of relief. Medical marijuana does not expose patients to the danger of abuse or accidental overdose.

Cannabis can be used by patients who are unable to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen, because they have liver disease or problems with their kidneys or digestive system.

Patients who use high-CBD medical marijuana to manage pain are able to carry on normal activities such as work or study without getting high. They do not feel groggy or disengaged from the world around them.

Medical Marijuana Seems Safe for Chronic Pain. WebMD.

Helps control epileptic seizures and other neurological symptoms

Medical marijuana helps regulate the release of neurotransmitters in the brain and reduce the bursts of abnormal electrical activity that cause seizures. More than 30% of epilepsy sufferers do not respond well to anti-seizure drugs, and some forms of epilepsy, such as Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS), are drug-resistant. Many patients report that taking medical marijuana has reduced the severity and the frequency of their seizures.

Medical marijuana helps reduce muscle spasms and involuntary movements for patients with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and multiple sclerosis (MS), giving them more freedom of movement and more restful sleep. People with Parkinson’s disease report that medical marijuana reduces their tremors.  Some evidence suggests that medical marijuana is a neuroprotector, actually slowing the progress of diseases that attack the nervous system.

The endocannabinoid system plays a role in healing the brain after a traumatic brain injury. Studies on mice have shown that marijuana reduced bruising and swelling of the brain after an injury.

Medical Marijuana May Ease Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Found to help fight cancer

For patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, medical cannabis counteracts debilitating side effects such as nausea and vomiting. A synthetic marijuana drug, Dronabinol, has been prescribed since the 1980s for cancer patients who did not respond to other nausea medications. Medical marijuana also relieves the weakness, numbness, tingling, or burning in the hands and feet caused by neuropathy (nerve damage) that sometimes accompanies chemotherapy.

By stimulating the appetite, marijuana contributes to weight gain and better nutrition. Marijuana also lifts a patient’s mood, making it easier to tolerate treatment, and improving overall quality of life.

Medical marijuana helps cancer patients manage deep-seated pain while remaining alert and able to enjoy normal activities. Marijuana’s anti-inflammatory effects also reduce pain.

Laboratory studies suggest that medical marijuana could fight cancer in other ways too, boosting the body’s immune response to cancer growth and inducing apoptosis (a process in which cancer cells kill themselves) in certain types of cancer cells.

In the laboratory, and in animal studies, cannabidiol has been demonstrated to stop the spread of several types of aggressive cancer cells

Marijuana And Cancer: Scientists Find Cannabis Compound Stops Metastasis In Aggressive Cancers

Known to fight glaucoma

Medical marijuana reduces pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure, or IOP), protecting the optic nerve from damage. Pressure can build up when scarring from an infection, or a genetic malformation, interferes with the normal flow of fluids out of the eye. The increased pressure damages the optic nerve, eventually leading to blindness.

The structures of the eye have cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, which respond to THC and other cannabinoids in medical marijuana. Some researchers believe that compounds in marijuana stimulate microcirculation in the eye to reduce inflammation and lower IOP. Marijuana was discovered to lower IOP in the 1970s, but the effect wore off quickly. Today’s medical marijuana products are effective for longer periods.

Some patients cannot tolerate the side effects of the medications commonly prescribed to lower IOP, which include dizziness, fatigue, severe asthma attacks, and red and itching eyes, and are unable to continue their treatment. Medical marijuana is a viable alternative.

Intraocular pressure, ocular toxicity and neurotoxicity after administration of cannabinol or cannabigerol. Colasanti, B.K., Craig, C.R., and Allara, R.D. (1984, September).  Experimental Eye Research, 39(3), 251-9.

Cannabinoids in the treatment of glaucoma. Jarvinen, T., Pate, D.W., and Laine, K. (2002, August). Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 95(2), 203-20.

Can reduce inflammation and help regulate the immune system

The body’s natural endocannabinoid system helps to regulate immune cells. People suffering from autoimmune diseases often have low levels of naturally produced cannabinoids. The cannabinoids in medical marijuana may replace these missing cannabinoids and prevent immune cells from releasing inflammatory cells.

People with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), including Crohn’s disease, report that medical marijuana seems to help regulate intestinal function and reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. They report fewer symptoms, weight gain, and a greater ability to enjoy social activities.

In patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), scientific studies indicate that cannabinoids suppress the activity of immune cells attacking the central nervous system, and could slow the progress of the disease by lessening the damage to nerve cells.

Marijuana shows potential in treating autoimmune disease. June 2, 2014. University of South Carolina

Could Cannabis Cure Crohn’s Disease? The Huffington Post UK.

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15 Comments

  1. I am 63 yo MMJ user, who was up to 280mg/day OxyContin habit. My pain still exist but I am emotionally overcoming what was crippling chronic pain with the help of MMJ. Sometimes I really cant believe our society actually could progressively arrive to actually let people try something new. Thank GOD to all who have worked so hard for this day to actually arrive.

    1. So glad to hear you’ve found relief with medical marijuana! Research has shown states with legalized marijuana have lower opioid use rates – we love to hear first-hand patient success stories! Thanks for sharing – wishing continued health and wellness!

  2. You got me when you said that marijuana can benefit you if you’re suffering from chronic pain due to arthritis and rheumatism without the unpleasant side effects. My mother has been in constant pain because her arthritis always triggers in the morning. She said that she’d like to be able to do her normal routine again like jogging in the morning so she can have a quality life. I’ll share your blog with her.

  3. Medical cannabis can be used as a treatment for ADHD
    Did you know medical marijuana can help cure a headache?
    Did you know that medical marijuana can actually help improve your lung health? Medical cannabis can help treat depression.

  4. I’m glad you talked about how medical marijuana can help with intestinal issues like Crohn’s disease. My grandmother actually has that disease, and she has been in pain for years now. I wanted to find something that could help her that she hasn’t tried before, and I’m thinking medical cannabis may be her next option if it can help. We’ll see how it helps!

  5. Thanks for explaining how medical marijuana can be beneficial. it’s interesting to learn that medical cannabis counteract some side effects people can get from chemotherapy. That said, I’m interested to learn if the amount of medical cannabis someone needs depends on how much chemotherapy they are undergoing.

  6. It sure got me interested when you mentioned that marijuana helps regulate the release of neurotransmitters in our bodies which reduces the chance of having epileptic seizures. This informations sure comes in handy because my brother suffers from epilepsy. I am planning on visiting a doctor to get him a license to procure marijuana for medical use.

    1. We look forward to helping in any way we can! Please give us a call at 1 (855) 420-9170 and we can get everything scheduled! 🙂

  7. It’s great to hear that medical marijuana can alleviate chronic pain without addiction or harmful side effects. I’ve struggled with chronic arthritis pain in my right ankle ever since I was in a car accident five years ago. Since I tend to steer clear of harsh medications, marijuana seems like a really good alternative for me. https://www.heavenlyhaze.com/medical-cannabis

  8. It’s great that you mentioned Medical Marijuana. I have had severe back pain for some time. The pain medicine I’m taking is starting to not working well for me. Increase the dose isn’t going to make it any better. I’ll definitely want to try this medical marijuana treatment.

    1. We’re confident it can help! Please feel free to give us a call at (855) 420-9170 if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment. Wishing you improved health and wellness!

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