The lowdown on medical marijuana: Does it really have benefits?

marijuana growing

LONDON – These days, more and more people are using medical marijuana for a variety of reasons, but do you really know what conditions medical marijuana can treat? As with most treatments, doctors understand that there are risks to prescribing medical marijuana to their patients (such as negative impact on memory and the risk of dependency) but when medical marijuana treatment is prescribed, it is believed that those risks are not as great as the potential benefits that can be achieved by the treatment. In the case of medical marijuana, these benefits include:

Treatment of glaucoma

This is probably the most common use of medical marijuana. Glaucoma is characterized by pressure in the eyeball, which leads to damage in the optic nerve and eventual loss of vision.

Easing the pain of multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis can cause painful muscle contractions. Even patients who don’t respond to other treatments for this symptom see a reduction in pain after just a few days of medical marijuana use.

Relieving arthritis pain

Marijuana has been shown to be effective in alleviating pain, promoting good-quality sleep, and reducing inflammation. All of these benefits help people to manage the symptoms of discomfort associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease

The THC compound in marijuana slows the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain by blocking the enzyme that creates them, thereby slowing the progression of the disease.

Slowing the spread of some cancer cells

Cannabidoil stops the spread of some cancers by turning off the gene that makes cancer cells spread.

Treatment of anxiety and depression

This is one of the most prevalent uses of medical marijuana. Marijuana boosts the mood and can be a mild sedative, both of which can ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Helping to control epileptic seizures

Studies have shown that marijuana can help to prevent epileptic seizures. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, controls seizures by promoting relaxation. It has also been shown to help control the seizure disorder known as Dravet’s Syndrome.

Relieving the side effects of chemotherapy

Two of the common side effects of chemotherapy – pain and nausea – can be mitigated with the use of medical marijuana.

The hype around medical marijuana is about more than just people trying to “score” marijuana legally. It has been shown through numerous studies to have many real medical benefits for those suffering from a variety of medical conditions. From young to old, medical marijuana can significantly improve the quality of life of many people with painful, debilitating conditions and side effects. As previously stated, marijuana use (like the use of most drugs) can have negative side effects, but most doctors who prescribe it do so because they believe that the benefits trump the side effects. It’s important to always talk to a doctor and get a prescription before using marijuana as a treatment for anything.

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