Health Benefits of Marijuana
David wicks review a few researched applications of marijuana for medical benefits.
While the controversy around the recreational use of marijuana remains, the medical capabilities of the drug are undeniable. Decades of research and millions of dollars globally have been devoted to an examination of the benefits that may be achieved by using marijuana as a treatment therapy. The following are a few of the researched applications of marijuana for medical benefits.
Users of medical marijuana claim that the drug can help to suppress nausea and reduce pain, which is why it is often used to alleviate the side effects following chemotherapy treatment. Researchers from Harvard Medical School published a study in 2010 that suggests that the benefits of the drug may be due to decreased levels of anxiety, leading to a mood boost in the user. In low doses, it may also act as a sedative. High doses, however, cause increased anxiety and even paranoia.
Slowing down Alzheimer's Disease
Marijuana, specifically through its active ingredient THC may slow down the advancement of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in 2006. The study published in the Molecular Pharmaceutics journal established that THC slows down the creation of amyloid plaques by suppressing the action of the brain enzyme responsible for the process. Amyloid plaques are the ones that destroy brain cells leading to the progression of Alzheimer's.
Easing pain in MS patients
Marijuana may also be used to alleviate the painful symptoms that patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) have, according to a 2014 Canadian study. The study observed 30 MS patients who had painful muscular contractions and did not respond to other lines of treatment. They were given marijuana to smoke for a few days, and their pain lessened. This effect is postulated to be a result of the THC in weed that binds to receptors in the muscle and nerves, reducing the amount of pain. Other studies also imply that the drug may control muscle spasms from the disease.
Muscle Spasm Control
Marijuana may also be used to control muscle spasms with other causes as well. Researcher Sanjay Gupta found a teenager who was using marijuana (medical) for treatment for his diaphragm spasms, which has been unresponsive with other stronger, prescribed therapies. The condition, called Leeuwenhoek's Disease or myoclonus diaphragmatic flutter causes nonstop spasms in abdominal muscles. These spasms are painful, and also, they interfere with speaking as well as breathing. On smoking the drug, the muscles of the diaphragm are calmed almost immediately, granting relief to the patient.
Improving Hepatitis C Treatment Efficacy
Treatments for Hepatitis C are rather harsh, with a lot of side effects including nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle aches, and even depression - symptoms that can last for months. Many patients do not finish Hep C treatment owing to the severity of the side effects.
However, a study published in Europe revealed that 86% of patients using marijuana were able to complete their therapies successfully, compared with only 29% of non-smokers. This was thought to be an effect of reduced side effects of Hep C treatment by marijuana.
Also, evidence in the study points to marijuana's ability to increase the treatment's efficacy. It was found that 54% of Hepatitis C patients that were also smoking pot had a lower viral count and maintained them compared with just 8% of the non-smokers.
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About the Author
David Wicks is a proficient consultant with extensive knowledge of the application of medical marijuana to the treatment of many ailments. Find more information on this at the Rocky Mountains Remedies site.