For decades, the use of cannabis has been illegal in the U.S., but thanks to the advent of medical marijuana, the use of this plant has become more and more accepted and widespread. Medical marijuana is now legal in several states across the U.S., with many also having legalized recreational use of the drug. As a result, the typical ‘waster’ or ‘stoner’ stereotypes associated with using marijuana are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Due to the change in laws and opinions, cannabis is being increasingly celebrated and used for its numerous health benefits, with several other countries following suit. We’ve put together twelve of the most well-known and proven benefits of using marijuana for health and medical reasons.
Using medical marijuana to treat cancer has been a story in the news quite often recently. Stories of parents whose children were given just a short amount of time to live, before literally saving their lives with medical marijuana, are not unheard of today. In fact, one of the biggest reasons why marijuana is slowly being legalized all over the U.S. is due to the ways in which it can fight cancer cells and provide healing properties, even after a diagnosis of this serious and often fatal disease. In the U.S. and globally, numerous scientific studies have found that marijuana is able to kill dangerous cancer cells, along with helping patients deal with the pain, stress, and other symptoms of this extremely serious disease.
Helps With Depression:
Mental health problems are becoming more of an epidemic in the U.S., particularly amongst young people and students, who are facing more pressure and stress than ever before. But, did you know that medical marijuana can be hugely effective in treating the symptoms of depression? This belief is actually one which goes back thousands of years; cannabis has been widely known as ‘green Prozac’ due to its ability to help treat depressive mood disorders. Although it’s one of the most common mental health problems in the U.S., depression is also the least talked about. Numerous studies have shown that cannabis can help relieve depression symptoms in the short-term by causing a spike in serotonin levels; a hormone that elicits feelings of happiness and motivation. In turn, this hormone itself acts as an anti-depressant and is essential for recovering from this common yet very serious mental health disease.
Anybody who’s seen an older person taken over by the horrible symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease will want to do whatever they can to prevent this from happening in their own lives. Neurodegenerative diseases such as this tend to be genetic, so if you have a parent or grandparent who suffered or is currently suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, there’s a higher chance that you’ll also develop it at some point in your life. Unfortunately, cognitive illnesses aren’t easy to completely avoid, but recent studies have shown that the THC found in medical marijuana can be useful for removing toxic plaque found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Although cannabis is unable to completely cure this disease, it can help to prevent it and slow down the process, leading to longer, richer lives for those with this illness.
Effective PTSD Treatment:
PTSD is a highly serious mental health condition, which usually occurs as a result of suffering trauma. Whilst it’s most commonly talked about in veterans who struggle with coming to terms with what they have seen, done, and experienced when on deployment, PTSD can affect anybody who has been through any level of trauma. Although the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs has been long encouraging anti-cannabis agendas, changes will be made after numerous studies have shown medical marijuana to be a useful drug for alleviating the stressful, severe symptoms that are characteristic of this mental health problem.
One of the most wonderful things about medical marijuana is that it can be used to treat a wide variety of health problems and diseases, from killing cancer cells to helping you get rid of a simple headache. But, it’s not just small headaches it can help with – those who suffer from serious, debilitating headaches and migraines may be able to use medical marijuana as a painkiller. In fact, it can be a low-risk alternative to using non-prescription painkillers such as Advil, Tylenol, and aspirin, which are all effective and readily available, yet present health risks when over-used. When used in moderation, medical marijuana can provide a quick, effective relief for your head pain.
Improve Your Lung Health
Although most people usually associate cannabis use with smoking, medical marijuana doesn’t actually contain the harmful carcinogens found in cigarettes and tobacco. In fact, a large number of recent studies have found that patients suffering from various serious lung conditions, such as lung cancer or emphysema, saw improvement and regression in their diseases once treated with cannabis. Of course, smoking cannabis won’t improve lung health, but there are many healthier ways to take it – for example with edibles or vaping. Check out this blog for more information.
Safer Than Alcohol:
Although marijuana has been against the law for many years, alcohol has long been considered both legally and socially acceptable. However, when it comes to your health and well-being, did you know that cannabis is often the safer choice? Studies have shown that alcohol can be far more harmful to your body than cannabis; overconsumption of alcohol can quickly lead to serious problems with your liver and kidneys, for example. On the other hand, regulated medical marijuana taken in moderation is proving to be a much safer alternative.
If you are suffering from or at risk of Type 2 diabetes, medical marijuana could be an effective choice of treatment for you. Since medical cannabis helps with the regulation of insulin production in your body, it has been proven useful for anybody looking to prevent or regulate diabetes. When paired with a healthy lifestyle, balanced diet, and plenty of regular exercise, medical cannabis could even help you reverse Type 2 diabetes altogether.
If you’re trying to get rid of some extra pounds to improve your health and figure, medical marijuana may be able to help. But, you might be thinking – what about getting the munchies? You are right but using cannabis doesn’t actually make you hungrier. Rather, it intensifies your taste buds and makes everything taste even better. In fact, there are several studies which have proven that, on average, medical marijuana users tend to be slimmer than those who don’t use cannabis. This is because marijuana is useful for helping to regulate your body’s production of insulin, which leads to better regulation and management of your caloric intake.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a problem that many children, teens, and adults struggle with across the U.S. This inability to stay focused can cause havoc at school, work, and even in family life – and it’s usually treated with prescription medications such as Adderall or Ritalin. However, despite the popularly held belief that using weed is commonly associated with memory loss and an inability to focus, many studies have proven that the complete opposite is true when medical marijuana is used in moderation. In small, regulated doses, medical marijuana is highly effective for improving concentration, along with being cheaper and safer than traditional prescription medication.
Treat Eating Disorders and Digestive Problems:
Due to the ability of medical marijuana to regulate insulin production in the body and moderate the appetite, it could be a useful treatment for eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa. In addition, cannabis is also famous for its use in reducing feelings of sickness and nausea, suggesting that it could also have a range of further digestive benefits in the body. For example, studies have shown that medical marijuana may be useful in treating a number of digestion-related health problems, such as Crohn’s Disease.
Manage Chronic Pain:
Since the legalization of medical marijuana in several U.S. states, it has become a popular treatment option for those living with chronic pain. Today, this is one of the main reasons that medical cannabis is prescribed by doctors in the U.S. In fact, a recent study found that one in five patients at a popular Colorado spine clinic were using cannabis for pain management, with 90% reporting that medical marijuana use either moderately or greatly relieved their pain. Some conditions or symptoms that medical marijuana can be used to treat include back and joint pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and more.
Becoming a Patient:
Becoming a medical marijuana patient will depend on several factors, including your state of residence and the condition that you wish to treat with cannabis. The list of eligible conditions for access to medical marijuana varies greatly between states, so speak to your doctor if you’re unsure whether you qualify. You’ll also need to be aware of the laws surrounding medical cannabis in your state – for example, is recreational use permitted, or will you need a patient card?
Have you tried using medical marijuana for any of the above conditions? Let us know in the comments.