Medical Uses of Marijuana
Before going through the medical benefits, we must look at what cannabinoids – compounds that around found in weed. Most notably Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol which you can read more about here. 113 distinct cannabinoids have been discovered and isolated thus far.
Marijuana today is more than just used to achieve euphoria or ‘high’.
Researchers are studying whether medical marijuana can help treat a number of conditions including but not limited to:
Pain management. Cannabinoids in marijuana may reduce pain by altering pain perception pathways in the brain. This may be help when looking at conditions such as: Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Endometriosis, and Migraines. In some case studies, medical marijuana has been reportedly able to help replace the long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.
Reduce inflammation. The CBD component in marijuana is thought to help reduce inflammation. In theory, this may benefit conditions such as: Crohn’s, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis. Decreasing inflammation in the body can lead to an overall improvement of health.
Neurological and Mental disorders. Due to its effects on the limbic system (the limbic cortex contains 2 structures, together they impact mood, motivation and judgement) medical practitioners will prescribe weed to treat: anxiety, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and PTSD.
Sleep management. Its relaxing properties may help improve sleeping disorders like insomnia.
However, all these benefits are of course not without side effect which includes:
Hallucinogenic effects. Cannabis may cause mild hallucinations, decrease motor skills, or altered perceptions of reality. For these reasons, certain activities may be safer than others.
Depressant-like effects. Use of marijuana may cause depressant effects similar to that of alcohol usage. Some people feel depressive symptoms as a side effect.
Stimulating effects. Marijuana may boost mood, but it may also cause hyperactivity, rap breathing, and increase in both blood pressure and heart rate. These are not as common in marijuana compared to depressant effects.
Other side effects. These may include bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, and increased appetite.
With medical marijuana is becoming more readily available, more studies are needed to understand both the benefits and risks involved. As always, please consult with a medical professional before treating yourself.