Are you interested in learning about the top benefits of marijuana use? We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best uses for cannabis including reduced pain, inflammation, anxiety, nausea, and more. Medical cannabis use is becoming increasingly accepted by the scientific community and consumers worldwide. So, what’s all the fuss about medical marijuana?
What Is Medical Marijuana?
Marijuana plants have been used for therapeutic purposes and their mind-expanding characteristics for millennia. Modern scientific evidence proves our ancestors were on to something when they used cannabis as medicine. Research on the effects of medical cannabis use have uncovered a number of beneficial effects on the human body.
Medical marijuana is composed of hundreds of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. The two most popular cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC produces a euphoric and intoxicating high. CBD elicits a clear-headed, focused, and stress-relieving experience without the high.
Medical marijuana programs across the country allow qualifying patients to receive medical cannabis care and some states even allow recreational users to purchase and grow marijuana. Cannabinoids, and even the aromatic terpenes, may be helpful in treating multiple symptoms and conditions, but more research is needed to determine their full effects.
Marijuana use has proved very effective at treating chronic pain, especially neuropathic pain associated with nerve damage. Cannabis helps reduce pain by modifying pain perception signals in the brain. Marijuana’s analgesic properties may be helpful in managing pain associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, headaches, and endometriosis.
Marijuana’s effectiveness in treating inflammation is well-documented. CBD, in particular, is effective at reducing inflammation. CBD and marijuana use may be helpful for patients with Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation is associated with a variety of medical conditions ranging from skin diseases to anxiety.
Neurological and Mental Disorders
Marijuana is scientifically and anecdotally known to affect the limbic system associated with behavioral and emotional responses. Cannabis doctors may prescribe medical marijuana use for various mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Marijuana may also help patients with Tourette syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis.
Marijuana’s sedating and narcotic-like effects have helped many patients improve sleep disorders such as insomnia to get better sleep and improve their overall health. Marijuana’s effectiveness at reducing pain, inflammation, and anxiety can also help patients fall and stay asleep for a restful night’s sleep.
Marijuana use has been associated with reduced nausea and vomiting. Nausea induced by digestive issues, migraines, HIV/AIDS treatment, or chemotherapy treatment responds well to marijuana use. CBD alone may relieve feelings of nausea, but CBD and THC may amplify marijuana’s anti-nausea and anti-vomiting effects.
Alcoholism and Addiction
Scientific evidence is showing that marijuana may help people with alcohol or opioid dependencies to beat their addictions. Medical cannabis use can be used as a replacement for alcohol for stress relief or opioids in some states to treat pain, thereby, limiting the potential for opioid abuse.
We already know about marijuana’s effectiveness as a pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and anti-nausea agent, especially for chemotherapy patients. Marijuana can also help improve food intake for some patients. Recent research suggests that THC and CBD may slow cancer growth and induce cell death in certain types of cancer cells. Cannabis should not be used as a substitute for conventional treatment.
Marijuana can stimulate appetite, which may be helpful for patients with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. Medical cannabis may help with weight management, anxiety, nausea, and other symptoms associated with eating disorders. While limited research exists in this area, patients with eating disorders have felt enormous relief with medical cannabis use.
Studies into cannabis’ effects on bone health are sorely lacking and often contradictory, but some research suggests that CBD can play an important role in promoting bone recovery from fractures. CBD may stimulate osteoblast production, which forms calluses that strengthen the fracture in broken bones. More research is needed on the effects of marijuana use on bones.
What Are The Risks/Side Effects Of Marijuana Use?
The potential medical benefits of marijuana use are still not yet fully understood, but patients and doctors are seeing tremendous results compared to conventional therapies such as addictive painkillers or other medications with side effects. Marijuana, however, isn’t a completely risk-free substance.
Patients should discuss the risks and side effects of marijuana use with their doctor. Every person reacts to the compounds in marijuana differently. Marijuana can cause mild hallucinations, altered perceptions of reality, and motor impairment. For these reasons, driving under the influence of marijuana or using heavy machinery while high is illegal.
THC’s effects may also cause hyperactivity, increased blood pressure and heart rate, and fast breathing. Users may also feel some depressive symptoms as a side effect. Users also experience red eyes, dry mouth, and increased appetite, informally known as “the munchies.” Understanding these side effects can give you a more informed approach to marijuana consumption.
For more information about using marijuana as a medicine, growing marijuana, cooking with marijuana, and more, sign up for CTU’s world-renowned online cannabis training program full of up-to-date information composed by industry experts.