Cannabis is a powerful medicinal plant that has been banned in many regions of the world due to its psychotropic properties. It is, however, these same properties that allow cannabis to be used to treat numerous diseases and pain relief, leading some countries to legalize the plant for medicinal uses. The potential number of medical benefits of cannabis outweighs the psychotropic properties of the plant. Hemp oil is also one of the most nutritionally rich existing oils. It is also true that the careless consumption of cannabis is not without danger and certain undesired effects can be destructive to the user’s health.
Medicinal benefits of cannabis
1. Pain Relief
Studies show that THC activates pathways in the central nervous system which work to block pain signals from being sent to the brain. Likewise, cannabis has been shown to be especially effective against neuropathic pain, or nerve-related pain.
People suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is another common reason to use medical marijuana. The high from THC is also associated with temporary impairments of memory.
While this may be as a drawback for some marijuana users, impaired memory is often therapeutic for those who struggle to forget painful memories, especially patients who suffer from PTSD. Recent studies have shown that oral doses of THC can help relief a variety of PTSD-related symptoms including, agitation and nightmares.
3. Nausea and Vomting
THC has been available as medication in pill form for treating nausea and vomiting in cancer patients since the 1980s.
A pill containing synthetic THC, called Marinol, was the first THC-based medication to be approved by the FDA for just this purpose. Since then, other THC pills have been developed and prescribed to patients undergoing chemotherapy, including a pill known as Cesamet.
4. Appetite Stimulant
THC is also known to work as a powerful appetite stimulant in both healthy and sick individuals. Marinol and Cesamet are regularly prescribed to boost appetitie in patients with cancer and HIV-associated wasting syndrome.
A number of studies conducted with Marinol suggest that THC can also stimulate weight gain in people suffering from anorexia.
Medical marijuana might not seem safe for the treatment of asthma but as it turns out, THC’s ability to improve breathing in asthmatics is supported by research dating back to the 1970s.
Following trials that supported the research, scientists tried to develop an inhaler that could deliver THC but ultimately failed to do so. While the THC inhaler was abandoned, some say that modern-day vaporizers might be a solution.
THC is also known for its potential to relieve eye pressure in patients with glaucoma.
After studies in the 1970s showed that smoking marijuana could reduce symptoms in glaucoma sufferers, scientist have tried to develop a way to administer THC in eye drops but they have failed. The idea proved to complicated due to the fact that THC is not soluble in water.
While some glaucoma patients rely on medical marijuana, The American Glaucoma Society maintains the position that its effects are too short-lived to be considered a viable treatment option.
7. Sleep aid
Many, both users and non-users, are aware of the sleep-inducing effect of marijuana, and research shows that THC is largely responsible. Trails conducted in the 1970s found that oral doses of THC helped both healthy individuals and insomniacs fall asleep faster.
Interestingly, more recent studies suggest THC may also improve nighttime breathing and reduce sleep interruptions in those who suffer from a common disorder known as sleep apnea. Researchers are currently working to develop a THC-based medicine for treating the condition.