With 22 states now permitting the sale of marijuana for medical use, the days of cannabis being relegated to the black market are long gone.
In fact, just the opposite is happening. Polls continue to show that marijuana is becoming accepted by more and more people in the United States.
Medical Use: Ailments Marijuana May Help Fight
Another factor in the growing popularity of marijuana is the amount of research now being conducted to determine the medicinal benefits of the cannabis plant and its derivatives.
While all the research is not yet conclusive, there are many diseases, chronic conditions and ailments marijuana may help fight, according to medical research. Here’s a look at 10 of them.
Chronic pain can be the result of different medical conditions, but marijuana has been proven to significantly reduce the amount of pain. One study with 56 patients who suffered from chronic pain reported that there was a 30% reduction in pain for those who used marijuana.
Epidiolex, created by GW Pharmaceuticals, is a liquid cannabidiol compound that is designed to fight two forms of childhood-onset epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut. Tests have shown the drug reduces the amount of seizures in a patient by 50%, according to the investment website, Motley Fool.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness. Scientists are studying the affects of marijuana in lowering the pressure on the optic nerve as well as its ability to preserve nerves in the eye.
In a study with 10 HIV-positive patients, marijuana smoking led to better eating and sleeping habits as well as a better mood, according to CNN. Another study with 50 HIV-positive patients found that cannabis reduced neuropathic pain.
Medical marijuana can lessen the agitated behavior found in many of those with Alzheimer’s, as well as help them gain weight. Both symptoms that are difficult to treat with other medical options.
Marijuana can help reduce pain in joints and allow patients to sleep better. Some studies are showing that it may also reduce the inflammation that leads to pain for those with arthritis.
Some studies, conducted on animals, have shown that marijuana may kill some cancer cells. Other studies show it could slow down cancer growth and improve the impact of radiation treatment on cancer patients. These findings are helping drive a movement, pushing for the ability to research these findings in greater detail.
Using marijuana could help reduce the amount of muscle spasms, pain, tremors and muscle stiffness that is associated with multiple sclerosis. Most of the studies have been primarily observational ones involving animals and a small number of humans.
Type 2 Diabetes
This form of diabetes affects adults. Studies in 2012 by GW Pharmaceuticals found that cannabis could reduce the fasting plasma glucose levels in patients, as well as improve beta-cell function and increase insulin sensitivity.
Nausea in Cancer Patients
Nausea and vomiting are a frequent problem for cancer patients going through chemotherapy. A study by INSYS Therapeutics found that a liquid solution based on THC reduced nausea for patients, according to the investment site Motley Fool.
These are just some of the ways that scientists and medical researchers are looking into the ailments marijuana may help fight around healthcare patients. With the increased acceptance of marijuana by the U.S. population, expect more studies – and cannabis-based drugs – to continue in the coming years.