Over the past few decades, the medical use of marijuana has slowly gained acceptance. Now, many states offer a medical marijuana program to help patients access their medicine without having to face the legal ramifications that recreational users must endure. There is a huge body of research confirming the efficacy of cannabis in treating many chronic conditions such as:
– Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
– Chronic and severe pain
However, the benefits of medical marijuana certainly don’t end with these commonly referred illnesses. Since marijuana has been achieving an increasingly legitimate reputation in the world of modern medicine, research has uncovered many other conditions that can benefit from the proper use of medical cannabis.
Alzheimer’s disease is a truly devastating disease. Watching a loved one slip away into the wasteland of forgetfulness and dementia is heart-breaking and hard to endure. However, recent studies have shown that consuming marijuana may help to slow the build up of certain proteins in the brain that are thought to contribute to cognitive dysfunction and agitation. Additionally, the appetite-stimulating qualities of cannabis help those who are stricken with Alzheimer’s to gain and weight and maintain a higher level of nutrient intake.
Surprisingly, medical marijuana has been found to help relieve symptoms of asthma. In a recent study, researchers found that certain compounds in cannabis have been found to alleviate some of the bronchial inflammation that is associated with exercise induced asthma. There are some contradictions related to this study, because while marijuana can act as a broncho-dilator in the human airway, many people with asthma experience tightness in the chest and throat when exposed to smoke.
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is one of the most commonly suffered of all chronic health conditions. Emerging research is beginning to show a link between marijuana use and a decrease in cardiovascular problems. Active compounds found in marijuana initially cause a temporary spike in heart rate and blood pressure, but continued used seems to have a vasodilating, or relaxing, effect. This causes the heart to require less force to pump blood, resulting in a lowering of overall blood pressure.
Diabetes is the third most commonly diagnosed chronic health condition in the U.S. Characterized by the body’s inability to properly produce and secrete insulin, this condition can have debilitating effects. However, research has shown that cannabis use can aid the body in achieving reduced glucose intolerance, improved glucose tolerance, improved liver triglyceride levels and increased insulin sensitivity. Further research is showing evidence that compounds in marijuana may be helpful for a slew of metabolic disorders other than diabetes as well.
As more people discover medical cannabis alternatives to pharmaceutical treatments, marijuana will continue to grow in popularity as a valid treatment. While most research is still in its infancy, cannabis is consistently proving itself to be good medicine.