The word “marijuana” or “cannabis” evokes only one association in the brain, related to drug abuse and smoking. It’s a drug and therefore an anti-social product, not worthy of talking about. But above all, cannabis is a plant growing in the world and, therefore, it is given for our benefit. Marijuana can treat a number of serious diseases, so in some countries it is a legal product, and you can buy it at a pharmacy.
1. Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a serious violation of intellectual activity, which in most cases begins as dementia. It is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that begins slowly and gradually destroys a person’s psyche. In most cases, the symptoms of the disease are loss of memory and cognitive dysfunction. By the year 2050, it is expected that there will be 13.8 million patients, and the number of cases will increase by 68%. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease at present, but some findings show that cannabis inhibits the development of the disease and even treats it. Scientists even claim that cannabinoids will be a new generation of drugs.
Epileptic seizures are a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain. Epilepsy is the fourth of the most common neurological problems, including migraine and Alzheimer’s disease. The cannabidiol substance, which has less pronounced properties than unrefined marijuana, can reduce seizures by 54%.
3. Multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (muscle spasm) is known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis. This inflammatory process affects the brain and the nerve cells of the spinal cord, thus causing physical, mental and psychiatric problems. Studies have shown that the THC cannabinoid helps control muscle spasms in patients.
There are facts of daily use of THC cannabinoid doses by cancer patients for the treatment of skin cancer, lung cancer, etc. This method was tested in dogs, but in lower doses, and the results were positive. Cannabis is officially used in some US states to reduce pain in patients with cancer, to increase appetite and to treat insomnia.
The substance that treats schizophrenia is cannabidiol. While marijuana and the THC substance cause a schizophrenia-like effect, cannabidiol (CBD) treats it. In 2012, the results of the study were published in the Translational Psychiatry journal. According to this study, the CBD compound has a positive effect on the treatment of schizophrenia; the second phase of clinical trials has already begun. The studies involved 39 patients, 20 of whom received a dose of CBD, and 19 were given amisulpride. The treatment results were positive in both cases, but the patients, who received a dose of CBD, experienced fewer side effects.
6. Type II diabetes
Type II diabetes (non-insulin dependent type) is a disease of metabolic nature, which is accompanied by high levels of sugar. This type of diabetes is different from the insulin-dependent type, in which there is an absolute failure of insulin production on the part of the pancreas. In May 2013, the American Journal of Medicine published an article written by three authors and claiming that marijuana played a key role in controlling blood sugar. The study involved 4,657 people, including the ones currently and previously addicted to marijuana. Their sugar level was by 16% lower. A pharmaceutical company that is a licensed manufacturer of drugs based on marijuana, created a drug for type II diabetes called GW42004.
It is believed that smoking marijuana causes lung pathology. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the THC substance reveals its anti-inflammatory properties in the treatment of asthma.
8. Impotence / Erectile Dysfunction
High cholesterol levels, which reduce the pressure in the blood vessels, can affect the erectile function in men. The data, published in the Clinical and Developmental Immunology journal, prove that marijuana can reduce blood cholesterol levels. Clinical studies have shown that cannabinoids reduce the negative effects of hypercholesterolemia – the underlying disease causing erectile dysfunction.
Reducing pain is one of the basic properties of marijuana. As it kills pain in multiple sclerosis, it will help to reduce pain in patients with arthritis as well. Moreover, pain is relieved faster when smoking marijuana, rather than when using it in a different way. According to a research, conducted by the Canadian consortium that conducts the study of cannabinoids, 36% of the Canadians relieve arthritis pain by smoking marijuana. But in such cases, people are subject to addiction.
10. Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is an infectious disease that affects the liver and is caused by hepatitis C virus. Wyoming Institute of Technology, working in the field of the therapeutic effect of marijuana, has developed a model of treatment on the basis of “Chunky Crimson”. Clinical studies have shown that 99.8% of patients were cured of hepatitis C.
No one claims that smoking marijuana is a useful practice. The research has been conducted for decades and proved that smoking marijuana causes a number of cardiovascular diseases, the disorders of the respiratory organs and the nervous system. But the fact that the substances, derived from cannabis, can cure certain diseases changes the attitude to this plant. In addition, physicians have always been using even stronger drugs for treatment.