The use of cannabis, a substance more commonly known as marijuana (as Medical Marijuana) , has been growing widespread due to its multiple benefits on the human body, particularly on one’s health. However, because of its mind-altering properties, the use of marijuana has continued to spark controversy all over the globe.
Marijuana is legal for medical purposes in 32 states
Marijuana affects the body in more ways than one, and that is because it contains a wide variety of compounds known as cannabinoids, which pose some similarities to the neurotransmitter chemicals found in our body.
Since cannabis is legal in certain states in America, one can use marijuana in different strains containing different chemical compounds that affect the body in different ways, including ones that promote healing and wellness.
Healing Properties of Cannabis
1. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for Chronic Pain
Chronic pain, which affects about 50 million adults in the US, is one of the leading causes of debilitation among individuals, leading to restrictions in mobility as well as in one’s daily activities. Because of this, it’s not surprising that people with underlying health conditions and who are constantly in pain seek for other nonpharmaceutical alternatives to alleviate their symptom, and that includes cannabis. A Business Insider report states that treatment for chronic pain is one of the most common reasons people ask for medical marijuana.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is one of the most commonly known compounds found in cannabis, is known to contribute to the pain-relief benefits of marijuana to its users. Since THC binds to cannabinoid receptors found in the central nervous and immune systems, it promotes reduced pain and relaxation, which is what many chronic pain patients seek from marijuana.
2. Cannabidiol (CBD) for Epilepsy
The Food and Drug Association has recently approved the use of cannabidiol (CBD) medications in June 2018, and this has more to do with the compound’s wide-ranging health benefits. Unlike the cannabis compound THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive component, which means that it does not alter the state of mind of its user and can even treat seizures among individuals.
A 2017 study shows that the use of CBD yields far fewer seizures among kids with Dravet syndrome, in comparison to using a placebo. The children who received the CBD solution eventually had an average of 6 seizures per month, a significant difference from their previous record prior to the study, which was an average of 12 seizures.
3. Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCa) for Inflammation
Aside from the pain and muscular spasms, cannabis is also known to relieve inflammation, such as that in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa), the chemical compound found in cannabis before becoming THC, is known to be responsible for marijuana’s anti-inflammatory abilities.
Researchers from some rheumatology units in hospitals have found out THCa’s effect, after finding a positive result from giving their patients Sativex, a cannabinoid-based medicine for pain relief. The study shows that, after two weeks, patients who take Sativex experience a significant reduction in pain and even have an improved quality of sleep.
4. Cannabinol (CBN) for Glaucoma
According to the National Eye Institute, marijuana has shown to decrease intraocular pressure, or pressure inside the eye, which benefits patients suffering from glaucoma. This may be due to a cannabis compound called cannabinol (CBN), which is created when THC is exposed to oxygen and light. CBN’s main reported effects include the relief of epileptic symptoms, muscle spasms, and intraocular pressure.
So far, medical research shows that cannabis only lowers intraocular pressure for a few hours, so it may not be recommended for long-term treatment yet. However, its promising ability to treat glaucoma has been one of the reasons that some states have allowed the use of medical marijuana.
5. Cannabichromene (CBC) for Cancer
The chemical compounds CBD and cannabichromene (CBC) may contribute to one of the most widely discussed healing benefits of marijuana—its ability to fight cancer. This has been shown in the numerous studies that have yielded positive results, including the slowing and even shrinking of tumors at the right dose.
CBC may prevent the growth of cancerous tumors if it interacts with anandamide, which is another endocannabinoid known to battle breast cancer. However, CBD is known to work well in conjunction with THC, creating a synergistic effect.
Important to Note
Since medical marijuana has not been fully accepted all over the globe, people can try their best to avoid failing a hair drug test to get a job or get their fix from other discreet sources. However, there is still hope that marijuana can be fully utilized according to its promising benefits in the near future.
Don’t forget to consider too that bodies have different responses to marijuana, and your own health conditions will also affect these responses. To be safe, never self-medicate. Go to your primary-care physician for further education and consultation.