Medical marijuana is a drug that has attracted controversy in opinions among many. Amidst the unceasing battle of clashes between medical doctors, journalists, legislators, police departments and so on, it becomes effortless to be overwhelmed by hyperbole and media sensationalism; this, unfortunately, reflects that those who need medical marijuana who are suffering from severe health conditions are denied the opportunity to make decisions which are informed based on evidence and facts.
Many kinds of research have been conducted regarding the positive effects associated with the medical marijuana. Peer-reviewed journals have published these positive effects including chronicles of Neurology, Annals of internal medicine, British journal of clinical pharmacology, rheumatology, and so many more journals. Documenting the significant health benefits medical marijuana has cut across ages, genders, races and even health conditions.
The 1850s to 1930s marked the years when cannabis began to grow famous for its recreational purposes. The drug intake increased over time, as 1970’s Controlled Substances Act classified marijuana as a Scheduled 1 Drug. Therefore naturally, many controversies arose surrounding the medical marijuana use.
Marijuana’s THC active ingredient was synthesized in 1966 in efforts to make it friendlier; this led to it being approved by the Drug Administration and U.S. Food in the year 1985. The U.S. Government sponsored a study by the Institute of Medicine to uncover the properties of marijuana which were beneficial in specific medical conditions including nausea caused by chemotherapy, and wastes generated by AIDS.
Since 1999, more studies have been conducted which prove that pain is reduced by smoking marijuana. California was first in 1996 to legalize marijuana use for medical purposes, and since then, close to 24 of the states have legislated medical marijuana.
Medical benefits of marijuana from medical researches
- Slowing down and stopping cancer cells from spreading
In the year 2007, California Pacific Medical Centre reported that CBD could prevent cancer cells from spreading. They experimented with breast cancer cells with a high level of Id-1, with which they treated with cannabidiol. A Journal of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics’s published study found out that Cannabidiol possesses the ability to prevent cancer because it turns off Id-1 gene.
The result of the experiments was positive, with the cells decreasing Id-1 expression, and were less aggressive spreaders. A study by the American Association for Cancer Research has discovered that marijuana can work, slowing down the growth of tumors in breast, brain, and lungs.
- Prevention of Alzheimer’s
A study conducted in 2006 found out that the active THC ingredient in marijuana can slow the progression of the Alzheimer’s disease; this is by slowing amyloid plaques formation by blocking the brain enzyme which produces them. The plaques are responsible for Alzheimer’s disease by killing the brain cells.
- Lessening side effects of treating Hepatitis C
The treatment of Hepatitis C infection possesses severe side effects, very severe that many cannot continue with the procedures. Some of these side effects include fatigue, muscle pains, nausea, depression, and loss of appetite which could last for many months.
A European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in 2006 discovered that 86% of the patients who use marijuana could successfully finish their therapies, as only 29% of those who do not smoke complete the treatments. The reason behind this is perhaps because marijuana can help lessen the side effects of the medications.
Cannabis has also helped to improve the effectiveness of the treatment. In a study, 54% of Hep C patients who smoked marijuana lowered their viral levels, keeping them low, as compared to non-smokers who make 8%.
- Controlling epileptic seizure
Medical marijuana can control epileptic seizure. A study in 2003 was conducted to prove the latter by Robert DeLorenzo by giving synthetic marijuana and its extracts to epileptic rats. In about 10 hours, the drugs had stopped the seizure. The active ingredient in the drug, THC, managed to control the seizures by binding brain cells responsible for regulating relaxation and controlling excitability. The outcome was published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
- Relieves Arthritis
A study by researchers in 2011 found out that marijuana reduces inflammation and pain. It also promotes sleep which helps relieve discomfort and suffering for those who have rheumatoid arthritis.
Medical marijuana has, therefore, had some positive effects as proved by many researchers. More positive results include;
- Treating glaucoma
- Decreasing the symptoms of Dravet’s syndrome
- Reversing tobacco’s carcinogenic effects and improving lung health
- Easing the pain of multiple sclerosis
- Treating bowel diseases which are inflammatory
- Soothing tremors for those suffering from Parkinson’s disease
- Protecting the brain after the case of a stroke
Many researchers and doctors have therefore believed that medical marijuana possesses powerful neuroprotective properties, based on their understanding of clinical data and laboratory.