With Canada legalizing marijuana recently and the United States growing closer every day to federal legalization as well, there is more and more talk on the medicinal benefits of marijuana. Here is a look at five conditions marijuana has shown real promise for treating.
Glaucoma is a condition of the eye that leads to eventual blindness. It is caused by excess pressure on the optic nerve. There is no cure for it. However, progression of the disease can be slowed, and marijuana has proven to relieve the pressure.
Some children and adults with traumatic brain injuries have epilepsy so severe they have dozens of seizures daily. This adversely affects their quality of life. Extended seizing can also be fatal. American actor John Travolta's teen-aged son died of a seizure while the family was on vacation in the Caribbean. The cannabinoids in marijuana, the active ingredients that affect cells in the body, including the brain, can drastically reduce the number and severity of seizures in some people by suppressing the abnormal brain activity.
Cancer is no fun, but the treatments used to kill it, such as chemotherapy, can take an even greater toll on the body. The chemicals used in chemotherapy are largely unable to distinguish healthy cells from cancerous cells. The chemicals essentially poison a person. This leaves people in a weakened state, with nausea so severe in many that they are unable to eat anything without throwing it back up. They become averse to eating any food, which can set dehydration, malnourishment, and wasting syndrome in motion. Of course, this only causes more issues. Marijuana can not only reduce nausea, it can stimulate the appetite as well. Additionally, many studies are being done on marijuana as a possible cancer cure.
Marijuana can ease the anxiety and depression that is often associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder as well as clam the obsessive thought patterns and repetitive actions. The same fundamentals of obsessive-compulsive disorder may also play a role in eating disorders, such as anorexia. Post-traumatic stress disorder may benefit from medical marijuana as well. When one considers the possible list of side effects of prescription medications used to treat these conditions, including suicide ideation, medical marijuana can literally be a lifesaver for some people.
Marijuana has many different strains, each with different properties. Some have a mild sedative effect that provides a natural alternative to prescription sleep aids, which often leave people feeling like a zombie the next day. Marijuana can help to relax the brain and induce sleep, without harmful side effects.