In recent years, we’ve seen a shift in the way that marijuana, particularly medical marijuana, is talked about and utilized in society. The medical world’s adoption of marijuana as an alternate treatment to traditional measures has increased. It is drawing more widespread acceptance and use by an ever-growing pool of medical professionals. With the reasonably recent legalization of marijuana, there are several corresponding social, political, and economic arguments happening. While there are many layers to the discussion of marijuana in society today, we’re going to focus on medical marijuana and its potential health benefits.
What is Medical Marijuana?
Let’s start with defining what medical marijuana is. Medical marijuana is the use of marijuana in the treatment or management of certain health conditions. One form includes the use of the hemp plant or CBD. CBD, particularly CBD oil, provides many of the healing properties of marijuana without the “high” of traditional marijuana use. Some patients who use CBD as a form of treatment have reported positive experiences. Most notably, families of children who suffer from Dravet Syndrome, a severe form of childhood epilepsy, have said that reported that CBD helps control their seizures, a reality that seemed virtually impossible before. THC is the component of marijuana that causes a high and is often said to be useful in treating and managing chronic pain in patients. There is still a lack of research and information on utilizing medical marijuana. However, while the medical world at large is playing catch up with the phenomenon of medical marijuana, individual health care professionals are prescribing it for their patients with promising and sometimes even life-altering results.
Potential Health Benefits
Medical marijuana has great potential in treating, managing, and reducing symptoms of the disease and several health ailments. There are several reported health benefits to using medical marijuana, including, but not limited to, the following:
Medical marijuana can manage chronic pain in patients. It is a favorable substitute for pain medications and can help combat pain killer addiction in patients. Pain management is the number one reason patients seek and use medical marijuana.
CBD oil can manage and prevent seizures in patients with epilepsy, which is particularly hopeful when we look at more specific and severe seizure disorders like Dravet Syndrome. It has been reported in some children who suffer from this syndrome, that the CBD extract has decreased and even eliminated seizures.
When used in smaller doses, medical marijuana can help decrease anxiety. Too little may have no impact, and too much marijuana can increase anxiety, so, therefore, patients need to find the right amount that relaxes them and minimizes their anxious feelings. On a more severe scale, promising research is underway to examine how medical marijuana can help with PTSD, particularly in veterans who have been in combat.
There is evidence that medical marijuana can help counteract muscle spasms, especially those that occur because of M.S. Marijuana also can help ease the pain of symptoms associated with multiples sclerosis.
Medical marijuana also has the potential to prevent cancer from spreading as previous tests show that THC and CBD can shrink tumors or slow down their growth and spreading capabilities. It also has been claimed that THC might slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. More research needs to be done in all of these areas so we can explore the true healing potential of medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana has the potential to help a large number of patients. Currently, there is not enough research on utilizing marijuana in the medical field. Yet, reports of the positive effects of medical marijuana on patients are not uncommon and are increasing alongside a growing movement of acceptance from the healthcare world. While medical marijuana is not a cure-all for disease, it certainly has a place. It plays a role in the healthcare system, especially for those patients whose conventional treatments aren’t working.
Watch The Potential Benefits of Medical Marijuana | Dr. Alan Shackelford | TEDxCincinnati