Nowadays, things are definitely changing in regards to marijuana policy in our nation. So far, the use of cannabis has been completely legalized in 8 states for both medicinal and recreational purposes, in 12 states for medical marijuana and decriminalization laws, in 13 states for psychoactive medical use, and in another 13 for non-psychoactive medical purposes. And the green movement marches on.
However, the US Federal Government still defines Marijuana as a psychoactive substance with no documented medicinal value. Cannabis is actually an extremely tricky plant to study but some of the most reputable and renowned scientific research institutions on the glove have discovered numerous great health benefits of marijuana.
We’ve compiled the best research out there, bearing in mind that new studies are constantly emerging and definite evidence remains puzzling. It should also be noted that we are only reporting various research as it is and that we do not promote the use of any illegal drugs.
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#1 – Marijuana might promote weight loss
Research has revealed that cannabis users are commonly slimmer than those who don’t use it based on the fact that Marijuana reduces fasting insulin levels, which might promote weight loss.
As stated by the American Journal of Medicine, researchers have found that people who use marijuana have lower obesity rates, lower Body Mass Index, and smaller weight circumferences.
#2 – THC might slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease
According to the Molecular Pharmaceutics journal, THC, the active chemical in cannabis, slows down the development of amyloid plaques through blocking the responsible enzyme in the brain.
Moreover, Maria L. de Ceballos, Ph.D., Group Leader in the Department of Neural Plasticity at the Cajal Institute in Spain, claims that cannabinoids successfully prevent the neurodegenerative process that occurs in Alzheimer’s disease, noting in an article that she favors cannabis use in the treatment of the disease.
#3 – Marijuana might cure the inflammatory bowel diseases
Researchers from the University of Nottingham discovered that the chemicals found in this plant, including cannabidiol and THC, connect with the body’s cells that take a crucial part in immune responses and gut function.
In fact, the human body makes THC-like compounds that increase the permeability of the intestines by allowing in the bacteria. The cannabinoids derived from the plant stop the body-made ones, making the intestinal cells bond stronger with each other.
#4 – Marijuana might protect the brain from bouts of epilepsy and after a stroke
According to a study from the University of Nottingham, marijuana might help safeguard the brain from stroke-related damage by decreasing the size of the stroke-affected area.
Another study shows that cannabis may help protect the brain after experiencing traumatic events, such as concussions. Moreover, there is other research proving that patients who suffer from epilepsy reaped anti-convulsant benefits from marijuana.
#5 – Marijuana might decrease chemo-caused pain and nausea and stimulate appetite
According to the American Cancer Society, research has shown over and over again that marijuana use has helped decrease nausea in chemotherapy patients. Cancer patients who follow the chemo treatment tend to suffer from loss of appetite, vomiting, and nausea.
Marijuana can actually help reduce all of these side effects, decreasing nausea, easing the pain, and stimulating the appetite.
#6 – Marijuana might alleviate the pain of sclerosis
The THC in cannabis binds to receptors in the muscles and nerves to ease the pain. According to a research by Jody Corey-Bloom on 30 sclerosis patients who suffer from contractions in their muscles, patients did not respond to other treatments, but when they smoke marijuana they felt less pain within a few days. Participants reported improved muscle spasms, spasticity, and quality of sleep.
#7 – Marijuana might ease arthritis pain
There is scientific proof stating that those who don’t have cannabinoid receptors were more prone to develop osteoporosis. Marijuana relieves pain which may help people with rheumatoid arthritis feel more comfortable and pain-free, according to a 2011 study.
During a research, rheumatologists at several hospitals provided their patients with Sativex, a pain-relieving cannabinoid-based medicine, and the results were that people on Sativex experienced significantly reduced pain and overall improvement compared to those on placebo.
#8 – Marijuana might be used to treat Glaucoma
Marijuana can be used to prevent and treat glaucoma, the eye disease that damages the optic nerve and results in loss of vision. As stated by the National Eye Institute, studies in the early 70s revealed that smoking marijuana lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure as well as those who suffer from glaucoma.
#9 – Chemical in Marijuana might help stop cancer from spreading
Cancer, especially lung cancer, is one of the deadliest diseases in the United States. Interestingly, there has been significant research proving that cannabinoids, such as THC, have anti-tumor impacts against lung cancer, leukemia, and brain cancer.
According to 2007-research from California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical found in marijuana, might help prevent cancer from spreading in the body. It has been found that cannabidiol stops cancer from spreading by turning off a gene called Id-1.
Cancer cells create more copies of this specific gene than of non-cancerous cells, helping them spread throughout the body.
In a lab-research conducted on breast cancer cells that had high levels of Id-1, researchers treated them using cannabidiol, and after treatment, the cells had a reduction of Id-1 expression and became less aggressive spreaders.
#10 – Marijuana might Fight the Spread of HIV
The medicinal benefits of marijuana seem to be countless. A recent research has depicted that THC, marijuana’s active ingredient, can even help stop the spread of HIV. It is even said that the use of this chemical can assist people who are at the late stages of this life-threatening disease.
Research has also proven that cannabinoids in marijuana have powerful anti-viral effects against HIV infection. These compounds can also reduce nausea, neuropathic pain, and bodily weakness in patients suffering from HIV.
Yet, another study by UCLA stated that smoking marijuana could be harmful to HIV patients since the smoke may lead to airway injury and suppresses the patient’s immune system or exposes them to an extra burden of pathogens. Therefore, it’s best to use cannabis in the treatment of HIV with extreme caution and with the assistance of a health professional.
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