Friday, January 18, 2019


A New Dimension of Treatment: 5 Medical Conditions Marijuana Is Proven to Help With.

December 14, 2018 by  
Filed under Health, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Marijuana has been making headlines across the United States for several decades now but even more so over the last few years. On last report, 33 states had decriminalized cannabis in all forms, and 10 others have approved its use for medical purposes. Numerous others have legalized medical marijuana but placed heavy restrictions on THC content. At this point, only three states continue to prohibit its use altogether.

Cannabis is Finally Hitting Closer to Home

Though Massachusetts may have been among the last few to recently jump on the bandwagon, the state has finally heeded the call. It’s still a bit unclear as to when local residents will have more widespread access to the powerful compounds found in cannabis, but the recreational weed dispensary industry will soon be permeating the state. For those hoping to take advantage of the ancient herb’s many potential health benefits, this is definitely welcome news.

Treating Medical Conditions with Marijuana

Despite being highly villainized by the media, certain government agencies and members of the general public alike, marijuana is generating positive results for those suffering from a wide range of medical conditions. Research is showing dozens of issues can successfully be tackled through the use of cannabis and its derivatives.

Before delving into the various conditions now being treated with marijuana, it’s important to look inward for a moment. Would you be surprised to learn the human body makes its own substances like those found in marijuana? Most people don’t realize this, but we’re all equipped with an endocannabinoid system designed to generate compounds like CBD and THC.

This natural mechanism impacts us on a number of levels. One report from the World Health Organization details many of the systems and processes affected by the endocannabinoid system. Further studies point out how and why cannabinoids from external sources may have such a positive effect on those suffering from a wide range of medical conditions from cancer to anorexia.

Chronic Pain

This is a broad category including a long list of conditions, such as diabetic neuropathy, migraines, arthritis and rheumatism to name a few. Cannabis attacks pain from a couple different angles. For one, it targets and reduces inflammation, the true source of pain in a number of medical issues.

Secondly, marijuana can help kickstart the body’s natural production of anandamide to activate CB1 receptors. Both of these are components of the previously mentioned endocannabinoid system. They work in tandem to reduce pain stemming from the nervous system.

Lastly, CBD products ramp up the body’s production of neurotransmitters known to inhibit communication between the nerves sending out pain signals and those in the brain waiting to receive them. In short, marijuana can help relieve pain by decreasing inflammation and other causes of chronic pain as well as dulling our perception of discomfort.

Epilepsy

With epilepsy, sudden bursts of electrical activity in the brain cause chaos among the signals being sent and received by neurons. These disruptions lead to seizures and can be extremely dangerous. Some forms of epilepsy are particularly debilitating.

Various studies show CBD can help reduce the number of disruptive electrical surges in the brain, thereby limiting the occurrence of seizures. Some reports indicate those using cannabidiol-based treatments for epilepsy experience a reduction in seizures of more than 50 percent.

One recent write-up from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health pointed out the FDA has already approved an epilepsy drug made from marijuana. Ongoing studies are being conducted to understand the full potential of these types of medications and possibly develop new ones.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

IBD, colitis, Crohn’s disease and other conditions in this category are known to bring about intense abdominal pain, discomfort, inflammation of the intestines and stomach lining, severe bloating and digestive issues. Scientists aren’t exactly sure what causes conditions like these, but research shows they may come from an overactive immune system or mutations of a specific gene. Some studies also link these conditions to stress, anxiety and depression.

Marijuana has been proven to reduce inflammation, so it naturally helps alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with IBD, Crohn’s disease and the like. THC, in particular, has been found effective in this regard. Cannabis can also go a long way toward regulating the body’s immune response, possibly decreasing yet another factor in these conditions as well as its impact.

Asthma

Asthma is caused by inflammation and constriction of airways in the lungs. Because of its well-known and documented anti-inflammatory properties, cannabis may help reduce the occurrence and severity of asthma attacks. Obviously, smoking marijuana could worsen breathing issues just as much as inhaling smoke from conventional cigarettes or kitchen mishaps. CBD vape juice, supplements and edibles, though, have been shown in many studies to have a positive effect.

Anxiety

Millions of Americans suffer from anxiety in varying degrees. Marijuana is famous for generating a relaxing effect for most people, so you might imagine it would be a successful treatment for this condition. That being said, researchers and people with firsthand experience alike urge caution in this department. Greater THC content has been linked to higher levels of anxiety for some people whereas CBD is more often associated with symptom alleviation.

Bottom Line

In spite of being cast in a negative light on countless occasions, marijuana and its derivatives have been proven effective in treating a wide range of physical and mental conditions. By its very nature, it could also help combat the emotional impacts of physical ailments as well as the physical manifestations of certain mental disorders. With cannabis now becoming more mainstream, its list of potential applications is sure to grow even more extensive.

Staff Writer; Craig Jones


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