Marijuana has been in the hot headlines every now and then for a few years now. With scientists showing a particular interest in understanding this miracle substance, the more they dig the more benefits they find. Various studies that backed the powerful healing effects of marijuana led to the step of legalization in a few states. Today, medical marijuana dispensaries are popping up everywhere to make this powerful medicinal plant available to those who want to derive its benefits for a healthy life.
What makes marijuana special?
Marijuana is one of those almost magical plants that carry medicinal benefits from seeds to leaves. Almost every product extracted or prepared using the plant is rich in nutrients and has therapeutic values. The term “medical marijuana” particularly refers to the unprocessed cannabis plant that is used to treat disease or sometimes improve a symptom. The plant has an extensive history of acting as a natural medicine going back about 5000 years.
Marijuana contains both THC and CBD compounds which produce different effects in the body. THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive compound released by heat when a person smokes it or uses it in cooking. CBD (cannabidiol) is different. Unlike THC, it is non-psychoactive; that is, it won’t make a person feel “high.” But it does appear to produce significant changes in the body, and more and more research is continuing to find an increasing range of its medical benefits. High concentrations of CBD in marijuana can enhance its healing properties, especially if paired with low THC levels as this will have soft psychoactive effects.
How can medical marijuana benefit you?
While only 6% of overall research in marijuana was focused towards the medical domain, legalization is various states has been an encouraging step towards increasing the research scope and interest. Medical marijuana has been found to be an effective way to treat a number of conditions.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a common substance present in cannabis that is widely used to treat common ailments. Unlike marijuana, CBD is not illegal and comes in various forms such as oils, creams, etc. The use of cannabinoid compounds as a treatment for various conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, depression, heart conditions, and many others, have scientific evidence backing its effectiveness.
- Pain relief: CBD has the ability to impact the endocannabinoid receptor activity in the body and decrease inflammation. This effect is useful to treat chronic pain conditions such as arthritis or multiple sclerosis. The substance also helped patients achieve quality sleep much faster than usual, which also enhanced the effect of the treatment.
- Relief Anxiety and depression: Current therapies and medicines used to treat mental conditions such as depression and anxiety involve addictive substances that may cause substance abuse. CBD is a natural and safe way to treat these conditions and relieve stress. A study at the University of Sao Paulo concluded that CBD has positive effects in treating anxiety by impacting the paralimbic and limbic areas of the brain.
- Enhances heart health and may prevent diabetes: CBD has often been linked to low blood pressure levels and reduced oxidative stress which eliminates these reasons behind degrading heart health. In a study aimed at understanding the relationship between CBD and diabetes, they observed possible prohibitive effects using mice as the subjects. Out of 100 untreated diabetes-prone mice only 32 were diagnosed to have the disease after treatment with CBD.
The Cannabis seeds also contain various healing properties. The nutty flavored, nutritious seeds are easily available at a medical marijuana dispensary and are is gaining popularity due to their nutritional benefits.
- Highly nutritious diet: Hemp seeds constitute about 25% protein and 30% oil, along with being the best alternative source to Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids after fish. This is the best form of plant-based protein to consume that is rich in magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. Hemp seeds also contain vitamin E and can contribute to a healthy diet.
- Healthy Skin: The fatty acids present in hemp seeds are responsible for healing dry and rough patches of skin and balancing the antioxidants requirements of the body. The seeds are capable of having a restorative effect on conditions such as eczema and improving the quality of the skin.
- Other benefits: The seeds are also effective in treating anxiety and cardiovascular conditions.
Other benefits of medical marijuana
- Anti-Seizure medication: Dramatic fluctuation of electrical pulses in the brain causes seizures. This is a common symptom observed in conditions such as Dravet`s syndrome where the use of Cannabis has reduced the frequency by a median of 38.9% according to one study.
- Treatment for neurological disorders: Cannabis has also been observed to contain neuroprotective properties that help in treating conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Fetal hypoxia, Huntington`s disease, and others. THC in cannabis has been effective in eliminating damaged cells from the brain and catalyzing regeneration of the cells due to aging, which has particularly helped in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Aid in fighting cancer: Marijuana can be used before, during, and after treatment for cancer in numerous ways. Research indicates the possibility of anti-tumor effects of cannabis, which means the process of eliminating the tumor cells in case of leukemia and colon cancer increases. Similar effects have also been observed in patients with cervical cancer. Some doctors suggest that cannabis can also be an effective way of treating nausea and pain following chemotherapy.
Various clinical and non-clinical trials are currently on-going to understand the effects on the immune system which will further expand the healing scope for medicinal marijuana.
As more and more states in the U.S. legalize medical and recreational use of marijuana, growing your own indoor plants may be an easy and safe way to access its healing benefits, as an economical alternative to purchasing various marijuana-based products available on the market. And it should go without saying, always consult with your doctor and local laws before using any alternative medicines.
If it’s legal in your area and is right for you, the evidence is undeniable that this naturally occurring plant created by God can provide life-enhancing qualites for those who choose to use it, and should be received with gratitude to the Almighty. As the Jewish blessing goes, “Blessed are you Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who creates various kinds of sustenance.”
PLEASE NOTE: This post provides general information and discussion about the use of medical marijuana. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.
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