Just how much do you know about cannabis or - as some would call it - weed? For most people, their answer would be “very little.”
Aside from cannabis being broadly used as a recreational drug, it also comes with a myriad of medical benefits.
That’s why the need and use of medical cannabis keep growing every day. Marijuana’s therapeutic qualities and its ability to treat or mollify symptoms of severe diseases like HIV/AIDS make it a medical gem.
So, you are probably wondering what ailments medical cannabis help cure or soothe. Are you looking for alternative ways to manage your illness? Is this the right therapy for you? In this article, we look into the common medical conditions that cannabis is prescribed for.
Medical Marijuana Uses
Medical cannabis is used to help treat cancer. Cancer, being one of the most unfortunate diseases, has a high mortality rate.
So, how does medical marijuana help with cancer? To be clear, medical cannabis does not cure cancer. It only helps to minimize its severity, thereby improving the patient’s quality of life and recovery process.
Basically, the cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) chemical compounds that are present in cannabis often boost a person’s appetite. This, in turn, mitigates weight loss, anorexia, and nausea (from medications, or treatments such as chemotherapy). This also helps alleviate cachexia, the weakness, and wasting of the body due to severe chronic illness. All of which are common effects of cancer.
Unfortunately, to date, there’s still no definitive cure for HIV/AIDS. Although, it is true that there are therapies that prolong the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS. But sadly, its side effects can be quite severe. This is where medical marijuana prescriptions help.
Authoritative studies like the Journal on Cannabis Use in HIV, show that a large percentage of HIV/AIDS patients reported improvements after starting a medical cannabis treatment.
These reported improvements span from appetite boosts, reduced muscle pains/anxiety/nausea, to weight loss reduction.
3. Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal injuries are often quite painful. Additionally, they usually affect motor skills and can even lead to permanent loss of function in some body parts.
What's more, spinal cord injuries also often cause muscle spasms.
So, how does medical cannabis help with this?
According to research by the Oxford Centre for Enablement, medical marijuana eases the pain while also improving the person’s neurogenic symptoms.
Epilepsy is an incurable neurological condition. It can be a hereditary genetic disorder or as a result of brain injury resulting from trauma or a stroke.
Some common symptoms of epilepsy are mild or severe seizures, amnesia, depression, anxiety, headaches, drowsiness, and staring spells. During severe seizures, the patient may experience unusual sensations, loss of consciousness, or even exhibit abnormal behavior.
Medical cannabis helps by reducing the frequency of these seizures. Furthermore, this treatment also lessens the severity of seizures. Notably, cannabis treatments are only recommended if the seizures don’t respond to other modes of treatment.
5. Spinal Cord Diseases
Spinal problems are not always caused by trauma. They can also be as a result of a disease.
Some examples of spinal diseases are spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, spinal stenosis, and syringomyelia.
Cannabis-based medication offers therapeutic and soothing relief to those suffering from these conditions. That’s because it helps to alleviate pain and muscles spasms that are common symptoms of spine-related diseases.
6. Multiple Sclerosis
Though not as severe or as terminal as cancer, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is also quite a unfortunate disease.
It usually affects parts of the brain and spinal cord. There are various types of MS, each with its own unique traits and severities.
Typically, MS shows symptoms including muscle spasms, pain, tingling, balance issues, double vision, mood swings, sexual dysfunction, and so on.
New research from the Oxford Centre for Enablement on Multiple Sclerosis shows that medical marijuana has the ability to treat or reduce pain and spasms. And it comes with a few side effects on the patient.
Arthritis is a condition related to inflammation of a person’s joints. Generally, there are over 100 types of arthritis. The most common are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis.
Redness around the joints, swelling, limited movement, weakness, stiffness, and severe pain are just a few of its symptoms.
Medical marijuana treatments help relieve pain and muscle problems that result from arthritis. In fact, there is a study on how cannabis benefits people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
8. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases or IBDs are conditions that result in the inflammation of a person’s digestive tract. Examples of IBDs are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Symptoms of IBD include bloody stool, diarrhea, stomach pain, bloating, and cramping. According to the Department of Gastroenterology, IBD patients can enjoy health benefits from using cannabis treatments. That’s because it helps to alleviate physical pain, improve social functions, reduce depression, and improve a person’s ability to work.
Do you have problems falling asleep? Well, medical marijuana can help you with that too. There are numerous reasons someone might suffer from this condition.
A widely known fact is that poor sleeping patterns can negatively affect your daily routine. Aside from fatigue, people with insomnia also experience sleepiness during the day, poor concentration, headaches, slowness, depression, and so on. Therefore, adequate sleep is essential.
Cannabis-based medications with high concentrations of THC and CBD can help improve a person’s quality of sleep. Basically, it helps to reduce sleep latency while at the same time inducing drowsiness.
There you have it – a list of common medical conditions that medical cannabis is prescribed for. From this, it easy to see that marijuana has several medical applications.
And if used in the right manner and amount, it offers effective relief for people struggling with physical pain, stress, sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, muscle spasms and so on.
What is more, marijuana can help with other conditions including Alzheimer's, Glaucoma, schizophrenia, as well as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).