Studies have shown that medical marijuana use can have a beneficial effect on a number of diseases, including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, cancer and chronic pain.
Now that medical marijuana is legal in nearly half the states in the U.S., researchers can begin studying the benefits of this once-taboo drug on a variety of diseases and health conditions. From arthritis to PTSD, HIV, cancer and Alzheimer’s, people are turning to cannabis to find relief from pain, anxiety and other health issues. Where can this drug have the biggest impact? Here are five diseases that medical marijuana could help:
NYU Langone Medical Center conducted early trials of medical marijuana extract on 213 patients recently. The results were positive, with more than 50% of adults and children seeing a reduction in the frequency of seizures.
Medical weed can also be beneficial for HIV/AIDS patients. One study of 10 HIV-positive patients found that medical marijuana use improves appetite, sleep and mood. Another study with 50 participants found that marijuana reduced neuropathic pain.
Thus far, scientists have been unable to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, but medical marijuana may prove to be beneficial in managing the disease. The chemicals in the weed plant stimulate appetite, which helps patients gain weight. Some research also suggests that the drug can help minimize agitated behavior that Alzheimer’s patients sometimes exhibit.
In one study, researchers found that marijuana actually slowed the growth of protein deposits in the brain, which scientists believe may be one of the causes of Alzheimer’s.
A few studies on animals found that marijuana use may be able to kill certain cancer cells or stop cancer growth. THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient in the plant, has also shown to improve radiation impact on cancer cells in mice.
Many cancer patients are also using medical marijuana to curb the nausea caused by chemotherapy.
A few small studies show that weed can have an analgesic effect on humans. Before it was outlawed, many people used pot as a way to relieve pain in the 1800s. Not surprisingly, certain drugs that are based on marijuana have been approved in parts of Europe and Canada. One trial that involved 56 patients found that marijuana use reduced pain by 30%.
These are just a few of the many diseases that medical marijuana can help treat. If you live in a state where medical use of this drug is legal, your doctor may recommend it as part of your treatment plan.
Helen Rookard is a freelance copywriter currently writing for https://weedy.com/. The main niche for her is medical marijuana researches, but she’s always eager to try writing about something new!