Many states around the country have passed laws making medical marijuana legal, with still other states legalizing the drug completely. Here are 10 health benefits from cannabis you may not have heard of yet.
10. Glaucoma Treatment
Cannabis can help to treat glaucoma by reducing the intraocular pressure (IOP) for a few hours at a time. This may not be enough to treat glaucoma around the clock, but for patients who aren’t able to tolerate standard therapies, their doctors may still use this treatment.
9. Improves Lung Capacity
Not only does smoking cannabis not damage the lungs, studies show that it can actually increase lung capacity. This may be due to how smokers inhale and then hold their lungs full for a few moments before exhaling, rather than a specific chemical within cannabis.
8. Seizure Control
Epilepsy causes dangerous seizures that can harm the body and the brain; research dating back to at least 2003 shows that for some patients, cannabis helps to control the number of seizures that an epileptic patient has.
7. Slow or Stop Cancer Growth
A 2012 study shows that a chemical within cannabis (CBD or Cannabidiol) may help to turn off a gene which encourages certain cancers to grow at an aggressive rate. This could make it easier to treat these cancers, or help to cure them entirely.
6. Reduce Anxiety (At the Right Doses)
In some patients, cannabis appears to reduce anxiety and nausea. This is why medical marijuana is often used to help chemotherapy patients maintain their weight. Too much cannabis, however, is known to increase paranoia and anxiety, so dosing is important.
5. Slow Alzheimer’s Progression
Some research has shown that cannabis helps to slow or halt Alzheimer’s progression by reducing an enzyme in the brain that helps create the amyloid plaques that kill brain cells and cause Alzheimer’s.
4. Ease Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Many MS patients struggle to manage severe muscle cramps. There have been anecdotal reports for many years that smoking cannabis helps to ease this discomfort, and research is now backing up the claim.
3. Reduces Side Effects From Hepatitis C Treatment
Treatment for Hepatitis C, a liver infection, unfortunately comes with a lot of side effects, and many patients discontinue their treatment and never fully recover. Cannabis has been shown to reduce the side effects and increase the number of patients who complete their treatment.
2. Relieves Pain of Arthritis
Many pain patients, including those who struggle with forms of arthritis, find cannabis helpful in managing their pain. For some patients, having their pain reduced allows them to take part in physical activities that strengthen their bodies and allow them to maintain health and mobility for longer.
1. Eases PTSD Symptoms For Some Veterans
Many veterans return from combat with psychological scars. Evidence is beginning to show that cannabis can help veterans heal from PTSD and resume a healthier lifestyle.