By Andrea Bell
It is fascinating to see Netherlands legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes. I wonder how many people would wish for a migraine or a muscle spasm just so they could have the authority to purchase cannabis as their form of treatment.
Quite hilarious – consider this every stoner’s dream.
Well, for those who are not aware, marijuana (read: pot, weed, joint) is actually used for medicinal purposes in many countries around the world such as Canada, Italy, Finland etc. because of the chemical properties that the plant contains.
Even though there isn’t any solid evidence which states that marijuana is a sufficient medicinal drug, but it is still used for the treatment of several diseases such as glaucoma and tumors. The whole idea revolves around cannabinoids, a component found in marijuana. You will be surprised to hear that our body also produces a similar component and our brain contains cannabinoids receptors as well.
Cannabis inside us? Wait… what?
These cannabinoid receptors receive additional marijuana that a person ingests, so that together it can increase the overall healing ability it has.
The reason why medical marijuana is so effective is the same reason we call it a drug. A layer known as blood – brain barrier protects our brain from coming under any harmful influences of drugs and alcohol.
With time and consumption, the barrier grows weaker and our brain easily succumbs to the drug. However, research suggests that marijuana particles are so minute that they can easily go through the barrier, only reason why marijuana is one of the most popular drugs across the globe.
When I was searching about medical marijuana and its effects, here are the major health benefits that I came across:
Slows tumor growth: According to the American Association of Cancer Research, marijuana works towards slowing down the progression of tumors in the brain, breasts, as well as lungs.
Relieves people of chronic diseases: Marijuana can treat the symptoms associated with chronic diseases such as Crohn’s disease and disorderly bowel movements. Other than this, it can also treat diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea.
Reduces chances of migraines: Research by doctors in California highlights that more than 3 million cases of migraine have been treated by medical marijuana.
Treats seizures: Just like most drugs, marijuana is also a muscle relaxant, and this property makes it antispasmodic. This means that it is very effective in treating seizures as well as muscle spasms.
Prevents Alzheimer’s: Tetrahydrocannabinol found in marijuana is a rare drug that can clock deposits of Alzheimer’s in the brain of a diagnosed patient.
Decreases Glaucoma: Glaucoma patients are known to suffer through intraocular pressure, which can be quiet painful and can be relieved by using medical marijuana.
Helps relieve premenstrual syndrome cramps: It is very common for women to have pain during their premenstrual cycles. Luckily, evidence shows that marijuana can decrease pain in severe cases.
Helps patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD): Cannabis decreases the symptoms in people with ADHD without any negative side effects lie that of pharmaceuticals such as Ritalin.
Most likely to treat multiple sclerosis: This fatal disease causes damage to the nerves and muscles in our body. Medical marijuana is known to treat neurological effects and muscle tensions that it might cause.
Treats tics in people with Tourette syndrome: The effects of marijuana can slow down the tics present in people with Tourette syndrome as it soothes their mind and body. These tics could be motor as well as physiological.
Stops as well as slows cancer cells: Cannabidiol possesses the power to stop cancer from spreading a body by hijacking a specific gene called Id-1. This way, cancer cells become less aggressive and actually decrease in number.
Relieves Arthritis: People with arthritis suffer through inflammation and pain. Cannabis can reduce pain as well as help the person sleep, which can contribute towards reducing their discomfort.
Even though the case here looks strong in favor of world’s most exciting medication, it still has a dark side. There can be both major and minor effects even through the short-term use of medical marijuana. Side effects include positive and negative hallucinations, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, as well as a bit of paranoia.
Even though long-term problems are not fully clear, problems may include issues with cognition and memory, schizophrenia (as marijuana may affect the balance of neurotransmitters in a person’s brain), as well as a possible risk of addiction.
If we weigh out the negative against the positive, I personally feel that marijuana can rise to be a super drug that can treat some fatal diseases. All of this is only possible if research and production barriers from marijuana are lifted.
Andrea Bell: I am a freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. I write about tech, education and health related issues (but not at the same time). I believe in living simply, giving generously, watching football and being a big technology geek! Active member of Braintest.com community. Find me on Twitter @IM_AndreaBell