Nature is mans best medicine, even when those who benefit off of sick people tell you otherwise.
Within the marijuana plant there are two main properties, cannabidiol (CBD) — which works without the ‘high’ effect – and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – which is more known for its psychoactive properties.
When it comes to the cannabis plant as a whole, there are countless medical benefits, and with today being 4/20, I want to cover a few cannabis facts that are less known in an attempt to help educate you, and in turn help you educate others.
Medical studies on the effects of cannabis
In 2004, Dr. John Macleod of the University of Birmingham in the UK and his team reviewed 48 long-term studies.
16 of these studies provided the highest quality information about the association between illicit drug use reported by people 25 years old or younger and later psychological or social problems.
Most of the drug-specific results involved cannabis use.
“Currently, there is no strong evidence that use of cannabis of itself causes psychological or social problems,” such as mental illness or school failure, Macleod told Reuters Health.
“There is a great deal of evidence that cannabis use is associated with these things, but this association could have several explanations,” he said, citing factors such as adversity in early life, which may itself be associated with cannabis use and psychosocial problems.
Cannabis use was not consistently associated with violent or antisocial behavior, or with psychological problems.
in February 2010, investigators at the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research publicly announced the findings of a series of randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials on the medical utility of inhaled cannabis.
The studies concluded that cannabis ought to be a “first line treatment” for patients with neuropathy and other serious illnesses.
These are just two of the countless studies that all shine a positive light on the use of marijuana. We will link you to more studies that pertain to each individual health benefit throughout this article.
1. Anti-cancer effects
Somebody should tell Susan G. Komen that we’ve found the cure!
THC that targets cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 is similar in function to endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids that are naturally produced in the body and activate these receptors.
Studies have shown that THC will reduce cancer growth by 50%.
“The beauty of this study is that we are showing that a substance of abuse, if used prudently, may offer a new road to therapy against lung cancer,” said Anju Preet, Ph.D., a researcher in the Division of Experimental Medicine.
Cannabidiol also stops cancer by turning off a gene called Id-1, according to a study published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. Cancer cells make more copies of this gene than non-cancerous cells, and it helps them spread through the body.
The Canadians for Safe Access website has an extensive list of studies that have been conducted, showing the anti-cancer effects of marijuana on the human body.
2. Control over epileptic seizures
Cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD), the second most active ingredient in marijuana — behind the high-inducing THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), helps control, reduce, and in a lot of cases, completely stop seizures by binding to the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation.
Children like 8 year old Forrest Smelser who lives with epilepsy and suffers from seizures are able to take cannabis oil to stop the seizures from happening, which at it’s worst were an every 15 minute occurrence.
When taking the anti-seizure medicine prescribed by his doctor, he suffered side effects that the FDA says 1 in 500 people. “He would scream, he would fight, he would punch himself,” Tanesha Melser told KOMO News. Combined with his anger, he also had suicidal thoughts, and once even attempted it.
Since beginning to take CBD in capsule form 3 times per day, Forrest says “Now that I’m on this medication, I feel like a normal boy”.
3. Post-traumatic stress disorder
THC is known to cause temporary impairment in your memory, but for those suffering from PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder), this is exactly what helps them the most.
THC acts on a system in the brain that is “critical for fear and anxiety modulation,” says Andrew Holmes, a researcher at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
A 2014 study has confirmed that THC can help relieve a variety of PTSD-related symptoms including flashbacks, agitation and nightmares.
“The results show good tolerance and safety, reduction of PTSD hyperarousal symptoms, improved sleep quality and reduced frequency of nightmares.”, the researchers write.
Cannabinoids are known to affect sleep in various ways, including a decrease in REM sleep, which is the sleep phase when nightmares occur.
This makes it a perfect candidate for those with PTSD.
4. Prevent Alzheimer’s
One of the biggest arguments that people will throw up to you in a debate about marijuana is that it causes memory loss, but according to some new studies, this is not true.
In a 2006 study, the Scripps Institute proved that the THC found in marijuana works to prevent Alzheimer’s by blocking the deposits in the brain that cause the disease.
Researchers at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, provides evidence that one of the only naturally occurring fatty acids in the brain that has the ability to interact with the receptors originally identified as the targets of THC can help to protect brain cells from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Investigators at Madrid’s Complutense University and the Cajal Institute in Spain reported that the intracerebroventricular administration of the synthetic cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 prevented cognitive impairment and decreased neurotoxicity in rats injected with amyloid-beta peptide (a protein believed to induce Alzheimer’s).
“Our results indicate that … cannabinoids succeed in preventing the neurodegenerative process occurring in the disease,” investigators concluded.
5. Multiple benefits for HIV patients
Marijuana has long been associated with reducing nausea, increasing appetite and reducing pain, but it now also may be able to stop the spread of HIV altogether.
“These findings reveal novel mechanisms that may potentially contribute to cannabinoid-mediated disease modulation,” Dr. Patricia Molina, the study’s lead author, wrote.
In their study, for 17 weeks they would administer one dose of THC daily in monkeys that were infected with an animal form of the virus. During this time, damage to immune tissue in the primates’ stomachs, one of the most common areas in the body for HIV infection to spread, decreased.
Additional marijuana success stories
Still not convinced that there are seriously awesome medical benefits to the cannabis plant?
Below are some additional stories that you can spend some time reading in order to educate yourself, and others about the many benefits of marijuana.
Head over to Anti-Media and read their story about how a 9 year old autistic boy gained the ability to speak after just 2 days of cannabis oil treatment.
“I’d rather be illegally alive, than legally dead” said 15-year-old Coltyn Turner, who uses cannabis oil to treat his Chron’s disease and has went from hospital beds to Colorado mountaintops.
There’s also the story of 6 year old Charlotte Figi, who uses marijuana to treat her epilepsy and seizures. She went from 50 seizures per night to zero after her first dose of high CBD.
Again, these are just a few of the countless stories that you can read which show the great medical benefits of marijuana.
Don’t forget to do your own research to find additional marijuana facts, using this article as your starting point to liberation of the mind.
Stop listening to the anti-marijuana propaganda that’s been pushed since the 1930’s.
Do not shut your mind off to new knowledge, and don’t forget to spread the good word about natures greatest healing plant.
Helping dispensaries grow online business
For those who don’t know, I built the WordPress plugin, WP Dispensary, which is a menu management plugin for dispensaries. Today I released version 1.4.
For more information, check out the release notes.
I also recently built and released an add-on for WPD called Dispensary Coupons, which lets you – you guessed it – easily add coupons for your menu. You can read the release notes for that here.