Medical marijuana is the use of the marijuana plant or its extracts to treat disease and alleviate symptoms. The big news is medical marijuana is now legal in 25 states, and research points to the fact that use of medical marijuana is saving lives. Let’s find out how.
Medical marijuana has reduced opiate-related deaths
Marijuana is effective in treating chronic pain, for which patients used to get opiate prescriptions. Opiates are addictive with high chances of death due to overdose. Instead of obtaining illegally obtained opioids which are extra riskier, patients are finding relief with medical marijuana through medical marijuana dispensaries.
Unlike Opiates, pot has no risk of fatal overdose. A study by the University of California in partnership with the RAND Corporation shows that there is a less opioid addiction in states that have legalized medical marijuana.
States with medical marijuana dispensaries have the lowest cases of opioid addictions and opioid overdose deaths. That is not the case for other countries where medical marijuana is considered illegal. Medical marijuana enables doctors not to overprescribe opiates like Vicodin or oxycodone which have a high degree of addiction. In essence, this is lifesaving because opiates overdose claims tens of thousands of lives every year. No one has ever died from marijuana overdose.
Medical cannabis relieves cancer symptoms
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world. Recent studies conducted show that medical marijuana extracts can help cure cancer cells and prevent the disease from spreading. If the survey is anything to go by, patients using medical marijuana have a higher chance of living cancer free.
Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy usually suffer a loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms can quickly lead to other health problems. Medical marijuana has been a successful prescription for alleviating such symptoms in cancer patients. The FDA approves two cannabinoid drugs dronabinol and nabilone for the treatment of chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting.
Marijuana heals PTSD and depression
PTSD has symptoms such as night terrors, hypervigilance, anxiety, and fear. According to data by the US National Center for PTSD, 7 out of every 100 people have PTSD, and 30,000 people commit suicides every year in the USA. Currently, medical marijuana is approved for prescription against PTSD. Medical marijuana contains two important compounds that have been known to treat PTSD effectively.
The compounds are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the primary psychoactive in cannabis. The two extracts from medical marijuana are useful in helping to deal with fear and anxiety. Medical marijuana has helped patients to manage the condition better. The result has been fewer suicides and alcoholism from the PTSD
Medical marijuana is assisting patients to cope with HIV/AIDS
Most HIV and AIDS patients suffer from significant weight loss. The cause of this is usually lack of appetite. Medical marijuana is prescribed to HIV patients to sustain their appetites and reduce nausea and vomiting. Good appetite gives patients a fighting chance against the condition since their bodies will be getting the much-needed nutrients from food. Some HIV/AIDS patients also use medical marijuana as a pain reliever instead of common addictive opiates.
Therapeutic marijuana can counter the effects of nicotine
Nicotine compels dependence. Stopping tobacco use causes withdrawal symptoms such as irritability and anxiety. Tobacco smokers are prone to heart diseases, stroke, and cancer. Medical marijuana is a life saver for nicotine addicts. Marijuana helps to reduce the carcinogenic effects of tobacco and preserve lung health. Studies show that medical marijuana has potential to boost lung capacity.
Medical cannabis reduces symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a condition that incapacities the central nervous system. This disorder is often fatal. Prescription drugs for MS are known to cause negative side effects like headaches and pain. Studies show that MS drugs can lead to heart conditions. Medical marijuana is used to reduce symptoms like muscle spasms, pain, tremors and bowel dysfunctions in MS patients.
Medical marijuana is being used to treat Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that increases pressure in the eyeball, damaging the optic nerve and causing blindness. Symptoms for Glaucoma include excessive pain, vomiting, nausea and visual distortion. Traditionally, the disease could only be cured by surgical procedures and medications that helped to reduce pressure on the eyeball.
Today, medical cannabis is used to reduce the intraocular pressure thus alleviating the pain and damage. Doctors can administer medical marijuana intravenously or orally to treat glaucoma.
The therapeutic use of marijuana has helped many patients cope with and protect themselves from many diseases. In truth, medical marijuana might be saving lives even more than we can see.