Cannabis for medical usage
By Canncentral Editor
Cannabis is all over the news; whether it be a debate about legalization or celebrities waxing lyrical about their flirts with cannabis. Marijuana, at the moment is front page news.
Everyone is aware of the pros and cons of recreational cannabis, but how many people are fully clued up on the other use for the weed; its medicinal properties?
Actual scientific research into this area of cannabis use may be limited. However, there is plenty of evidence based data and peer reviewed studies carried out to merit further exploration.
There are several areas of medicine where cannabis is thought to have shown medical benefits:
Anyone who has experienced the ‘munchies’ will appreciate that both cannabis and dronabinol (Marinol), cause an increase in the appetites of people suffering from AIDS-related anorexia. Cannabis could also be responsible for increasing the CD4+ cells in patients infected with HIV.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, progressively kills the nerve cells that control voluntary movements, eventually leading to death. The synthetic cannabinoid, Naboline, can reduce the pain of those suffering from ALS. Additionally, cannabis can help with loss of appetite, drooling, pain, depression and spasticity associated with ALS.
Despite being less effective than Megace (megestrol acetate), Dronabinol helps to fight against anorexia and weight loss that results from cancer. Even more so, Dronabinol and the cannabis based spray Oromucosal, can help ease the pain of cancer patients. It may also help ease the nausea and vomiting that comes with chemotherapy.
It may be possible that Marijuana reduces the severity of symptoms from flare-ups caused by Crohn’s, an inflammatory disease of the bowels. Marijuana may also make a contribution to remission of the disease.
It has been shown that Cannabis helps reduce the frequency of epilepsy seizures for people who are resistant to medication therapy.
Some of the symptoms attributed to fibromyalgia may be alleviated by consuming cannabis. In addition, there is research suggesting that nabilone may help to alleviate pain and anxiety that comes with the disease.
Glaucoma affects the optical nerve and can lead to you losing vision and eventually total blindness. Damage takes place because of increased intraocular pressure. Research has shown that THC, marijuana’s active ingredient, may relieve intraocular pressure.
Nabilone and Dronabinol are two synthetic cannabinoids that could aid anorexia. They also may be responsible for reducing nausea that comes from taking the Hepatitis C medications Ribavirin and Interferon.
Cannabis may also help patients to stick with drug regimens and possibly cause improvement in virologic responses of people taking hepatitis drugs. All in all, cannabis can make taking hepatitis drugs much easier.
Cannabis, along with nabilone and cannabidiol oromucosal spray could aid pain relief and spasticity that results from multiple sclerosis. An autoimmune disease, Multiple sclerosis affects the spinal cord and brain, eventually leaving people unable to walk.
Oromucosal spray derived from cannabis may help with the alleviation of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. It can even help reduce the activity of the disease.
Psychosis and depression have not been included on this list of conditions for two reasons. Firstly, there is limited research on the benefits of cannabis for dealing with these two conditions. Secondly, a dichotomy exists in how people view cannabis and mental illness. Some people believe that cannabis is a cure for mental illness, others believe as strongly that it is a cause.
Until there is proper detailed research into the medical benefits of cannabis, this dichotomy will remain.