Marijuana use has been a controversial topic for many years now, and it still is today. Some people feel that the plant has medicinal properties while others want it legalized so that they can use it to relax and unwind. However, that story is for another time and place. Back to the topic at hand, many studies have shown that medical marijuana is beneficial to patients with particular conditions.
Firstly, let’s define the term medical marijuana. It is the process of using the unprocessed marijuana plant or its extracts to treat illnesses and conditions. As of now, the Food and Drug Administration, also commonly called the FDA, has only approved one cannabis-derived and three cannabis-related products. Why? Well, the organization reviews each drug with a fine tooth comb to make sure they are safe for humans. Hopefully, with more research, more approved cannabis substances will become available shortly.
What Are The Approved Types Of Medical Marijuana?
People dealing with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome can get a doctor to prescribe them Epidiolex. It is a purified substance derived from marijuana known as cannabidiol or CBD for short. This drug is available to patients 2-years of age and up. It is designed to improve an individual’s quality of life. These persons have seizures one or more times a day, and they can even be life-threatening. Epidiolex helps control the episodes.
The FDA has also approved Marinol and Syndros. It contains the active ingredient dronabinol, which is a synthetic delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol. In layman’s terms, it contains a synthetic form of THC, the psychoactive ingredient of cannabis. The drug is for the treatment of weight loss and anorexia in AIDS patients. Also, there is Cesamet. It contains nabilone, which is synthetically derived with a chemical structure similar to THC as well. This approved medication is used to treat severe nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
More Studies Must Be Conducted
There are many scholars, researchers, and everyday citizens that believe medical marijuana can be beneficial for more than what the FDA has approved. For instance, in one cell study, researchers discovered that cannabis slowed the progress of protein deposits in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients. Nobody knows what causes the disease for sure, but scientists think these proteins are related to the issue. The research revealed that those with Alzheimer’s benefited from the plant’s chemicals by gaining weight and lessening their agitation too.
Medical marijuana also proved to be useful in a small study of 58 patient’s with arthritis. It reduced their pain level and helped them sleep better throughout the night. Don’t stop reading just yet as there is much more to learn here. Another study concluded that cannabinoids could be used to treat inflammatory disease as well as the chronic pain that comes along with it.
The cure for cancer may even be closer to home than people think. Some research with animals has shown that certain marijuana extracts might kill particular cancer cells. Meanwhile, a two-year study of rats and mice showed that THC improved the effectiveness of radiation on cancer cells. Another investigation found that the extracts may stop the growth of cancer cells altogether. Other conditions that medical marijuana may be useful for include but are not limited to…
- Chron’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
While more human and animal trials need to take place, it appears that scientists are on the right track. The FDA needs to be more vigilant in its testing to get approved medical marijuana solutions into the hands of those that need them. By looking at all of the information here, it is easy to see that the benefits to date far outweigh the cons.