5 Health Conditions That Medical Cannabis Can Help Improve

5 Health Conditions That Medical Cannabis Can Help Improve

Marijuana for medicinal use is now legal in several U.S. states. It’s also all-natural with fewer drug interactions or side effects than pharmaceutical treatments. For these reasons, there has been an increased interest in using medical cannabis to treat a variety of conditions. If you’re interested in the benefits of medical cannabis, here are five health conditions that can be improved with marijuana.

1. Chronic Pain

One of the most popular reasons to seek medical cannabis treatment is chronic pain. This is mostly due to the fact that the human body is outfitted with the endocannabinoid system, and one of its responsibilities is pain regulation. Medical cannabis contains THC and CBD molecules, which bind to endocannabinoid neurons. This effectively reduces chronic pain associated with arthritis, cancer treatment, and injuries, without the risks associated with opioid-based pain management.

2. Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own nerves. It’s a progressive disease with no cure, but symptoms related to muscle control can be managed effectively with medical cannabis. According to a 2012 study, MS patients who were treated with an oral cannabis extract experienced a marked reduction in muscle pain and spasms compared to patients who received a placebo. They may also experience an overall reduction of pain, which can help improve their appetite or sleep quality.

3. Epilepsy

Epilepsy is characterized by recurring seizures, and people with severe cases are often limited in the types of activities they can safely perform, including driving, walking down stairs, looking after children, and more. CBD, one of the compounds found in medical marijuana, has been shown to reduce epileptic seizures in mice, and many epileptic patients report experiencing a reduction in seizure activity after medical cannabis treatment. While more research is needed to determine the exact nature of the relationship between cannabis and epilepsy, a growing number of doctors are recommending medical cannabis as an alternative or supplement to drug-based epilepsy treatment.

4. Anorexia

Anorexia is a psychological disorder characterized by an intense phobia of weight gain, and that fear often manifests in an aversion to food. Without treatment, this disorder can be fatal. Most doctors recommend therapy to address the mental triggers and negative self-image associated with anorexia. However, the appetite-boosting effects of cannabis are often harnessed to treat the behavioral side of anorexia. Medical cannabis helps motivate anorexic patients to consume more calories, gain weight, and reduce the negative health effects of long-term malnutrition. It can also reduce anxiety and promote calmness, which may curb the psychological effects of the disease.

5. Glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when your optic nerve sustains damage, reducing your visual acuity in the affected eye. In most cases, the optic nerve becomes damaged from excess fluid buildup. One of the side effects of marijuana use is a small reduction in blood pressure, which can help direct excess fluid away from the eyes. This can reduce the pressure placed on the optic nerve and preserve your vision health. However, research into the potential benefits of cannabis for glaucoma is still in its early stages, and most doctors recommend medical cannabis as a supplement or short-term solution to an existing treatment plan.