It is a well-known fact that Cannabis sativa plants can be used to treat various medical conditions. Therefore, many countries have legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. In the United States, 33 states and Washington DC have legalized the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Unfortunately, not all cannabis-based medicines have been approved by the FDA which is why pharmacists cannot recommend its use. However, hopefully, the situation will change thanks to countless studies that are being conducted in order to examine the health benefits of marijuana.
Health Effects of Marijuana
Medical uses of marijuana vary from treating glaucoma to helping reduce seizures among children suffering from epilepsy. It has been proven that cannabidiol(CBD), a chemical component in cannabis helps treat syndromes which cause childhood epilepsy like Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Smoking marijuana reportedly decreases intraocular pressure which is why it is used to treat and prevent glaucoma. However, the effects are short-term and last up to several hours.
Cannabis is also used to alleviate nerve pain and it is even claimed to be more effective than traditional medicines currently in use. Apart from helping with nerve pain, marijuana is often used to help with muscle spasms and to relax muscles in general.
Additionally, cannabidiol or CBD, a chemical component of cannabis, can help with issues such as skin disease and anxiety. It can also help people who experience sleep problems like insomnia. One of the most important health effects of cannabidiol is the ability to treat inflammation. CBD can help with inflammatory, neuropathic, and chronic pain.
Another relevant health effect of CBD rich marijuana is the potential to prevent one of the deadliest diseases of the age we live in- cancer. Marijuana possesses anti-cancerogenic properties and prevents the spreading of cancer.
Health problems like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can also be treated with marijuana. Medical evidence suggests that cannabis can relieve symptoms and improve the overall quality of life.
Marijuana as a Cure for Migraines
Research conducted so far suggests that using marijuana can help with migraines, a common health problem the modern society faces. Migraines are characterized by throbbing pain, light/sound sensitivity, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, etc. Migraines are often followed by vomiting and people experiences migraines endure incredible pain and discomfort. Marijuana can help reduce these symptoms.
The reason why marijuana works this way is that our brain and our bodies contain a network of cannabinoid receptors which are responsible for the physical and psychological effects of cannabis that we feel. Scientists have discovered the endocannabinoid system in our bodies while trying to understand how marijuana affects us.
When we use marijuana, cannabinoids from the cannabis plant search for the receptors in our bodies. As a result, this reduces the pain caused by migraine.
A study was conducted which included 121 participants and showed that marijuana has a positive impact on migraine frequency.
The goal of the study was to describe the effects of marijuana on the frequency of migraines. Patients were recommended to use marijuana and the results of the study revealed that migraine frequency was cut in half in most cases.
How to Use It?
Patients who participated in the study smoked marijuana. According to them, edibles containing marijuana did not help alleviate the pain.
Marijuana can also be used in the form of oils and pills. However, it appears that inhaling the smoke is the best way to use it in this case.
Forty-eight patients reported positive effects of marijuana (39.7%).
However, further research and clinical trials are necessary in order to establish how exactly does marijuana help reduce migraines as well as to determine which formulations and doses of marijuana should be used.