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7 Medical Conditions That Can Be Treated with Medical Marijuana

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Medical marijuana has proven to be a successful solution for many medical conditions. Animal and test-tube studies have shown positive results, too. Hence, the use of marijuana in the medical industry has increased in recent years. The National Survey of Drug Use and Health found that the usage of marijuana among adults has increased in the last few decades. However, not every medical condition can be treated with marijuana. So, we have curated a list of a few medical conditions that can be treated with the consumption of marijuana and have the maximum success rate.

1. Chronic pain

One of the most widely recognised applications of medical marijuana is in pain management. Chronic pain, whether stemming from arthritis, neuropathy, or other conditions, can be relentless. Popular medical marijuana clinics such as MMJ Health are now recommending marijuana usage as it has been proven to be beneficial by different studies and research. Gold-standard randomised clinical trials have shown that cannabis can reduce pain by a substantial 40% in individuals dealing with peripheral neuropathy, spinal cord injuries, HIV, cancer, and more. Even arthritic lab rats found solace in cannabis in a recent Canadian study. The anecdotal feedback from older adults in a 2019 Colorado survey speaks positively. About 79% reported that cannabis helped tackle arthritis and back pain. Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds found in cannabis that interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system to modulate pain perception.

2. Anxiety and stress

In today’s fast-paced era, anxiety, depression, and stress have become unwelcome companions for many.  A recent survey revealed that 1 in 5 older adults turned to cannabis to lift low moods and calm chronic tension, with over 90 percent reporting positive outcomes. Marijuana strains with higher CBD levels can alleviate symptoms of anxiety disorders. Users report a sense of relaxation without the psychoactive effects typically associated with THC. A 2018 survey highlighted mixed success for depression – immediate relief but potential long-term challenges. Anxiety, on the other hand, seems to find a formidable opponent in carefully chosen cannabis strains, reducing the use of benzodiazepines by a significant amount in a 2018 study. 

3. Sleep disorder or insomnia

For sleep-deprived souls tossing and turning at night, medical marijuana might be the answer. Many who suffer from sleepless nights often explore the potential of medical marijuana. While the National Academies rate the scientific proof as only “moderate”, a significant 86 percent of individuals in a recent survey claimed that marijuana helped them sleep better. THC and CBD can improve sleep, particularly for those who are suffering from conditions like pain, sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and anxiety. However, it is essentially important to understand the delicacies of cannabis consumption. Seek professional help for the correct dosage and balance. 

4. Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex neurological condition. The most common symptoms are muscle spasms or chronic pain. Medical marijuana, particularly oral sprays like Sativex, has been approved in some regions for managing MS-related symptoms. Up to 66 percent of people with the deliberating effects of multiple sclerosis may be turning to cannabis, with scientific support for its ability to reduce muscle spasms. Many research centres are even gearing up to test experimental medications like a liquid plant extract with THC and CBD. 

5. Cancer pain

When it comes to cancer pain and the side effects of treatment, medical marijuana stands out as a compassionate companion. It helps effectively alleviate nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and weight loss associated with cancer therapy. Marijuana has proven its efficacy in managing specific symptoms in patients undergoing challenging treatments.

6. Epilepsy and seizure disorders

For individuals with epilepsy, especially those who haven’t responded well to traditional treatments, medical marijuana has been a ray of hope. The FDA has also approved a CBD-based medication, Epidiolex, for the treatment of certain types of epilepsy. There is much other ongoing research that shows the potential of cannabinoids in the treatment of epilepsy. The anecdotal evidence has proved that cannabis can reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures. 

7. Inflammatory bowel disease

Conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can ruin the digestive system, leading to chronic pain and inflammation. Medical marijuana contains anti-inflammatory properties that offer a natural way to manage these conditions. Cannabinoids can modulate the immune system, soothing inflammation and providing relief to those battling with inflammatory conditions. 

Other conditions

Beyond the highlighted conditions, medical marijuana is finding its way into the lives of older adults dealing with migraines, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and glaucoma. Some studies even show promise. For migraines, cannabis has demonstrated a reduction in frequency and intensity. In Israel, a survey of 2,700 older patients provided positive feedback for pain reduction in patients who have Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ulcerative colitis. However, experts often recommend not relying solely on marijuana for glaucoma, where patients should stick to proven treatments like eye drops. 

Final thoughts

While marijuana has become a ray of hope for many medical treatments, it is still going through much research and study. Many have even unlocked the potential benefits and medical solutions of marijuana and its properties. But it is always recommended to get a professional consultation before consuming medical marijuana to ensure a safe and informed journey.

Samantha Green, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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