Gone are the days of simply smoking marijuana to get high. Botanists and growers have perfected the science behind “medical grade” cannabis and the body of evidence to support it is growing. Simply put: this ain’t your mama’s weed.
Glaucoma is an eye disability that affects people primarily in their senior years (ages 50 and older). Glaucoma is a chronic disease stemming from a phenomenon known as IOP, or intraocular pressure. The disease is marked by symptoms such as fuzzy and decreased vision, and blindness in severe and advanced cases.
The Glaucoma Research Foundation asserts that there is no evidence that medical marijuana can do better for glaucoma patients than commonly prescribed drugs that are already (legally) on the market nationwide. However, in the next breath, they also admit that no marijuana treatment studies for glaucoma have been performed by the National Eye Institute.
Marinol, a federally-approved synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol, is not indicated for glaucoma. Anecdotal evidence shows that, of course, medical marijuana treatments will relieve the anxiety that may surround some patients suffering from this eye disease. If you do choose cannabis as your primary or secondary therapy, others have recommended using high quality, highly concentrated forms of the drug for best results.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammation of the small and/or large intestine, with accompanying pain, cramping, tenderness, gas, fever, nausea, and diarrhea. Though usually mild, bleeding may occur and may sometimes be massive. Patients using medical cannabis for the relief of crohn’s disease report that it is very good at relieving painful cramps and also for increasing the appetite that is often lost with patients.
Crohn’s patients find the success with marijuana because it provides muscle-relaxing as well as appetite-inducing properties. It can be extremely effective for those who haven’t found success with prescription medications.
Cancer is a disease that can spread quickly throughout the body unless treatment is begun. The treatments for cancer can be extremely debilitating and cause many unwanted side effects.
Many activists of marijuana say that the plant has anti-bacterial properties and can inhibit tumor growth. Previously, marijuana was only useful in relieving nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy. However, new technology and looser laws on the drug have allowed for more testing to be done and cannabinoids found in marijuana have been found to fill a primary role in cancer treatment and prevention.
Prescription “marijuana-pills” have been available for prescription since 1985 under the name Dronabinol. These pills contain a synthetic form of the active ingredient THC, one of the psychoactive elements found in marijuana. They are prescribed for the use of treating nausea and vomiting for AIDS and cancer patients. The medications do not contain all of the cannabinoids found in raw cannabis buds, which is why many patients prefer smoking or eating marijuana instead. Many patients find that medicating with pure THC causes slight paranoia, which is a common side-effect of THC. When marijuana is smoked, the user is effected by not only the THC, but 400 chemical compounds and at least 66 cannabinoids. This causes a very different effect when combined with THC than when ingesting pure THC with the prescription medication pills.
Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis
Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, causes nerve cells to waste away and eventually die, causing the body to no longer be able to send messages to muscles. Naturally, this leads to extreme muscle degradation, twitching and an inability to move certain body parts. ALS progresses slowly, to the point where chest muscles being to fail, making it extremely difficult or impossible to breathe.
According to a study by Carter and Rosen in 2001, “marijuana should be considered in the pharmacological management of ALS.” Marijuana has been shown to possess strong neuroprotective and antioxidative effects which can extend the life of the neuronal cells. It can induce sleep which many ALS patients have a hard time achieving.
Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive form of post-senile dementia that often occurs later in life as natural brain degradation occurs. Common side effects of this disease include depression, paranoia, wandering, hallucinations, restlessness, irritability, uncharacteristic cursing, threatening language, and confusion. These can bear a heavy burden on the patient and those taking care of them. The effects can become so extreme that they interfere with normal daily functions and sleep. Marijuana has been proven to create anti-depressant like effects that help tremendously with many of these side effects.