In recent years, medicinal marijuana has made a larger impact in the healthcare industry and although it’s still not legal in every state, it has several proven benefits that help patients in many ways. “Medical Cannabis has a wide variety of therapeutic uses with little in the way of side effects or risk. Cannabis (THC, CBD, etc etc) is a very safe substance with few side effects and no lethal dose,” Rebecca Abraham RN BSN with Acute on Chronic, a medical cannabis clinic and education company tells Eat This, Not That! Health. Read on to learn the ways medicinal marijuana can be beneficial—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Abraham explains, “We have multiple studies that show cannabis (THC and CBD as well as other cannabinoids like CBG) can be effective for pain control. CBD and THC are both anti-inflammatory. Inflammation can cause pain and is seen in diseases like Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Arthritis, and Lupus. NSAIDs like Ibuprofen and Naproxen, can help control pain through anti-inflammatory mechanisms as well – but can have serious side effects with long-term use. For NSAIDs, long-term use is associated with a risk of GI bleeding, kidney damage, and an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. At this time, research has not identified these dangerous side effects associated with long-term use of CBD or THC, so cannabis can be an appropriate anti-inflammatory that can reduce the use of NSAIDs.
Cannabis has been shown to ease and control neuropathic and nerve pain. Cannabis when used in conjunction with opioids assists in making opioids feel stronger without increasing the circulating dose in the body. This can allow for lower dosages and frequency of opioid use and can be used to wean patients from opioids faster, with better pain control.
Cannabis has been known to help in complicated conditions like chronic non-malignant pain without cause and fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia and related pain processes can be very difficult to treat, but Fibromyalgia patients that used cannabis showed mild to moderate relief.”
“Patients with generalized anxiety disorder show improvement in some studies when using medical cannabis,” says Abraham. “Cannabis stimulates 5-HT (Serotonin) in our brains his is the neurotransmitter that makes us happy and is the same molecule Prozac and other SSRIs affect as well. There are also new studies showing cannabis helps with social anxiety and socialization in patients on the autism spectrum.”
According to Abraham, “Patients diagnosed with any stage of cancer can utilize cannabis to control symptoms caused by the disease or from the intense treatments. All clinical trials conducted on humans suggest a positive therapeutic potential in alleviating cancer pain. Data shows that the use of medical cannabis in addition to standard oncology care was well-tolerated and may lead to better pain control and lower opioid use.Cannabis can help patients experiencing nausea, vomiting, and decreased appetite. THC and CBD together have been shown to decrease nausea and vomiting.”
“Cannabis can reduce migraine and cluster headache days and pain severity,” Abraham states. “Patients that used cannabis for migraine pain experienced relief, and substituted opioids with cannabis. The terpenes found in the cannabis plant like beta-caryophyllene, also found in peppers, give cannabis its smell along with other terpenes and there has been research suggesting that beta-caryophyllene can help improve migraine symptoms.”
Abraham says, “Over 40 studies (including a handful of clinical trials) have been published that directly examined cannabis and its effects on patients with Parkinson’s disease. Five non-controlled trials and 4 non-controlled trials report positive effects on motor and non-motor symptoms respectively. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis were improved when patients used cannabinoids including spasticity, muscle stiffness, and walking ability within three months. Restless Leg Syndrome patients have shown relief with decreased movement and improved sleep with medical cannabis.”