While some of us know it as marijuana, others know it as ganja, weed, Indian hemp, or even some other things. However you prefer to call it, the plant has been a very controversial one over the years. This has led to its banning in many countries of the world. In fact, it is only recently that it is made legal in places like South Africa, some states in the United States, and other parts of the world.
Interestingly enough, even as those against it have their own valid argument, there are actually diseases cured by marijuana. In fact, science has gone through some of these diseases and has seen that actually, cannabis has the needed properties to cure them. What is not surprising is the fact that for many years, cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes. Two main properties, the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is its psychoactive (brain function-affecting) compound and CBD (cannabidiol) have been found to help as regards the medicinal function of the drug.
Here are some diseases cured by Marijuana:
One of the diseases that has remained somewhat of a mystery to man, it has been found that Marijuana or at least, the oil from it is able to cure one from some types of cancer. So far, it has been used to treat brain cancer, melanoma, skin, lung, and other forms of cancer.
The way cancer survives and gets to spread in the human body is through the multiplication of the cancer cells. Nevertheless, with the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), property of marijuana, it can stop the cancer cells from spreading and it can as well kill them. For those undergoing chemotherapy, cannabis has as well been found to help in preventing accompanying nausea.
I know that all of us have been led to believe that AIDS has no cure. While that is very true, Marijuana has been found with the properties to help in controlling it as it has a lot of benefits.
In fact, the weed has been found that through its THC which is one of its most important properties of the plant, to lessen HIV’s damage in the gut of monkeys after they were used to test. It is found that this damage is one of the things that aids the disease to progress very fast.
Also, with less neuropathic pain, it is also pointed out that marijuana helps suffers of HIV to live better lives as it improves their sleep and eating habit. More so, neurocognitive disorders which are common with sufferers of HIV are controlled by cannabis.
This is another ailment that marijuana has been found to help in controlling. The chemical constituent of cannabis, CBD (cannabidiol) has shown a lot of promise in the treatment of epilepsy as well as the reduction of the number of frequency of attacks. Seizures caused by epilepsy are triggered by disturbances in particular regions of the human brain circuitry which results in an electrical activity. This is where marijuana comes as very important as it is able to help in preventing such seizures by stopping the electrical activity in the brain.
This chemical substance has been found to be very useful in controlling conditions such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) in children and adults and Dravet syndrome in children, both of which are epilepsy syndromes.
With claims that 1 in 26 people in the united states are affected by epilepsy and even more would experience seizures in a lifetime, studies have shown thus far, that clinical marijuana may be able to help by over 50%.
Over the years Glaucoma has been seen to return as a very serious condition that may require surgery to correct. It damages the eye’s optic nerve and has been one to now be one of the most dominant causes of blindness.
Marijuana has been found to play a very important role in this disease thanks to the THC substance which is able to help in reducing pressure on the eyes. It is this pressure that leads to eye damage. The effect that the weed has on a person’s eyes is said to last for 3-4 hours. In this time, it helps in reducing the pressure on the eye.
The only problem found here is that just as it reduces the pressure on eyes, so also it reduces blood pressure which may cause less blood supply to the eye and may lead to a damage of optic nerves.
5. Alzheimer’s Disease
With close to 1.5 million cases per year in places such as Nigeria, this disease is very common. It affects the normal function of one as it causes memory loss and other cognitive abilities most especially as one begins to age. It has been found that Marijuana is able to slow the progress of this disease.
More so, it has been found to have a positive impact as regards the agitated behavior that comes with Alzheimer, just as it helps sufferers to gain weight. Studies have shown that by 2050, 1 in every 8 people will suffer from this disease. Hopefully, this plant that is found to reduce protein in the brain which scientists have suspected to be among the causes of this disease, may provide a way out.
6. Type 2 Diabetes
Among people suffering from diabetes, cannabis has been found to be very helpful, even though it still has its own downside. One of the main reasons why it is important is that it stabilizes blood sugar. More so, it helps prevent obesity just as it helps in lowering blood pressure over time which is all important in controlling diabetes. Obesity for example, has been found to increase the risk of diabetes by 80 to 85 percent.
Also, diabetic neuropathic pain has been found to be reduced significantly after taking marijuana. This, however, is only on the short-term basis.
The problem with marijuana for diabetic people is that it improves your appetite, making you want to eat some more, which may turn around and increase your blood sugar level.
This is one of the diseases cured by Marijuana or controlled by it. Nevertheless, it is important to point out that it has also provided contradictory reports across various studies. In the US, asthma sufferers are said to be above 20 thousand as at 2015. Globally, however, it is a rather popular disease.
It is said to mostly help against exercise-induced asthma. This is as it helps in opening up the airways due to its delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta9-THC) property. Nevertheless, some people have been found to report an opposite reaction to the drug.
This is one condition that although is popular, it still remains poorly understood. The joint disorder which is found to affect over 54.4 million adults in the United States alone is characterized by inflammation of the joints and it is used to refer to close to 200 rheumatic diseases that affect the joint.
While there is no known cure for the disease, Marijuana is able to significantly reduce the pains experience, thereby also improving sleep. What is even more interesting is that it is found to relief pains 20 times more than aspirin.
Apart from controlling and reducing pains, there have been a lot of suggestions proven by some research works that other diseases cured by marijuana may include erectile dysfunction, Crohn’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, and many more. Nevertheless, there are some instances whereby the drug has returned contradictory reports in different studies.
Downside of Marijuana
Having stated the health benefits of marijuana, it is also important to point out that cannabis also has its downside, which is the main reason why it is still illegal in many countries of the world. Globally, there are as much as 158.8 million people using marijuana as noted by the United Nations. This is much higher than the number of people smoking tobacco.
While there are some who take it for health benefits, many others take it for recreational purpose. Here are some of the downside of the use of cannabis:
- Marijuana Is Addictive
The drug has been found to be very addictive. It has been found that 1 in every 9 people who take the substance are likely to get addicted.
- Increased risk of depression
It has been proven through a research work that marijuana is able to increase the risk of depression most especially among people who are in the vulnerability line. This means that it may cause those with a history of mental illness to be depressed.
This is the most known downside of marijuana. People that take plenty of the drug experience conflicting memory or temporary memory loss and hallucinations among other things.
- Smoke and lungs
Because it contains a high concentration of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which is also found in tobacco, it has been found that it could as well lead to problems with the lungs.
- Other health challenges
Marijuana can also affect the health in a number of ways. It has the possibility of lowering blood pressure which may cause different problems to one. In the same light, it can increase your heartbeat by up to 20 or even 100 percent which is not good for cardiovascular health.
Legality of Marijuana
- There are many countries that still consider marijuana illegal. More than half of the states in the United States have allowed the sale of the drug for recreational use.
- It has been argued that making it legal can lead to an increase in revenue for different countries, and there are those that argue that making it legal will make it safer and cheaper.
- Being caught with marijuana in places where it is illegal may have you spending some time behind bars or paying some specified fees. Driving under influence is considered a greater crime than being caught smoking.