Humans have been using marijuana for medical purposes for thousands of years. In fact, the Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi references marijuana as a popular medicine way back in 2900 BC. Since then it has been used all over the world for its healing powers and many historical and literary references have been made documenting its potency and its related benefits.
Today marijuana is increasingly used to help alleviate the pain from many chronic and debilitating conditions. There is distinct scientific knowledge of the medical uses of marijuana for various diseases as well as very strong evidence supporting the benefits of cannabis for the nausea and vomiting associated with cancer, chemotherapy, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and other such illnesses. For many other conditions, there is less scientific evidence to support medicinal benefits. Often times this is simply because the studies haven’t been conducted yet. It in no way negates the positive benefits experienced by thousands of users — it just means that the benefits of medical marijuana are still being discovered.
Medical Benefits of Marijuana
Here are some of the debilitating conditions that have been treated successfully with medical marijuana:
Nausea and vomiting — Cannabis has been shown to drastically reduce symptoms and increase appetite.
Anorexia and cachexia — The appetite-enhancing properties of cannabis help patients maintain a stable body weight.
Movement disorders — Positive results have been documented in Tourette’s syndrome, dystonia, multiple sclerosis, and tardive dyskinesia.
Pain — Large-scale clinical studies have proven that cannabis has analgesic properties. It has been successfully used to lessen pain associated with cancer, HIV/AIDS, headaches, menstrual cramps, chronic bowel inflammation, and multiple sclerosis.
Glaucoma — Cannabis has been shown to reduce intraocular pressure by an average of 25% – 30%.
Epilepsy — Studies have shown that cannabis provides an antiepileptic effect on some animals. Although studies on humans haven’t been conducted, many patients use medical marijuana to control epileptic seizures.
Psychiatric symptoms — Clinical studies have shown cannabis to help improve mood in many reactive depression patients. Medical marijuana has also been used to treat anxiety, sleep, and bipolar disorders.
Autoimmune diseases and inflammation — Cannabis has been used as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory for symptoms stemming from ulcerative colitis, arthritis, and allergies.
Other symptoms — Marijuana has also been used to treat a range of symptoms that aren’t easily categorized, including chronic hiccups, pruritus, high blood pressure, tinnitus, attention deficit syndrome, and chronic fatigue syndrome.