Top Health Benefits of Using Medical Cannabis

medical cannabis

Medicinal marijuana is being used to help people with many different health conditions. Some states have legalized it to treat diseases like glaucoma, nausea caused by chemotherapy, and weight loss associated with HIV/AIDS.

The FDA has approved a prescription medicine that contains an artificial cannabinoid called Dronabinol (Marinol) to treat cancer-related nausea and vomiting. They have also supported a drug that treats rare types of seizures that are difficult to control with existing medications.

Relieves Pain

Pain relief is the primary reason most patients seek medical cannabis in Portland, ME. It activates binding sites on nerves and brain cells to decrease pain perception. It does so without the negative side effects of many prescription drugs, such as addiction or overdose.

In randomized clinical trials considered the gold standard, scientists observed that people suffering from severe health issues such as nerve pain from diabetes or spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, cancer, nausea from chemotherapy, muscle and joint problems from HIV, and rheumatoid arthritis, experienced a 40% reduction in pain after consuming cannabis. Participants reported significant improvements in eight aspects of their lives using a standardized questionnaire measuring the quality of life.

The FDA has approved two specific products containing purified CBD, called Epidiolex and Tevatronix, for the treatment of rare forms of epilepsy. These medicines are available only through a doctor’s prescription and can be administered as pills, oil drops, or sprays.

Reduces Anxiety

Many people with anxiety and stress disorders report that medical cannabis helps to reduce their symptoms. This is especially true for those who have not found relief with existing pharmaceutical medications like benzodiazepines, which can have serious side effects, including addiction.

THC and CBD are two of the main compounds in cannabis that have been shown to help with anxiety. However, terpenes also have a powerful effect on pressure. For instance, limonene and pinene bind to the receptors in the brain that help with relaxation.

If you are considering trying cannabis to reduce your anxiety, it is best to consult with a trained dispensary staff member. They can offer guidance based on your symptoms and recommend a product that will work for you. 

Improves Sleep

Many medical cannabis users report improved sleep as a side effect of using cannabis to treat anxiety and depression. In one study examining substitutions of cannabis for other medications, people said the highest relief in insomnia symptoms was when replacing antidepressants and benzodiazepines with cannabis.

CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors to increase levels of sleep-promoting adenosine and reduce the brain’s arousal system, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. THC is also thought to help patients with chronic pain conditions, like fibromyalgia, obstructive sleep apnea, and multiple sclerosis, who suffer from sleep disturbances.

Choosing the right type of cannabis is important for improving sleep. Indica is thought to be more calming and may produce feelings of relaxation and sleepiness, while sativa can be stimulating and might produce feelings of euphoria for some patients. Try keeping a cannabis journal to understand your preferences and work with a medical marijuana consultant to find the ideal dose for you.

Reduces Seizures

Researchers aren’t sure exactly how marijuana (Cannabis sativa) helps to prevent seizures. Still, they believe it may slow the sending of messages from nerve cells in the brain or change calcium levels that affect signals between neurons. It may also reduce inflammation.

A case study of 10 children with intractable epilepsy showed that their seizure frequency fell by an average of 86% after taking whole-plant medicinal cannabis. They also reduced their use of seven anti-epileptic medicines to one, which saved them a total of PS874 per month in pharmaceutical costs, and they were free from serious adverse effects.

Other studies have shown that people who use medical cannabis use 14% fewer prescription drugs and are 36% less likely to visit emergency rooms or be admitted to hospitals. However, the authors of this study note that more funding and clinical trials are needed to identify specific conditions that are helped by medicinal cannabis.

Reduces Nausea

Cannabis has been shown to significantly reduce nausea in gold-standard randomized clinical trials for multiple conditions, including cancer chemotherapy, HIV-related wasting syndrome, and gastrointestinal disorders such as PTSD-related GI distress, Crohn’s disease, and IBS. It is also reported to help AIDS-related fatigue and to increase appetite in patients who have trouble eating.

Inhalation methods such as smoking or vaping tend to produce the quickest effects for those who are experiencing acute nausea and need immediate relief. But for those who want to avoid the harmful toxins, an oral tincture (a solution of glycerin or alcohol with medical marijuana that is absorbed under the tongue) or edibles can work just as well and may take longer to kick in.

The FDA has approved the cannabinoids cannabidiol (Epidolex) for two kinds of severe epilepsy and dronabinol (Marinol, Syndros) to treat nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy or AIDS. These medications have been more effective than conventional anti-nausea drugs.

Reduces Depression

Depression is a type of mood disorder that can result in various symptoms. These symptoms may include low self-esteem, loss of interest in activities, changes in sleep patterns (such as insomnia or hypersomnia), weight changes (either loss of appetite or overeating), and feelings of sadness and guilt. Medical cannabis has been found to alleviate some of these symptoms.

This is due to the action of THC and CBD on the brain, which increases serotonin levels. Serotonin is the ‘feel good’ hormone and makes us happier.

Several research studies have shown that people with depression who use medicinal cannabis report feeling better than those who don’t. Medicinal cannabis may also help to control anxiety and improve sleep. Anxiety is the second most common condition for which people are prescribed medicinal cannabis in Australia. However, there is still limited scientific evidence of the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis for anxiety disorders.