For years, there has been a back-and-forth between advocates for both sides, for and against the health benefits of cannabis. The latter argues either there are no medical uses to be found in cannabis or that the risks far outweigh the benefits. Unfortunately, there are also enough pro-cannabis advocates arguing the hard-to-believe opposite: that cannabis is a cure-all with no negative side effects at all.
How can we, as normal, non-scientific humans and potential patients, figure out the truth? Well, there’s always the evidence. Though many reports supporting the viability of cannabis as a medical treatment are anecdotal, there is some scientific evidence as well, and together these tales paint a promising picture: Cannabis has a lot of potential.
The following are just six of the many ways cannabis has been shown to help people struggling with a wide range of medical conditions and symptoms.
Cannabis Can Help
Glaucoma causes increases in pressure in the eyeball, which can result in permanent damage to the optic nerve and blindness. This is one case where smoking cannabis is actually the best method of treatment, despite smoking generally being less than ideal.
Smoking cannabis temporarily lowers intraocular pressure, a fact discovered way back in the 1970s. The study sought to determine whether cannabis compounds could be made into eye drops or a similar topical treatment to ease glaucoma symptoms, but it was found that only smoking and oral consumption seem to do the trick.
Many people – most notably Whoopi Goldberg – swear by cannabis as a glaucoma treatment, though at this time smoking provides only temporary relief and must be repeated regularly. Even so, the ability to cut back on more damaging pharmaceuticals is often considered worth the effort.
The sedative qualities of cannabis can be helpful to people suffering from serious anxiety, and the plant has fewer and less concerning side effects than more traditional medications (one of which actually lists anxiety as a side effect).
It’s true that recreational cannabis is known for causing paranoia, which is akin to anxiety. In large doses, THC can exacerbate such conditions. However, low doses of THC are sedating and can encourage relaxation and relief from the grip of anxiety. Scientists do think the endocannabinoids in the brain could be responsible for anxiety, so it would make sense for a treatment that affects them to have both positive and negative effects, depending on various factors.
Many people name cannabis as the most helpful medication against anxiety they have found. Starting slowly, with a small dose of a low-THC strain taken in a place where you feel safe could help you relieve your anxiety, but this is certainly one to be careful with.
Perhaps the best-known health benefit of cannabis is its effect on seizures, and in this case the most famous evidence is anecdotal. It tells the story of a little girl with a rare form of treatment-resistant epilepsy, who had essentially stopped developing mentally due to suffering thousands of seizures each year. A special type of high CBD cannabis – with almost no THC to speak of – was developed just for her, and today her seizure frequency has been reduced by more than 95%.
Since this story gained widespread attention, numerous companies have immersed themselves in research and clinical trials to develop cannabis-based medications for epilepsy, though many people still prefer to use the pure plant.
Cannabis’ ability to ease spasticity can help more than just people with epilepsy. There is also considerable evidence of the plant’s ability to ease spasms in Multiple sclerosis patients and tremors in patients with Parkinson’s Disease.
- Chronic Pain
Chronic pain might be neck in neck with epilepsy when it comes to the most publicly popular (and socially acceptable) uses for medical cannabis. There are dozens of studies on the effect of cannabinoids on pain, and they are almost unanimous in their results: yes, cannabis can help alleviate chronic pain, both neuropathic and nociceptive.
The major benefits of using cannabis for pain management lie in what it doesn’t do; that is, it doesn’t cause fatalities. These days, we regularly hear about the dangers of pharmaceutical pain medications – primarily opioids – and the heartbreaking stories of people who become addicted to them. Not only is cannabis generally agreed to be less addictive, it cannot cause respiratory failure on its own, and has fewer other side effects, as well.
- Hepatitis C
There have been a few studies surrounding cannabis’ promise for people suffering from Hepatitis C. Both THC and CBD have been found to reduce inflammation and encourage the regeneration and healing of a damaged liver. Other side effects of cannabis like its anti-nauseant properties also help patients get by, making it somewhat easier for them to continue treatment.
Chances are you know someone who has used cannabis to help them deal with chemotherapy treatment. Almost every beneficial property we’ve already listed comes into play for people with cancer, who often face severe side effects caused by the very treatment curing them of the disease.
Not only can cannabis ease nerve pain, it can also calm the anxiety many patients experience, and ease nausea. Some medical professionals have cited cannabis as the only medication that both soothes the stomach and encourages appetite, the latter of which can be lifesaving to a person whose recovery is dependent on their continued strength.
But perhaps more promising than any of these benefits, recent animal studies have suggested cannabis might also be able to stop cancer in its tracks, by arresting metastasis (the spread of cancerous cells) and preventing the development of blood vessels the cells need to survive. Needless to say, the investigation into cannabis and cancer has only just begun.
Treat Your Illness with Cannabis
These six conditions represent only a few of the ways cannabis can make a positive difference in your life. If you are ready to take the plunge and try medical cannabis, growing your own is a good way to know exactly what went into your medicine. At Growers Choice, we sell more than 40 different cannabis seed strains, including popular choices like:
Check out the detailed product descriptions to find out what each cannabis seed strain is best suited to treat, and reach out to us with any questions! Quality cannabis seeds are a great way to get growing and access the incredible health benefits of cannabis.