5 Illnesses That Can Be Treated With Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states in the U.S. and that number is likely to increase in 2018. With a recommendation from a certified medical marijuana doctor, patients can obtain marijuana from a legal dispensary in their state and benefit from the many medicinal purposes of this drug. Curious about which illnesses can be effectively treated with medical marijuana? Here are just five of them.

Asthma

Asthma is a common condition for many adults in the United States and can have a severe impact on quality of life and levels of activity. Those with asthma may have trouble breathing during certain seasons, when they become stressed or engage in too much physical activity, or on an everyday basis.

Though it may seem counterintuitive to use a smoked substance to reduce asthma symptoms, cannabis has been shown to have numerous benefits to those suffering from the affliction. Cannabis expands bronchial passageways and has the opposite effect of tobacco by improving air flow. Because airways tend to close off due to inflammation, the notorious anti-inflammatory effects of medical marijuana can be very beneficial. If patients prefer not to smoke marijuana or if they find that smoking it increases their symptoms, they have a number of other options including vaporizing, edibles and oils that can also be highly beneficial.

Crohn’s Disease

A chronic inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease impacts the quality of life of more than 700,000 people in the United States. This disease can affect any section of the gastrointestinal tract and result in symptoms ranging from chronic diarrhea and food intolerances, and can even have negative effects on the skin, eyes, and joints.

Many people who have Crohn’s do not respond well to conventional treatments or have intensely adverse reactions to immunosuppressant drugs. If those with the disease do not properly treat it, they can be faced with long-term problems that result from their inability to absorb the necessary nutrients to keep their bodies running.

Medical marijuana’s anti-inflammatory effect not only treats the symptoms of Crohn’s, but can also limit and even reverse the intestinal inflammation that may lead to long-term issues. The naturally occurring endocannabinoids in marijuana are potent inflammation-fighters and can often be the answer for those who have struggled with traditional medications.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is a debilitating and heartbreaking disease that results in an impaired memory as well as an inability to take care of oneself. Traditionally a disease that affects those over 65 years of age, there are many documented cases of early onset Alzheimer’s that can occur in patients as young as 27. Research has shown that Alzheimer’s is a result of a buildup of neural plaques that cause the memory and other symptoms that patients suffer from. Research has shown that the use of medical marijuana can slow down the production of these plaques and slow the spread of the disease.

In addition to slowing down the formation of plaques, the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in medical marijuana can also reduce inflammation that affects nerve cell flow to the brain. CBD, the non-psychoactive chemical compound in marijuana, can also prevent cell death while cannabinoids can stimulate new cell growth. To top it all off, the use of medical marijuana can provide a calming effect that many Alzheimer’s patients find soothing.

AIDS

The result of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), AIDS in an incurable auto-immune disease that eventually becomes fatal. As AIDS progresses, symptoms increase and can range from flu-like symptoms, lack of appetite, fatigue, and a susceptibility to other illnesses as the body’s immune system shuts down. Though nothing can cure AIDS, cannabis can help manage many of the symptoms and also help AIDS patients endure the side effects of the antiviral drugs that prolong their lives.

The use of medical marijuana has been shown to reduce pain levels by up to 34% in the cases of AIDS sufferers. It can also help stimulate appetite, reduce the nausea caused by antiviral drugs and can even help block the spread of the HIV virus.

Epilepsy

A nerve cell disorder that primarily affects the brain, epilepsy causes seizures in more than 200,000 people in the United States. An incurable condition, epilepsy can cause seizures ranging from mild and infrequent to severe and frequent. Though some medications and even surgery have proven effective in treating epilepsy, many sufferers struggle to find treatments that work to suppress their seizures and not cause a multitude of unwanted side effects.

The non-psychoactive CBD is the component that has the strongest effect on reducing the number and intensity of seizures in those with epilepsy. The terpenes present in medical marijuana have also proven to have an effect on treating seizures. As with many conditions, medical marijuana can be used in accordance with prescription drugs to treat epilepsy, magnifying the effects of both treatments and reducing many of the side effects that come from prescription drugs.

Those who live in a state with legalized medical marijuana can often be approved for the use of the drug by working with a medical marijuana doctor. After going through their medical history and current symptoms, a medical marijuana doctor can write a recommendation that the patient can then use to obtain a medical marijuana card and buy legal marijuana at an approved dispensary. If you have one of the above illnesses or another condition you think could be treated with medical marijuana, check the specific laws in your state and arrange to see a medical marijuana doctor for further information.