5 Reasons to Use Marijuana

5 reasons to use marijuana
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The growing interest in marijuana and its medical uses is evident by the increasing number of news stories and research projects involving this controversial plant. Putting aside the negative side of marijuana use for now, here are five medical reasons to use marijuana and some of the research behind the claims.

Marijuana may benefit a great many patients

One: First on the list are the two main types of inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The latest research on this topic was published in Digestion and evaluated the use of marijuana in people with long-standing IBD.

Patients in the study smoked cannabis during the three-month treatment period. At the end of the trial, the patients reported an improvement in pain, general health, their ability to work, and depression. Patients also were able to gain weight, an important consideration for individuals with chronic IBD, who often lose weight and appetite.

This is not the first study to examine the potential role of marijuana in inflammatory bowel disease. In 2009, experts at Lancaster University explained the mechanisms by which marijuana components could benefit people who suffer with this disease.

Two: Obesity and type 2 diabetes, which typically go hand-in-hand, also have been the subject of marijuana research. Scientists in England have been exploring the use of two substances in the plant—THCV and cannabidiol—that can increase how many calories the body burns.

Although marijuana use can trigger the munchies, scientists have found that cannabidiol and THCV also can suppress the appetite for a short time as well as have increase metabolism and how the body responds to insulin. These features could make marijuana components important in fighting obesity and diabetes. Research into this possibility continues.

Three: Use of marijuana to help manage mental conditions is especially controversial, but some research points to its benefit in several conditions, including bipolar disorder. Several studies have shown that people with bipolar disorder who have used marijuana have better attention, working memory, verbal fluency, and processing speed when compared with people who did not use the drug.

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One study compared use of marijuana in patients with bipolar disorder and those with schizophrenia. Marijuana use was shown to be helpful in the areas mentioned above for bipolar patients but not for schizophrenic individuals.

Four: Effective treatment of multiple sclerosis and its symptoms remains a challenge, but several reports have indicated that use of marijuana may be helpful in relieving certain symptoms of the disease. One recent randomized, double-blind study that showed marijuana to be beneficial in relieving muscle stiffness was MUSEC (MUltiple Sclerosis and Extract of Cannabis).

Experts at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom found that marijuana extract capsules containing cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) taken over a three-month period resulted in improvement in muscle stiffness, muscle spasms, and sleep quality in about one-third of patients. Twenty-eight percent also reported pain relief.

Five: Chronic pain affects approximately 1.5 billion people around the world, according to a 2011 report from Global Industry Analysts Inc. Of these, 3 to 4.5 percent experience neuropathic pain, which is caused by damage or dysfunction of the nervous system and a difficult type of pain to treat. One of the benefits often reported by people who use marijuana for medicinal purposes is pain relief.

A number of studies have shown that marijuana helps relieve chronic pain, including neuropathic pain. At McGill University, for example, investigators found that 25 mg of marijuana with 9.4 percent THC used in a single inhalation three times daily for five days significantly reduced the intensity of pain when compared with placebo in patients who had chronic neuropathic pain. Patients also experienced significant improvements in anxiety and sleep.

In a new study at Oxford University, researchers reported they had found “new information about the neural basis of cannabis-induced pain relief.” By using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to evaluate the brains of healthy volunteers before and after taking tablets containing THC, they found that marijuana (THC specifically) has an effect on how people respond emotionally to pain rather than the severity of physical pain itself.

In an earlier study, researchers at the University of Edinburgh published their findings on a spray cannabis extract. They found that the spray marijuana helped reduce cancer pain, especially in individuals who had not responded well to morphine or other drugs.

The bottom line
Dozens of studies have demonstrated the ability of marijuana to provide symptom relief and improvement in quality of life for individuals who suffer with a variety of diseases and health problems. As a potential drug treatment for these conditions, marijuana deserves consideration by healthcare providers and patients.

SOURCES:
American Academy of Pain Medicine
Braga RJ et al. Cognitive and clinical outcomes associated with cannabis use in patients with bipolar I disorder. Psychiatry Research 2012. DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2012.05.025
Lahat A et al. Impact of cannabis treatment on the quality of life, weight and clinical disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease patients: a pilot prospective study. Digestion 2012; 85(1): 1-8
Ringen PA et al. Opposite relationships between cannabis use and neurocognitive functioning in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Psychological Medicine 2010 Aug; 40(8): 1337-47
Zajicek JP et al. Multiple sclerosis and extract of cannabis: results of the MUSEC trial. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 2012; 83:1125-32

Updated 1/18/2016

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Comments

Great news for airline pilots, cabbies, truckies, Crane erectors, train drivers, firefighters, and policemen, among others, in pain.
We make Smokeless Cannabis Remedies to remedy a number of ailments and conditions. This miracle plant is ... such a blessing!
I feel there is a contradiction here in the emaxhealth issues. One article claims; '5 Reasons to Use Marijuana' and another claims; 'Marijuana use in adolescents linked to psychotic behavior' Last week in New York a warning was issued of the dangers of synthetic marijuana, which can be significantly more severe than natural marijuana. Study after study has found that synthetic pot is linked to serious side effects, which often require emergency room visits and medical intervention. Synthetic dope is not the only danger! As I pointed out in another article comment, all synthetic drugs have more severe side effects, which is another way of saying 'severe allergic reactions' and cause more discomfort for patients. The brain simply does not recognize the synthetic part of the drug and instigates an allergic response. As this continual response weakens the immune system, it opens the door to more serious diseases. If you feel the need to dope yourself to alter the mind, it might be more appropriate to establish which part of the mind you are unhappy with and want to alter. There might be better and healthier ways of doing that without dangerous side effects, such as yoga, or meditation. There is no 'unhappy mind' caused by a lack of drugs. There is no disease caused by a lack of drugs. Using drugs to overcome unhappiness, overcome disease, or to overcome any other health issue is unscientific.  There are many things that we can do to make us happy, that will benefit us. For instance, a healthy diet, drinking plenty of clean water, avoid chlorinated water as it is poisonous, and avoid other drugs like alcohol and tobacco. Positive thinking, enough sleep and relaxation, physical exercise, connecting with nature, listening to music or making music, intellectual stimulation, remaining interested in life, creativity that nurtures the soul, and time alone. It is only when we spend time alone that we can communicate with our Higher Power, get in touch with our thoughts and feelings and ground ourselves. Prayer and meditation or quiet time is necessary to achieve a healthy energy system. Everything we do is infused with the energy with which we do it. 
Synthetic says it all, real corn is good for you but GM corn causes cancer. This does not stop you from buying GM corn in all the name brand products you buy. The point is something that is natural and good for our bodies is illegal and something that is slowly killing all of us is legal. What it amounts to is stupidity and ignorance which is flush in todays society where everyone cares about what everyone else is doing but not what THEY are doing!
Thank you for your comments. This article is not a contradiction: I could just have easily written an article entitled "5 Reasons Not To Use Marijuana." There are two sides to every story, just like consuming or doing thing to excess can be hazardous: moderation is often the best policy. Simplicity is also a good policy.
theywere taling about real marijuana not manmade poisions
you must be retarded because their are plenty of scientific studies out there that prove pot is a great way to help fix the human body and brain. that synthetic marijuana you speak of is this "incense", or Fweed (fake weed) as we call it, this crap you can pick up in the store is the bad stuff. their are no real marijuana chemicals in fweed, but real synthesized weed IS FINE! all they do with synthesized weed is make it more potent in one or more of the canabinoids to treat certain symptoms. It is obvious to me you are against new discoveries in the field of marijuana.
I was diagnosed as Asperger's 10 years ago, but I've been smoking (with a few periods of abstinence) since 1993. Recently I've wondered what kind of person I'd be if I'd never touched it, and am infinitely grateful that I did - because even though I've had my fair share of struggles over the years, I'd be (best case scenario) incapable of any kind of independent living or (more likely) have taken my own life a long time ago. So yeah, I basically thank god every day for weed.
7 years ago I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The "mood stabilizer" drug that they put me on, put me in sloooow motion. And some uncontrolled jerkiness, like mild extrapyramidal symptoms. 3 years ago, I was introduced to weed again after about 30 years abstinence.... (smoked it a little in high school and early 20's). It has been the best thing to happen to me. My movements are neither extrapyridamal, nor am I moving in slow motion anymore. My verbal fluency has definitely increased, and my general mood/happiness has been restored, in conjunction with my bipolar medications. Right now, I'm in California and need a cannabis medical card. Was hesitant about getting my card, but now that I'v read the article about the seeming proof, that weed helps bipolar patients--only confirms my thinking on this. Thank you for this article.
I cant belive that patients are denied to even try medical MJ, if it works for them it works right? Even if its a great placebo effect going on here, it would save billions in healthcare costs..
Don't smoke Cannabis. The oil can be incorporated in foods and or massage oils to improve delivery of the Cannabinoids. Depending upon the individual Cannabinoids can assist with living with various ailments. It is practical to cultivate cannabis and use a number of methods to recover a cannabinoid laden oil that can then be used as a direct dose or as an ingredient in massage oil. For those who don't like the manufacturing processes for cannabis oil on the internet I recommend a cold processing. Could not be simpler. Take Cannabis flowers at the height of their productivity, chop these to a fine grain, put into a lettuce washer, add a required amount of virgin olive oil and leave for 24 hours. Strain through a fine muslin bag into bottles. This makes a fine rubbing - massage oil. Don't bother with Skunk high THC varieties unless you really seek to be stoned. Best is a variety that has both THC and CBD at high %'s. So far as I know cannabis has not be proved to actually cure cancer. There is pain managementf, really excellent relief for cancer patients who have suffered peripheral necrosis in their feet and/or hands as a result of chemotherapy ( also others who have taken similar drugs ) or diabetic condition impacts.