California was the first state to establish a medical marijuana program. This program was established when state voters approved proposition 215 on the 5th of November with a majority of 55%. This proposition added section 11362.5 to the California Health and Safety code, allowing people with AIDs, arthritis, cancer, chronic migraines, anorexia, glaucoma, spasticity or any other chronic illness the right to grow, obtain or use marijuana for medical reasons when recommended by a doctor. The law also protects the doctors from being punished for recommending the use of the drug. The following are the benefits of medicinal cannabis:
Can be used in treating Glaucoma
According to the National Eye Institute, medical marijuana can be used to treat Glaucoma an eye disease which increases pressure in the eyeball. When smoked, this drug lowers intraocular pressure in individuals with normal pressure or those individuals with glaucoma. Studies done in the early 1970s by the NEI (National Eye Institute) indicate that the effects of cannabis may slow the progression of Glaucoma, hence preventing blindness.
Helps reverse the carcinogenic effects of tobacco
According to a study published in the American Medical Association Journal of January 2012, the drug marijuana does not weaken lung function but instead it increases lung capacity. According to the study, tobacco smokers loose lung function over time but marijuana users experience an increase in lung capacity. However, this is attributed not to a therapeutic chemical found in the drug but from taking deep breaths while inhaling the drug.
Stops cancer from spreading
In 2007, researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco reported that Cannabinoids, the chemical found in medical cannabis can help prevent cancer from spreading. This chemical prevents cancer from spreading by turning off a gene called Id-1. Cancer cells make more copies of this gene enabling them to spread throughout the body.
Helps decrease anxiety
Individuals who use medicinal marijuana claim that it helps relieve pain and also suppresses nausea; the main reason why it is recommended by doctors to relieve the side effects of chemotherapy. A study done by researchers at the Harvard Medical School, in 2010 suggested that marijuana can actually reduce anxiety, improve the user’s mood as well as act as a sedative. However, it is necessary to point out that these benefits will only be experienced if the drug was taken in low doses. High doses can increase anxiety and even make you paranoid.
Eases the pain of multiple sclerosis
“Cannabis can ease the painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis. The active ingredient found in cannabis binds to the receptors in the nerves and muscles to relieve pain. Medical cannabis also helps relieve pain that is associated with joint pains as well as other types of muscle spasms.
Helps reduce the side effects from treating hepatitis C
The treatment of hepatitis C is very harsh; this is attributed to the adverse side effects. The side effects of the treatment include nausea, loss of appetite, depression, fatigue and muscle aches. These side effects last for months and can be very severe. Most patients fail to complete their treatment due to the adverse side effects. However, by taking medicinal cannabis, you can be able to finish the treatment because it reduces the side effects and increases the effectiveness of the treatment.
In summary, it is evident to suggest that there are plenty of medical marijuana benefits and it is why some countries and states are legalizing it as a prescription drug.