OK, cannabis can be used medically, but for what illnesses?
Hi there and welcome (back) to Free the Tree!
In today’s article of our Medical Marijuana section we’re going to cover the sicknesses that Marijuana is known to help, or cure.
We decided to do this section after talking with a friends mom that has recently been diagnosed with Glaucoma, I was telling her how some strains avoid losing sight to which she responded “I’ve never smoked pot, i’m not going to start now”; I response that didn’t really shock me but it is saddening at a cultural and social level… especially since we’ve used cannabis medically for millennia , only in the past centuries that this been questioned, and forgotten.
We’re not using medicine that nature provides us and it’s non-sense. This is one of the core reasons why we decided to build this site and soon to be community.
In order to give a faire lay of the land we will are going to go at this in 2 steps, the first, give you the medical uses that humans have used for centuries. The second half of this piece will cover specific illnesses where cannabis is used, or where research is currently on going. Hope this will be useful to you !
Medical Marijuana – Table of Content
Historical uses of Medical Cannabis
Illnesses where Cannabis can help or cure
- Chronic Pains
- Concussions and Head Trauma
- Dravet’s Syndrome
- Hepatitis C
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Menstrual Cramps
- Multiple Sclerosis – Muscle Spasms
- Nerve Pains
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Poor Appetite and Weight loss
- Seizure disorders
- Tourette Syndrom
- Terminally Ill
On paper the idea that Medical Marijuana would help for Anorexia is kind of a no-brainer. All smokers have felt that hunger called “the munchies” where you just can’t get enough under your tooth.
That said this is not actual proof that it could help out and there is very little research on the subject currently although research on Cannabis as a stimulate for the appetite for HIV/AIDS patients has officially confirmed that Marijuana is effective as an apetite stimulant.
What element in Cannabis stimulates apetite
The research has shown that it’s the endocannabinoid system (its own cannabinoid system) of Cannabis that has such a powerful influence on appetite.
In 2011 a group of researchers in Belgium suggested that since these eating disorders are related to a dysfunctional regulation and imbalance within the endocannabinoid, Marijuana-based products should be a very effective and safe way to treat the patients.
For more check out this Belgium Study and its findings available here.
What kind of Weed to use?
A studies done by the University of Cagliari in Italy show that THC and other cannabinoids can help preventing weight loss.
We would advise for you to go for a hybrid a balanced ratio of THC and CBD.
How can Medical Marijuana help for Anxiety
It’s well known that many smokers consume cannabis is order to relax, I mean after a long day of work a little joint of a soft indica is always nice right? 🙂
That said, in this case what’s extremely important is not to smoke too much! THC is know to relax in small levels, but can stress out and produce anxiety in higher dosages.
Researchers conducted a study, covered by Business Insider, to find what is now called the “Goldilocks” zone : The perfect amount and strains of marijuana in order to calm people without making things worst.
Emma Childs, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois, published in her findings that “low doses of THC will reduce stress levels while higher doses had the opposite effect”
What kind of weed to smoke for anxiety
In this case go for a strain that doesn’t have high levels of THC.
Everyone is different so it’s hard to give a specific amount of strain, here’s a couple tips to help you chose
- Go with a strain that isn’t too strong in THC. Around 5% to be on the safe side
- Don’t smoke too much at once. It can take a little while for the effect to come so don’t rush it 😉
- Ask friends that smoke regularly to try the weed out first.
They’ll be able to let you know how strong it is
- Start small. When trying out a new strain just take a hit or two and see how it effects you.
- Test & learn: Since most of us live in area’s where marijuana isn’t legal you don’t really, and can’t really, know what you’re smoking which is unfortunate..
(if you want to help us change that contact us!)
- Grow your own strain; It’s actually pretty easy and the best way to know what you’re smoking (+ you learn sooo much about plants, it’s awesome 🙂 )
Hope this will have helped you out and you’ll be able to relax more
Medical Cannabis and Asthma
It might seem a little weird thinking that smoking marijuana would help for people having Asthma issues or other Breathing Disorders, but that’s really due to the fact that our brains are biased by cigarettes and their smoke.
Studies have shown that marijuana smoke or administrating THC “exert potent dilating effects of human airways).
Furthermore Daniele Piomelli, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of California told Reuters in 2000 that their research lets them think that “by targeting cannabinoid receptors in the upper airways we can control coughs in a number of conditions, which is important because most current treatments basically act on the brain cough center”.
What strain for Asthma?
For Asthma you will need to use a strain containing THC since it seems to be the main component helping at lung dilution.
Another important thing is that you need to make sure that you’re smoking un-treated marijuana. If the buds contain chemicals their combustion can be much more harmful than beneficial.
Cannabis helping HIV/AIDS side-effects
In this case there is still no-one that has found a cure.. but HIV and AIDS patients can find some relief to symptoms thanks to marijuana.
A study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information concludes with the following:
“Thise data suggest that for HIV-positive marijuana smoker, both dronabinol and THC were well tolerated and produced substantial and comparable increases in food intake.”
Here are the full results of this study:
“As compared with placebo, marijuana and dronabinol dose dependently increased daily caloric intake and body weight in HIV-positive marijuana smokers. All cannabinoid conditions produced significant intoxication, except for low-dose dronabinol (5 mg); the intoxication was rated positively (eg, “good drug effect”) with little evidence of discomfort and no impairment of cognitive performance. Effects of marijuana and dronabinol were comparable, except that only marijuana (3.9% THC) improved ratings of sleep.”
How can Marijuana help HIV&AIDS patients
As the studies showed in the previous point, cannabis can help improve
- Food Intake
- Global mood
It’s important to also note that patients showed very little evidence of discomfort and no impairment of cognitive performances.
What strain for HIV/AIDS?
THC is the main component that came out of this study, meaning that you will need to use a strain containing THC.
The THC level may differ depending on if you’ve smoked, your body’s natural resistant and other factors so we would advise you to start with lower levels of THC and go up if needed.
Medical Marijuana for Alzheimer patients
Cannabis has many positive effects to people that have been diagnosed with Alzheimer disease.
From helping preventing Alzheimers to reducing the speed of it spreading as well as helping with many of the side effects, this application of Marijuana is becoming more and more accepted.
How can Cannabis prevent Alzheimer desease
A preclinical study published in 2014 by a group of 9 scientists and the University of South Florida and Thomas Jefferson University show that very small adoses of THC slows down the production of beta-amyloid which is the main suspect for the progression of Alzheimers.
This study is corroborated by the findings of 7 other researchers published in on NCBI’s (National Center for Biotechnology Information) website.
How can Marijuana help Alzheimer patients
Studies that show that Cannabis can help prevent Alzheimer also bring forward many other advantages which are the improvement of:
- Slow progression of the sickness
Here’s the conclusion of the study published on NCBI:
“Compared to currently approved drugs prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, THC is a considerably superior inhibitor of Abeta aggregation, and this study provides a previously unrecognized molecular mechanism through which cannabinoid molecules may directly impact the progression of this debilitating disease.“
What strain for Alzheimer’s?
The dosages and strains will depend on the person and what stage of the disease the person is in.
Within the prevention or early faces very low levels of THC will bu sufficient to be effective, further down the line levels may need to be increased in order to help with the other side effects that can come with this disease.
Medical Cannabis for Rheumatoid Arthritis Pains
Cannabis is known to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, help sleep so it’s not very surprising that researchers found in 2011 that marijuana can help with people dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
How can Marijuana help Arthritis patients
Marijuana is definitely a full medication of Arthritis but it can strongly help with its symptoms while producing little, or no, side effects. Here are the mostly known ways that it’ll help you out:
- Pain relieving
- Improves sleep quality
What strain for Arthritis?
Low levels of Thetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are needed for the effects to be felt.
Although it’s important to say that, as always, this depends on everyone so the best way to know is to test and learn. Start with the lowest levels of THC and go up if needed.
Medical Marijuana for Autism Symptoms
In this case things are currently moving very much especially with an upcoming study at the Children’s hospital of Philadelphia, which will be the first of its kind in the US.
In partnership with an Australian biopharmaceutical company, Zelda Therapeutics, they plan on studying the benefits of medical marijuana in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
How can Marijuana help Autism
Many parents of autistic children have been militating for a long time pushing for the legalization of marijuana to treat symptoms like:
- Self-injurious behaviors
- Sleep dysregulation
- Troubles with social interactions.
- Regulate mood
- Reduce seizures
- Alleviate symptoms linked to chemical phamaceutical side-effects.
In the USA, mothers advocating for this have grouped themselves in the advocacy grop called Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism (MAMMA).
If you are in this situation we advise you to get in contact with them, whether you are in the United States or not in order to have support and information.
Marijuana Helping people with Alcohol Addiction
One of the conventional argument to keep marijuana illegal in most countries is generally that Marijuana is a gateway drug but in this case we have a nice example where Marijuana can help people get off other addictions.
How can Cannabis help with Alcoholism
In states of the USA where medical marijuana is legal recovery programs have started to use it as a new tool on alcoholism as well as opiate addictions.
Here’s how cannabis can help:
- Alleviate withdraw symptoms
- Reduce negative side effects
- Better management of symptoms
- Protect neural cells from dying out during the withdraw period
- Reduces the “cold turkey” effects.
Cancer Patients aided by Medical Cannabis
There are many stories out there of people that have self medicated using cannabis after being diagnosed with different types of cancer.
Within the most famous you have Dennis Hill, a prostate cancer patient who decided to replace chemotherapy with a cannabis oil treatment, 6 months later he was cured.
After the diagnosis showed that all the cancer cells had disappeared he grouped together his full story, along with medical records and journals of progress that you can find here.
There’s also the story of Kelly Hauf, a brain tumor patient that decided to try out cannabis oil during the months before her brain surgery.
By the time her surgery was due the doctors found that the tumor had fully disappeared. You can find her sorry here.
It’s important to note that many doctors advise patients not to assume that cannabis was the cause of these incredible recoveries. As Dr Abrams, the leading oncologist at UCSF, if cannabis was the only reason for these remissions we would expect to see many more survivors.
Current research – Cannabis has anti-cancerous properties?
Scientists have been studying more and more the subject and have found that cannabinoids like CBD and THC kill cancer cells of animals in laboratory conditions, without harming any of the healthy cells nearby.
Although the researches have found that Cannabinoids destroy cancer cells the effectiveness is related to 3 factors:
- The type of cannabinoid
- The dose
- The type of cell the cannabinoid is acting on
Furthermore in some instances it can make matters worst. For example “with breast cancer in which cannabinoid receptors may not be expressed by the cancer cells, cannabinoids may worsen the disease, because the immune system is weakened, and the breast cancer cells are resistant to cannabinoid-induced apoptosis”
What side effects can Marijuana help with
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Skin irritation
- Appetite and weight management
- Mental health and well-being
- Digestive distress
- Chronic Fatigue
- Sexual Health
- Anti-cancerous properties
Chemotherapy Side effects eased with Medical Cannabis
It’s well known that going through chemotherapy is rough, most likely one of the roughest things someone can go through, from the hair loss to constant vomiting, passing by the memory loss and mood swings, it’s not a chill ride..
Within the past years research on medical marijuana has been teaching us more and more about the different ways it can help for many sickness, a lot of which are side effects of chemotherapy.
The main point that is effective here are linked to the cannabinoids produced by the endocannabinoid system (ECS) of marijuana.
How can Marijuana help with Chemotherapy
The cannabinoids in marijuana have been found to act on many different cells which allow them to be affective on a wide range of issues. Here’s some of the most known ones:
- Memory loss
- Mood disorders
- Pain (nociceptive or neuropathic)
- Sleep disorders
- Metabolism and appetite disorders
- Immune function
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weigh loss
- Fatigue Constipation
- Sexual function
Medical Cannabis for Inflammatory Bowel and Crohn’s Disease
As research continues and more and more uses to cannabis arise in the medical community people dealing with Inflammatory Bowels or Crohn’s Desease can wonder if there’s any way it could apply to them.
Research done in 2011 by an Israeli team of doctors concludes that Cannabis may have a positive effect on the deseases activity especially by reducing the activity index as well as the need for other drugs and surgery.
How can Marijuana help with Crohn’s Disease
- Reduces the activity index of the desease
- Lowers need for other drugs
- May limit the need for other surgeries.
It’s important to note that research is still ongoing.
Reduce Chronic pains using Medical Marijuana
How can Marijuana help with Chronic Pains
Research is still ongoing, this article will be updated regularly.
If you have knowledge to share on medical uses of cannabis please contact us