After being under negative speculations and myths for decades, Cannabis has now been approved by twenty-nine US states along with the District of Columbia for medical purposes and also for recreational use in some, and many other states are vying for the same. However, the FDA has only approved the utilization of Marijuana for two very rare and extreme cases of Epilepsy.
To have more insights into the beneficial usage of Cannabis, further scientific research is needed, which is unfortunately not being carried out as effectively as necessary given the fact that the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) labels Cannabis as Schedule Drug I, which puts it in the same category as Heroin, LSD, and ecstasy, requiring researchers specialized license to study.
However, the amount of research that has been conducted to date reflects various medical benefits of Cannabis and deems it an effective medication for numerous ailments. These findings are science-backed, offering validity for the legitimized use of Marijuana. Let’s have a look at the medical value of this plant and the many disorders it provides relief for.
Marijuana And Multiple Sclerosis
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), the major medically valued components of Cannabis, are used to prepare an oral spray medication named Sativex, being used in twenty-five countries by prescription. It proves to be very helpful in muscle stiffness and spasms caused by multiple sclerosis. As per the report of Forbes, this medication has shown significant improvement in adults with multiple sclerosis conditions who have not responded as effectively to other treatment procedures. However, the drug is still being under experiment in the US.
Chronic Pain Relief Through Cannabis
In January 2017, an expert ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine presented nearly 100 conclusions related to the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoid use in the report ‘The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research.’ The main finding of the report was the significance of Cannabis in chronic pain relief, a major reason for disability in US adults.
Further, in the 2022 review of clinical research in Inflammopharmacology, it was suggested that medications with the combined effect of THC and CBD are found to be effective in chronic pain, primarily neuropathic pain, nociceptive pain and nociplastic pain. It also came to the observation that such drugs are safer and less addictive as compared to opioid-based analgesics.
Marijuana For Sleep Management
The relaxation effect of Marijuana provides better sleep management in insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients. As per the 2018 study of sleep, synthetic THC has profound effects on improving the sleep of patients with OSA disorder by reducing the frequency of disruptive breathing. It also offered a sensation of quality sleep in the patients.
The 2014 study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine presented the same conclusion concerning OSA patients and synthetic THC.
Fighting Epilepsy Extreme With CBD
The two rare and severe cases of Epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome are now being treated with the drug Epidiolex, a medication derived from pure CBD. It is approved by the FDA, given the studies and research that prove its significance in controlling seizures.
Dravet Syndrome is long-lasting, frequent and may cause the death of the child. One in five children with Davet syndrome dies before reaching the age of twenty.
In the article of The New England Journal Of Medicine titled ‘Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome,’ it was concluded that children using CBD drug showed substantial progress regarding seizures.
In the experiment, 120 children aged between 2 to 18 were assigned to intake oral CBD or placebo along with their regular medication for fourteen weeks. After the experimental period, it was observed that children with oral CBD solution went from having around twelve seizures per month to an average of six seizures per month, and three children receiving CBD did not experience any seizures at all.
However, it is also worth mentioning that CBD treatment also affects children negatively, which may include fatigue, fever, and vomiting.
Mitigating Chemotherapy Side Effects With Cannabis
Last but not least, Cannabis is also proven to be effective in managing chemotherapy side effects. Many drugs like Marinol, Syndros, and Cesamet are prepared from substances similar to synthetic THC and are approved by FDA given their efficiency in the treatment.
Considering all the studies and research regarding the medical benefits this plant offers, it is substantial to expand its research scope and facilitate ways to legalize its legitimate uses. Taking into account the previous studies, it is possible that further research may raise many new avenues in medical science to provide the necessary care and required treatment to patients with fatal ailments.