The drums of advocates and opponents of medical cannabis continue to beat but it seems a winner is coming out. More than half of US states including Michigan have now legalized medical marijuana and if this trend continues, the federal government may be convinced to reclassify cannabis as a schedule II drug just like Ritalin. Medical cannabis is the use of chemicals found in marijuana to treat or manage diseases and health conditions.
There are more than 100 chemicals that are contained in the marijuana plant and each has different effects on the human body. The most notable ones used in medicine are Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9- tetrahydrocannabitol (THC). CBD is so popular because of its ability to alleviate inflammation and anxiety without one getting high or addicted.
The following are the major health conditions for using CBD:
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by seizures, sensations, loss of awareness and periods of uncommon behavior as a result of an abnormal brain activity. There is strong scientific evidence that supports the effectiveness of CBD in treating Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). These cruelest epilepsy syndromes do not usually respond to antiseizure medications. CBD acts as an anticonvulsant that reduces the occurrence of seizures or even stops them completely.
Inflammation associated with different health conditions is characterized by pain, swelling, redness, fever and even loss of function. Medical cannabis is increasingly being used to manage inflammation in diseases like arthritis, cancer, heart disease, hepatitis, coeliac disease, allergy, inflammatory bowel disease and glomerulonephritis among others. It is believed to do this through the activation or inhibition of specific compounds in the endocannabinoid system.
Psychosis is a severe mental disorder which impairs a person’s thoughts and emotions. It is usually characterized by a loss of touch with external reality as witnessed in disorders like schizophrenia, delusional disorder, schizoaffective disorder and paraphrenia among others. It has been shown that CBD is as effective as amisulpride in treating psychotic symptoms and more so with fewer side effects.
Anxiety and depression
Medical cannabis and CBD is particular has been shown to combat depression and associated disorders by acting positively on serotonin receptors in the human brain. CBD has also been touted to work better than the mainstream antidepressants in terms of action speed and side effects. However, scientific research on this subject is still ongoing and it is not advisable to use it as a replacement to prescribed antidepressants.
Neurodegenerative disorders are illnesses caused by the death of certain brain parts. The most severe ones are Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. They are associated with apathy, memory loss, anxiety, agitation and mood swings. CBD is a strong antioxidant that neutralizes harmful free radicals that cause DNA damage and cell death.
If you are suffering from any of the health conditions above, it is possible that you are considering this treatment route. It is, however, important to note that cannabis has side effects especially when combined with a variety of other medications. Get the opinion of your health care provider before using any form of medical cannabis.