Medical marijuana is medicine that comes from the cannabis plant (marijuana). Research shows that medical marijuana can deliver effective pain relief, boost appetite and offer anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea benefits. It can also be used to treat a number of illnesses and health conditions. So how does medical marijuana do all this? The answer is: by acting on the body’s endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex communication system in the body that signals cells to regulate a range of functions and processes including sleep, mood, appetite, memory and pain sensation. Medical marijuana’s compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid receptors and signal the brain, nervous system and immune system to regulate health and well-being.
What Conditions Can Medical Marijuana Treat?
Medical marijuana has been attributed to protecting against neurological injuries and nerve degeneration as well as being effective in treating a number of different health conditions, including:
- Neurodegenerative diseases Patients with conditions like Alzheimer’s disease (AD), chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Parkinson’s disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS) have seen health improvements through the use of medical marijuana. Studies show medical marijuana can relieve pain, numbness, muscular spasms and uncontrolled movements associated with some neurodegenerative diseases.
- Epilepsy or seizure disorders – The use of medical cannabis has proven very effective at reducing the frequency and severity of seizures attributed to epilepsy in children and adults.
- HIV-positive status – In a recent study, participants with an HIV-positive status reported reduced nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue as well as improvements in appetite. These are side effects of prescribed medication to treat HIV.
- AIDS – Medical marijuana also alleviates a variety of symptoms including AIDS wasting syndrome, pain, depression and anxiety.
- Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and ulcerative colitis – Medical marijuana can ease the inflammation of the digestive tract, colon, and rectum, increase appetite, minimize diarrhea and nausea and reduce abdominal pain in patients suffering with Crohn’s disease, IBD, and ulcerative colitis.
- Cancer – Use of medical marijuana can be of benefit to patients during cancer treatments as it can stimulate appetite and reduce nausea.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression – Medical marijuana has been found to ease symptoms of PTSD including anxiety, depression, sleep disorders and panic attacks.
- Fibromyalgia – There is evidence that medical marijuana can help alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia including chronic pain, fatigue, insomnia and memory problems.
- Glaucoma – Medical marijuana has been associated with a reduction in intraocular pressure, a key contributor to glaucoma and has less side effects than conventional medications.
- Hepatitis C (HCV) – Medications used to treat HCV can cause unpleasant side effects such as nausea. Medical marijuana can help reduce these side effects.
- Sickle cell anemia – Medical marijuana has been found to relieve symptoms of sickle cell anemia including pain, anxiety, loss of appetite, and irritability.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – Medical marijuana administered 1-3 days after trauma has been found to help preserve brain cells and long-term cognitive function. It also reduces inflammation and swelling which can prevent secondary damage to the brain and reduce neurological impairment.
InteCare Medical Clinic in Fairborn, Ohio
There is a great deal of evidence on why medical marijuana is an effective and safe alternative to treating many health conditions. Under the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control program, only certain medical conditions currently permit the use of medical marijuana. A qualifying physician has the power to recommend certain amounts and types of marijuana for medical use each month.
If you’re considering an evidence-based complementary therapy like medical marijuana, be sure to consult Dr. Zainey at InteCare Medical Clinic. Call us today at (937) 874-5766 for more information about medical marijuana, integrative medicine and how they can be of benefit to you. You can also request an appointment online.