Reference to cultivation and use of cannabis for a medical purpose can be traced to as far back as 3400 BC. At that time, cannabis was nicknamed “Joy Plant”. The primitive as well as the civilized generations both used marijuana or cannabis as a panacea to minor and major ailments.
Overtime, a scientific medical system emerged. The Scientists focused more on unfavorable issues of marijuana than its beneficial aspects. As a result, the so-called “joy plant” underwent a paradigm shift. This “medicinal herb plant” earned an ill-fame to the extent that its cultivation, possession or use became a subject of criminal proceedings under the law across the globe. Despite its illegal status, marijuana lovers continued to use it in one way or the other.
Once again, to study the medical effects of marijuana, scientists started conducting research on the people who had been consuming marijuana for a considerable length of time. They were able to discover some medicinal properties of marijuana and its importance over the conventional medicines that are used in the treatment of serious and chronic diseases.
Riding the legal cascades that began in the year 1937, California was the first State that legalized marijuana for medical use and approved Proposition 215 on 5th Nov. 1996, thereby paving the way for using medical marijuana for well-being and better health purposes.
Use of Medical Marijuana:
Today, the Medical Community is of the firm opinion that medical marijuana can be used in the treatment of the following diseases, and health-related problems:
Medical Marijuana and Autoimmune Disorders:
Researchers at the University of South Carolina have found some potentials in the application of marijuana in the treatment of autoimmune disorders like arthritis, lupus, colitis, multiple sclerosis. THC has the potential to change critical molecules of the epigenome.
Anti-Tumor and Anti-Cancer Activities:
Research in the Laboratories on mice and rats showed that marijuana controls the growth of tumors. Cannabinoids destroy the cells and block the development of blood vessels that tumors require to grow or expand. It was also found that Cannabidiol (CBD) when administered by mouth, is very good for treating tumors of re-occurring nature.
Research in the laboratories also showed that Marijuana obstructs the growth of cancer cells. Cannabinoids kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells. Hence, Marijuana reduces the risk of re-occurrence of cancer.
Treatment of Carcinoma:
Delta-9 THC available in marijuana has been found to have the ability to destroy Liver Cancer Cells.
Treatment of Lung Cancer:
Marijuana has anti-tumor properties. THC acts on the molecules that are found in lung cancer cells.
A laboratory study of CBD in Estrogen Receptor (+) and Estrogen Receptor (-) on breast cancer cell showed it also has the ability to destroy the cells.
There was a negligible effect on the non-cancerous breast cells. The research in metastatic breast cancer further showed that cannabinoids could reduce the growth of breast cancer cells.
Medical Marijuana- Encephalitis, Brain Cancer and Brain Tumor:
Marijuana’s effects on the brain are beyond any doubt. Whatever be the purpose of consuming marijuana, it has some effects on the brain as well. Besides, THC has been recognized for its properties that destroy or kill tumor cells and control their otherwise un-controllable growth and expansion. By virtue of these two unique properties, medical marijuana has been found to be effective in the treatment of brain-related critical diseases.
Medical Marijuana and Leukemia:
Some researchers conducted by prominent personalities show that CBD and THC have some unique properties that can kill cancerous cells. Marijuana contains six types of cannabinoids that have some effects on leukemia cells.
Brainstem Glioma Tumor and Marijuana:
Undisputedly, marijuana affects the brain the most. Cannabinoids destroy cancer cell in Brain Glioma Tumor model without doing any harm to the normal cells. Research showed that the oral spray of Delta-9-THC with CBD gave good results in the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma multiforme.
Side Effects of Chemotherapy:
Chemotherapy drugs are administered to cancer patients to control the spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body. Usually, chemotherapy drugs are exceptionally strong because their primary function is to destroy or kill cancer cells. In the process, these drugs may damage the healthy cells in the organs that may result in several major or minor complications, which are, therefore, viewed as side-effects of the chemotherapy. These include swelling of the hands, pain, nausea, weight loss, loss of appetite, weakening of immune system, etc. CBD and THC are highly useful in treating these issues if they occur.
Acute Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) & CBD:
CBD has been found to be useful and effective in the prevention and treatment of Acute GVHD. Acute Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) may occur after an allogeneic transplant when donated bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells do not accept the recipient’s body & react against it.
Acute GvHD might occur after the donor’s cells have been grafted in the course of the transplant into the recipient patient. Acute Grafts versus Host Disease may develop in the skin, liver, eyes, or gastrointestinal tract also. Symptoms usually appear weeks after the transplant had been completed.
Recipients who have received peripheral blood stem cells/bone marrow from an HLA mismatched related donor or an HLA matched unrelated donor have higher tendencies of experiencing this problem, for instance, a female donor who has been pregnant in the past. Also, the more advanced the age of either the donor or the recipient the more they bear larger risks of Acute GVHD.
Inflammation of Colon:
Cannabinoids are anti-inflammatory. They control inflammation of the colon and help in the treatment of Colon Cancer.
Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Arthritis is one of the major diseases that affect people most. Rough estimates show that about 20 million Americans remain affected by Arthritis at a single time. By nature, arthritis is a painful disease that hampers the normal movement of the patient. Marijuana is quite reputable for being one of the best “painkillers” as well as “anti-inflammatory” medicinal herb. Therefore, medical marijuana strikes arthritis conditions and provides relief.
Medical Marijuana and Erectile Dysfunction:
Medical Marijuana is taken as a “Sexual Stimulant”. Psychological issues, weakening of the nerves, Toxins in the body, and Blocking of blood vessels are the main factors behind Erectile Dysfunctions. CBD Oil acts as a lubricant. It’s a psychoactive compound of great value, which opens blocked blood vessels and clears toxins from the body.
Medical Marijuana, PCOS, and Ovarian Dysfunction:
PCOS and Ovarian Dysfunction occur when “Endocannabinoid System” within the body is damaged. Marijuana contains Cannabinoids, CBD, THC and many more compounds that carry the properties of endocannabinoids. Structures of cannabinoids of marijuana and endocannabinoids of our body resemble. When we take in marijuana, its cannabinoids act in almost the same manner as the endocannabinoids existing in our body work already.
Epilepsy, TCS & Medical Marijuana:
The Psychoactive compounds available in the CBD are found to be effective in the treatment of Epilepsy as well as TCS.