By Ethan Palm
Medical marijuana is used to treat many ailments, ranging from chronic pain to seizures. Research on the scope of medical marijuana treatments is rapidly growing as federal regulations on cannabis change. Here are some of the groundbreaking treatments made possible by cannabis.
Perhaps the best known use for medical marijuana is nausea relief for patients undergoing chemotherapy to treat cancer or AIDS. In a comprehensive scientific review, THC based medications were shown to be more effective than most common anti-nausea drugs. Chemotherapy patients receive additional benefits from medical marijuana like increased appetite and pain relief.
in a study conducted last year, cannabidiol (CBD), a compound in marijuana with many potential medical applications, was associated with a 50% decrease in the frequency of many types of seizures in both children and adults. CBD has been studied as an anticonvulsant for some time, and now clinical trials promise the hope of new treatment options for people suffering from epilepsy.
CBD also helps treat the brain injuries associated with post-concussion syndrome. Preliminary studies show that medical marijuana provides protection against neural damage and reduces brain swelling in post-concussion. In addition, cannabis can alleviate other debilitating post-concussion syndrome symptoms like stress, depression, insomnia, and chronic pain.
Cannabis has been shown to help control the muscle spasms and stiffness that affect people with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the nervous system. Treatments derived from medical marijuana were first explored in Europe, but are now used by multiple sclerosis patients in more than twenty countries. Medical marijuana is also used to combat nerve pain associated with diabetes, AIDS, and spinal cord injuries.
In a pilot study, patients with Crohn’s disease—a severe inflammatory bowel disease—who inhaled cannabis experienced less pain, less frequent diarrhea, and increased appetite. There is currently no medical or surgical cure for Crohn’s disease, so treatment focuses on managing symptoms. While the debate on how to treat Crohn’s disease is fierce, medical marijuana is proving to be an effective alternative to steroids and surgeries.
The state of Colorado recently sponsored a $2 million research grant to explore using medical marijuana treatments to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some medical marijuana patients who use cannabis to treat their PTSD report decreases in night terrors, anxiety, and other symptoms. Four different types of cannabis are being studied to identify what elements are most effective at treating PTSD.
The commitment to rigorous research and fact-based treatment is important to the cannabis industry. Always striving for more effective and safer treatments is what drives the Bloom Farms mission of providing safe and enjoyable medicine to patients who use cannabis as part of a healthy lifestyle.