Medical marijuana (MM) has been used in the early 21st century for decades and is now being increasingly recognized and explored as a treatment option for a whole range of issues that standard drugs and therapies are ineffective at treating.
The support of patients and doctors who have found MM to be effective in alleviating symptoms of certain conditions has resulted in some jurisdictions allowing medical marijuana to be used for recognized conditions if a doctor prescribes it. Here you’ll learn the different types of chronic conditions that medical marijuana can treat.
Types of Chronic Conditions Medical Marijuana Can Treat
Medical marijuana is used to help treat a number of chronic conditions, including:
1. Chronic Pain
Research in 2015 showed the use of cannabinoids and cannabis for a variety of chronic pain disorders produced positive results. Researchers found cannabinoids or cannabis may effectively treat certain forms of chronic pain such as nerve pain (neuropathy).
A 2016 research paper showed using cannabis for cancer-related pain resulted in:
- A 64% decrease in opioid use
- Fewer side effects from medications
- Improved quality of life
Research participants also were able to use fewer medications.
Various smaller studies researching smoked marijuana showed it may help with the treatment of chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting.
Several studies found inhaling marijuana (vaporized or smoked) may help treat neuropathic pain.
Other studies show smoked marijuana has been helpful in improving food intake in patients with HIV.
Individuals participating in clinical trials who took marijuana extracts were less reliant on pain medication, according to other studies.
And, scientists, more recently, have reported cannabinoids like CBD and THC helped slow the growth of or caused the death in specific types of lab grown cancer cells.
As a few more states try legalizing medicinal marijuana use, it’s become a popular subject for glaucoma patients. There have been studies showing that smoking marijuana, regardless of whether you’re suffering from glaucoma or not, can help lower eye pressure. Those who can’t tolerate standard medications for glaucoma may still be able to use MM to lower their eye pressure effectively.
4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
It may be surprising to learn that you have cannabinoid chemicals within your body as part of your endocannabinoid system. It’s not a completely understood system, but what is known is that it consists of endocannabinoid chemicals and cannabinoid receptors.
You have receptors situated all throughout your peripheral and central nervous systems. A majority of them are found within your digestive system. Because of this, scientists are looking at ways to use these receptors with conditions such as:
- Peptic ulcer disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
One theory taken from the several existing randomized controlled trials is that marijuana cannabinoids impact acetylcholine and opioid receptors along with cannabis receptors, which helps provide symptom improvement in those with IBS.
5. Multiple Sclerosis
The use of MM for individuals with Multiple Sclerosis is supported by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in certain cases where it’s lawful.
One 2018 review shows MM products were typically well-tolerated and it was rare to see serious negative effects. But, negative effects can occur, and MM may not be ideal for all people.
Medical marijuana isn’t a cure by itself, but you can use it to help ease symptoms of chronic conditions and negative treatment side effects.
Always talk with your doctor before trying MM to help with the symptoms of your chronic condition. While your doctor may not be able to prescribe medical marijuana, they can certify patients or write a recommendation for its use.
For more information on medical marijuana for chronic conditions, you can fill out the form to contact our team at Transformative Health.