Once illegal in most areas, many places have now approved the use of cannabis for the treatment of a variety of conditions and symptoms. Cannabis has generally been used to treat the pain associated with headaches, nerve pain, or other conditions. In some areas, cannabis has now been newly approved to treat the following conditions or symptoms.
Recently, researchers have discovered that compounds found in cannabis (such as THC) can assist with the treatment of some cancers. Studies revealed that when radiation therapies are combined with treatment using cannabis compounds, anti-cancer treatments were much more successful; tumors were less able to resist radiation treatment. Cannabis treatment has also been shown to lessen some side effects of chemotherapy treatments. Side effects relieved by medical marijuana include: nausea, pain, vomiting, and anxiety. While treatment with cannabis is not approved by the FDA to treat cancer, its usage has been approved in many states for the treatment of cancer symptoms.
Alzheimer’s disease is a leading cause of decline in mental functioning in the elderly. THC, the active substance in Cannabis, has been shown to relieve symptoms and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s as much as other medications do. This may result in an improved quality of life and possibly greater longevity.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
When a person is traumatized by a life event that threatened the life or well-being of self or a loved one, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may result. The main symptoms are extreme anxiety, paranoia, depression, insomnia, and panic attacks. Treatment with cannabis has been shown in some cases to help improve sleep, reduce anxiety, and relieve panic attacks. More study is needed, however, in order to confirm these early findings. Even so, cannabis has been approved for the treatment of PTSD in several US states.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) causes the degeneration and damage of nerve pathways in the brain. The result is a variety of debilitating symptoms. There are many medications currently available to treat MS, but they come with the possibility of severe side effects. Cannabis is a promising treatment since its side effects are much less severe and sometimes non-existent. Some MS patients use cannabis to treat disease-related depression, pain, muscle spasms, and inflammation. In addition to treating these symptoms, cannabis has recently been shown to protect against the degeneration of brain function caused by MS. It has been shown to actually help in repairing damaged nerve pathways.
Early studies have revealed the strong possibility of the effective treatment of seizures using a cannabis oil containing cannabidiol but not THC, the active component in marijuana. Early studies revealed that the treatment appeared to cut the number of seizures by half. More studies are needed to confirm the results but several states have approved the use of the oil for seizure treatment when other treatments have not been effective.