Marijuana frequently gets a bad rap. How much of it is deserved? After my earlier blog, “Should Marijuana Be Legalized?” I conducted research to find out the benefits and problems linked with marijuana use. While there are many, here are ten of the health benefits attributed to marijuana and, of course, some of the problems linked to its use:
Alzheimer’s—Marijuana may be able to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, according to research by the Scripps Research Institute and published in Molecular Pharmaceutics.
Anxiety—Harvard Medical School found that marijuana may have anti-anxiety effects. Of course, keep in mind that high doses may increase anxiety and paranoia.
Arthritis—Marijuana can alleviate pain and inflammation linked to arthritis.
Cancer—Research in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics found that cannabidiol found in marijuana, turns off a gene called “Id-1,” which cancer cells use to spread.
Epilepsy—Marijuana has been shown in studies by Virginia Commonwealth University, to stop seizures in the school’s animal studies.
Glaucoma—Researchers are working on developing new drugs based on cannabis to treat glaucoma pain after learning its effectiveness for treating the condition. Glaucoma is a condition that increases pressure inside the eyeball and can lead to vision loss.
Improves Lung Health—Research in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that marijuana can increase lung capacity, not decrease it as many people have long believed.
Multiple Sclerosis—A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that cannabinoids found in marijuana significantly reduced multiple sclerosis pain.
Nausea—Marijuana contains a minimum of 60 chemicals known as cannabinoids, of which THC is the primary one associated with its mind-altering effects. THC has been used in the treatment of nausea, including drug- or chemotherapy-induced nausea.
Parkinson’s Disease—Research published in MedPage Today found that marijuana use eased tremors and improved fine motor skills in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Problems Linked with Marijuana Use:
Addiction—that’s a fairly obvious one. Also, it can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms in people who discontinue use.
Anxiety and Paranoia—In high doses or in sensitive individuals, marijuana can cause anxiety and paranoia.
Memory Impairment—As anyone who’s ever talked to someone who is high knows, memory impairment is common.
Mind-Altering Effects—This is particularly evident among people who haven’t used it before as well as many young people.
Heart Attack—One study found an increase risk of heart attack within the first hour of smoking marijuana.
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