June 18, 2024

Numerous people cure mental health issues, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain using cannabis and cannabis-derived medicines. Nonetheless, studies have shown that utilizing cannabis as a medication offers advantages as well as disadvantages.

THC and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (CBD) are the main components of cannabis that have been shown to have medicinal advantages. Plants of the Cannabis sativa species contain these two substances.

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Medical practitioners may prescribe dried cannabis, oils, pills, and other products containing CBD and THC to treat a variety of ailments in places where it is allowed. These are commonly known as “medical cannabis.”

These therapies have well-researched effects and are generally well-tolerated for the purposes for which they are prescribed. However, there is a significant danger associated with utilizing cannabis products that are not recommended for use or purchasing cannabis from unregistered sellers.

In this piece, we examine the scientific data that balances the medicinal advantages of cannabis against any potential health hazards.

What are cannabis’s medicinal advantages?

Research findings throughout the years have suggested that cannabis may be helpful in treating a few different illnesses. These are mentioned in the list below.

Persistent discomfort

Chronic pain can be effectively treated with cannabis or medicines containing cannabinoids, the active ingredients in cannabis, according to a comprehensive 2017 analysis of over 10,000 scientific papers.

Reducing neuropathic (nerve) pain may be a special benefit of medicinal cannabis.

Drug and alcohol addiction

Some people use CBD oil in place of or in addition to prescription painkillers. Moreover, a 2017 research indicates that cannabis use may aid in the treatment of addiction in those who suffer from alcohol or opiate dependence.

A 2022 Canadian research also discovered a clear link between the use of medical cannabis and a decline in alcohol use.

Although some people may find that using cannabis lessens their use of alcohol and opioids, abusing cannabis or not taking it as directed can result in a cannabis use disorder.

Social anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder

A 2017 review’s authors discovered some evidence in favor of cannabis usage as a treatment for depression and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Researchers did, however, issue a warning that cannabis is not a suitable therapy for psychosis and bipolar disorder, among other mental health issues.

Though promising, research on the effectiveness of medical cannabis as a therapy for mental diseases is still in its infancy. To properly evaluate the potential benefits of medical cannabis in the treatment of mental health disorders, more study is necessary.

Cancer

Research indicates that smoking cannabis may also help reduce the symptoms of nausea and vomiting brought on by chemotherapy. Oral cannabinoids have also been shown to be useful in preventing nausea and vomiting brought on by chemotherapy.

Multiple sclerosis

While the benefits of short-term oral cannabis usage on multiple sclerosis patients’ spasticity symptoms are small, they do show promise.

Epilepsy

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of a CBD-containing medicine in June 2018 to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two uncommon, severe forms of epilepsy that are challenging to manage with conventional treatment. Epidiolex is the name of this CBD-based medication.

According to a 2017 research, children with Dravet syndrome who took CBD experienced significantly less seizures than those who took a placebo.

Nevertheless, research indicates that using CBD to treat epilepsy has a higher risk of adverse effects, including fatigue, appetite loss, and elevated body temperature.

Is marijuana harmful or beneficial to your health?

Evidence exists to support both the negative effects and positive effects of cannabis on health. However, further study is still required to properly understand the implications of expanding cannabis usage for public health, despite an increase in studies in this field.

Additional scientific study on the use of cannabis and cannabinoids to treat medical diseases is needed, according to a number of experts and health groups, including the American Cancer Society (ACS).

There is a barrier to this, though: the Drug Enforcement Administration lists cannabis as a Schedule I restricted drug, which places stringent restrictions on researchers operating in this field.

Recap

Studies indicate that some MS symptoms, nausea, and chronic pain can be effectively treated with cannabis and cannabinoids.

However, because cannabis is available in so many forms and has such a diverse spectrum of chemical compositions among strains, it is challenging to determine with accuracy how safe the plant is overall.

For instance, breathing in dry cannabis can result in permanent lung damage, whereas taking prescription CBD oils orally may be easily tolerated.

It is imperative that cannabis or drugs containing cannabinoids be taken under a doctor’s supervision at all times.