As you may know, many states have legalized the use of marijuana as a medicine or for recreational usages. While recreational pot usage is controversial, many people agree that it has many benefits for medical uses. Although these benefits may be overstated by advocates of marijuana legalization, new laws will help researchers study the drug’s medicinal uses and better understand how it impacts the body.
There are at least two active chemicals in marijuana that researchers think have medicinal applications. Those are cannabidiol (CBD) — which seems to impact the brain without a high— and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — which has pain relieving (and other) properties. Here are some of the known health benefits associated with smoking marijuana
1. It can be used to treat Glaucoma
One of the most commonly known medical uses of marijuana is to treat and prevent the glaucoma. Glaucoma increases pressure in the eyeball, damaging the optic nerve and causing loss of vision. Marijuana decreases the pressure inside the eye, according to the National Eye Institute meaning the drug may slow the progression of the disease and prevent blindness.
2. It can reverse the carcinogenic effects of tobacco and improve lung health
According to a study published in Journal of the American Medical Association in January 2012, smoking weed does not impair lung function and can even increase lung capacity. It’s possible that the increased lung capacity maybe due to taking a deep breaths while inhaling the drug and not from a therapeutic chemical in the drug.
3. It can help control epileptic seizures
Robert J. DeLorenzo, of Virginia Commonwealth University, gave marijuana extract and synthetic marijuana to epileptic rats. The drugs rid the rats of the seizures for about 10 hours. The active ingredients in marijuana controlled seizures by binding to the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation.
4. It can stop cancer from spreading
Cannabidiol stops cancer by turning off a gene called Id-1, the study, published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, found. Cancer cells make more copies of this gene than non-cancerous cells, and it helps them spread through the body.
5. It can decrease anxiety
In 2010, researchers at Harvard Medical School suggested that that some of the drug’s benefits may actually be from reduced anxiety, which would improve the smoker’s mood and act as a sedative in low doses. Beware, though, higher doses may increase anxiety and make you paranoid.