Medical Cannabis Benefits: 9 Reasons to Seek a Physician

Marijuana has been documented as a medical treatment since 2,700 B.C. 

The plant was first brought to the United States in the 1700s and has been growing on American soil ever since. As long ago as 1850, it has had documented medical use in the United States. 

Today, several million Americans use medical marijuana to help them find relief for a variety of different conditions. 

With such widespread usage, you might be wondering what are the medical cannabis benefits? This guide will help you to understand how medical marijuana works and its benefits for treating a number of common health conditions.

What Is Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana is the use of the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant to treat health conditions. This is different from recreational use, where the user is seeking a high. The two compounds in the Cannabis Sativa plant that are used to treat medical conditions are THC and CBD. 

Medical cannabis is growing in popularity because of the many benefits and few side effects. Of the 60 medical studies on medical marijuana, only 8% found that the use of medical marijuana had no benefit in treating health conditions.

Marijuana is a controlled substance and is therefore illegal on a federal level. However, many states have laws that allow the use of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions.

Some of the common conditions that medical marijuana can help to treat are: 

  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Chronic pain

More than a third of U.S. states have legalized the use of medical marijuana. The qualifying conditions will vary from state to state.

Florida medical marijuana regulations allow physicians to prescribe marijuana products to certain patients. But first, an individual must be diagnosed with a qualifying condition by a registered physician.

The physician has entered the patient into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry. Then, the patient can apply for a medical marijuana card for use at registered treatment facilities.

Medical Cannabis Benefits You Should Know About

The list of health conditions that medical marijuana can help to treat is a long list. That’s because of the many benefits of medical marijuana that can positively affect the human body. Here are 9 of the most commonly recognized medical cannabis benefits.

1. Pain Management

Medical marijuana is an increasingly popular treatment for chronic pain. For many, it is a common aspect of their pain management. Marijuana has fewer harmful side effects than other pain medications like opioids.

THC and CBD are similar to the naturally occurring cannabinoids in the human body. When they are ingested, they bind to receptors in the brain. This blocks pain signals and activates the reward system in the body.

2. Reduces Inflammation

When fighting infection or disease, the immune system causes inflammation. With chronic disease, the inflammation creates pain and discomfort. Medical marijuana can reduce the inflammation response of the immune system.

Inflammation in the digestive system is present in digestive conditions like Crohn’s Disease. Reduced inflammation decreases the uncomfortable symptoms of these conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis is another health condition characterized by inflammation.

3. Reduce Depression and Anxiety

Medical marijuana has been shown in early studies to assist with mood stabilization. This can help to treat depression and anxiety. 

Medical cannabis can also have a palliative effect on some of the common symptoms of depression and anxiety. These symptoms include trouble sleeping, lack of appetite, digestive problems, and headaches.

4. Sleep Management

Approximately 40 million Americans experience insomnia. Because THC can induce sleep, medical marijuana is an effective treatment for insomnia. 

Medical marijuana can decrease the amount of deep REM sleep. REM sleep is when dreaming occurs. Reducing REM sleep often results in fewer nightmares for people struggling with PTSD.

5. Muscle Relaxant

Medical cannabis can reduce muscle spasticity. Muscle spasms are common in diseases like Parkinson’s. These spasms and tremors make day-to-day life challenging.

Epidiolex is the first FDA-approved drug that uses ingredients extracted for marijuana. This drug reduces seizures in a rare form of epilepsy. All forms of medical marijuana may reduce seizures in epilepsy patients, especially if they are resistant to other treatments.

6. Stimulate Appetite

People living with HIV/AIDS sometimes experience HIV wasting syndrome, which is the involuntary loss of at least 10% of their body mass. While undergoing chemotherapy, a very common side effect is loss of appetite, resulting in weight loss.

For patients with HIV/AIDS or cancer, medical marijuana can help to stimulate appetite. This reduces the serious consequences of unintentional weight loss for these patients.

7. Prevent and Ease Nausea

Medical marijuana is highly effective in reducing nausea. This includes nausea caused as a result of other drug therapies like chemotherapy. In one study, 78% of patients found that marijuana was effective in reducing nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.

This may also increase the likelihood that an individual will adhere to their treatment. The discomfort that comes from the side effects of treatment makes patients more likely to stop treatment prematurely.

8. Treat Neurodegenerative Disease

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a neurodegenerative disease caused by damage to neurons on the brain and spinal cord. These neurons are responsible for essential life functions like walking, talking, and swallowing.

There is no cure for ALS, but many studies have found that medical marijuana can slow the progression of the disease and provide relief from cramps and muscle spasms.

9. Preventing Damage From Glaucoma

Glaucoma, the second most common cause of blindness in the world, is caused by high pressure in the eye. This pressure damages the optic nerve and results in vision loss and ultimately, blindness.

Medical cannabis can be used to help reduce the pressure in the eye just as effectively as traditional glaucoma medications. Consistent use can ultimately slow down the progression of glaucoma or reduce the risk of developing glaucoma.

Find a Physician for Medical Marijuana in Florida Today

If you are battling any of the health conditions included in this guide, medical marijuana can provide the relief you are seeking. The medical cannabis benefits can restore your quality of life.

The Herbal Clinic, MD can provide you with the compassionate care you need to life live to the fullest.

If you believe you have a qualifying condition and medical marijuana can provide you with the relief you need, contact us today.