The 20 Benefits of Using Marijuana

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1. It can inspire creativity. If you have a problem with people enjoying marijuana, allow the great Bill Hicks to retort: “Take all your albums, all your tapes and all your CDs and burn them. ‘Cause you know what, the musicians that made all that great music that’s enhanced your lives throughout the years were rrreal fucking high!” Contrary to stoner stereotypes, marijuana usage has actually been shown to have some positive mental effects, particularly in terms of increasing creativity. Even though people’s short-term memories tend to function worse when high, people get better at tests requiring them to come up with new ideas.

One study tested participants on their ability to come up with different words related to a concept, and found that using cannabis allowed people to come up with a greater range of related concepts, seeming “to make the brain better at detecting those remote associations that lead to radically new ideas,” according to Wired.

Other researchers have found that some participants improve their “verbal fluency,” their ability to come up with different words, while using marijuana.

Part of this increased creative ability may come from the release of dopamine in the brain, lessening inhibitions and allowing people to feel more relaxed, giving the brain the ability to perceive things differently.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/health-benefits-of-medical-marijuana-2014-4?op=1#ixzz3a5Zrcgtm

2. It can be used to treat Glaucoma. According to the National Eye Institute:

Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma. In an effort to determine whether marijuana, or drugs derived from marijuana, might be effective as a glaucoma treatment, the National Eye Institute (NEI) supported research studies beginning in 1978. These studies demonstrated that some derivatives of marijuana transiently lowered IOP when administered orally, intravenously, or by smoking, but not when topically applied to the eye.

3. It may help reverse the carcinogenic effects of tobacco and improve lung health. It’s almost counterintuitive to believe one of the benefits of smoking marijuana would be improved lung function, but that’s what science is for, discovering truth! While tobacco smokers showed the expected drop in lung function over time, the new research found that marijuana smoke had unexpected and apparently positive effects. Low to moderate users actually showed increased lung capacity compared to nonsmokers on two tests, known as FEV1 and FVC. FEV1 is the amount of air someone breathes out in the first second after taking the deepest possible breath; FVC is the total volume of air exhaled after the deepest inhalation. “FEV1 and FVC both actually increased with moderate and occasional use of marijuana,” says Dr. Mark Pletcher, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco and the lead author of the study.

4. 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. Cannabinoids like the active ingredients in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (also known as THC), control seizures by binding to the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation.

5. It also decreases the symptoms of a severe seizure disorder known as Dravet’s Syndrome. During the research for his documentary “Weed,” Gupta interviewed the Figi family, who treats their 5-year-old daughter using a medical marijuana strain high in cannabidiol and low in THC. Their daughter, Charlotte, has Dravet Syndrome, which causes seizures and severe developmental delays. According to the film, the drug has decreased her seizures from 300 a week to just one every seven days. Forty other children in the state are using the same strain of marijuana to treat their seizures — and it seems to be working. The doctors who recommended this treatment said that the cannabidiol in the plant interacts with the brain cells to quiet the excessive activity in the brain that causes these seizures.

6. It keeps you skinny and helps your metabolism. Pot smokers are skinnier than the average person and have healthier metabolism and reaction to sugars, according to a study published in the American Journal Of Medicine in April last year. The study examined data from more than 4,500 adult Americans, 579 of whom were current marijuana smokers, which meant they had partaken in the last month. About 2,000 had used marijuana in the past, while another 2,000 had never used the drug. Researchers studied their body’s response to eating sugars: their levels of the hormone insulin and their blood sugar levels while they hadn’t eaten in nine hours, and after eating sugar. They fond that not only are pot users skinnier, but their body has a healthier response to sugar.

7. Another benefit of using marijuana is how it soothes fibromyalgia. Doctors bought off by the pharmaceutical industry may offer feckless arguments, but the anecdotal evidence from fibromyalgia patients is overwhelming regarding , which shouldn’t be a surprise considering it’s use as medicine for over 5,000 years.

8. A chemical found in marijuana stops cancer from spreading. CBD may help prevent cancer from spreading, researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco reported in 2007. 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. The scientists studied breast cancer cells in the lab that had high expression levels of Id-1 and treated them with cannabidiol. After the CBD treatment the cells had decreased Id-1 expression and were far less aggressive spreaders. In “WEED,” newly-enlightened-observer-of-fact, Gupta also admitted a few studies in the U.S., Spain, and Israel that suggest the compounds in cannabis could even kill cancer cells.

9. THC slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Marijuana slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a study led by Kim Janda of the Scripps Research Institute suggests. This would be quite the benefit. The journal Molecular Pharmaceutics published a study in 2006 that found THC, the active chemical in marijuana, slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. These plaques are what kill brain cells and cause Alzheimer’s.

10. The drug eases the pain of multiple sclerosis. Marijuana may ease painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis, a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in May suggests.

Jody Corey-Bloom studied 30 multiple sclerosis patients with painful contractions in their muscles. These patients didn’t respond to other treatments, but after smoking marijuana for a few days they were in less pain.

The THC in the pot binds to receptors in the nerves and muscles to relieve pain. Other studies suggest that the chemical also helps control the muscle spasms.

11. Makes treatment for Hepatitis C far less miserable.  Treatment for hepatitis C infection is super harsh because the negative side effects include fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and depression — and lasts for months. Most people aren’t able to finish their treatment course simply because of the side effects.

But, weed to the rescue! Way back in 2006 study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that 86% of patients using marijuana successfully completed their Hep C therapy, while only 29% of non-smokers completed their treatment, possibly because the marijuana helps lessens the treatments side effects.

Marijuana also seems to improve the treatment’s effectiveness: 54% of hep C patients smoking marijuana got their viral levels low and kept them low, in comparison to only 8% of nonsmokers.

12. Soothes your bowels.  Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis could benefit from marijuana use, studies suggest.

University of Nottingham researchers found in 2010 that chemicals in marijuana, including THC and cannabidiol, interact with cells in the body that play an important role in gut function and immune responses. The study was published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

THC-like compounds made by the body increase the permeability of the intestines, allowing bacteria in. The plant-derived cannabinoids in marijuana block these body-cannabinoids, preventing this permeability and making the intestinal cells bond together tighter.

13. Lessens arthritic pain. Marijuana alleviates pain, reduces inflammation, and promotes sleep, which may help relieve pain and discomfort for people with rheumatoid arthritis, researchers announced in 2011.

Researchers from rheumatology units at several hospitals gave their patients Sativex, a cannabinoid-based pain-relieving medicine. After a two-week period, people on Sativex had a significant reduction in pain and improved sleep quality compared to placebo users.

14. Eases Crohn’s Disease symptoms. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disorder that causes pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and more. But a recent study in Israel showed that smoking a joint significantly reduced Crohn’s disease symptoms in 10 out of 11 patients, and caused a complete remission of the disease in five of those patients.

That’s a small study, but other research has shown similar effects. The cannabinoids from marijuana seem to help the gut regulate bacteria and intestinal function.

15. Another health benefit of marijuana is how it eases the symptoms of Parkinson’s. Recent research from Israel shows that smoking marijuana significantly reduces pain and tremors and facilitates deeper sleep for Parkinson’s disease patients. Even more impressive was the increased fine motor skills among patients. Medical marijuana is legal in Israel for multiple condition because a lot of government-supported medical research on the medicinal use of cannabis is done there.

16. Marijuana helps veterans suffering from PTSD. The Department of Health and Human Services recently signed off on a proposal to study marijuana’s potential as part of treatment for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Marijuana is approved to treat PTSD in some states already. In New Mexico, PTSD is the number one reason for people to get a license for medical marijuana, but this is the first time the U.S. government has approved a proposal that incorporates smoked or vaporized marijuana, which is currently classified by the government as a drug with no accepted medical applications.

Naturally occurring cannabinoids, similar to THC, help regulate the system that causes fear and anxiety in the body and brain.

17. Marijuana might protect the brain after a stroke. Research from the University of Nottingham shows that marijuana may help protect the brain from damage caused by stroke, by reducing the size of the area affected by the stroke — at least in rats, mice, and monkeys.

This isn’t the only research that has shown neuroprotective effects from cannabis. Some research shows that the plant may help protect the brain after other traumatic events, like concussions.

18. It could help the NFL with their brain damage problem. There is some evidence that marijuana can help heal the brain after a concussion or other traumatic injury. A recent study in the journal Cerebral Cortex showed that in mice, marijuana lessened the bruising of the brain and helped with healing mechanisms after a traumatic injury. Harvard professor emeritus of psychiatry and marijuana advocate Lester Grinspoon recently wrote an open letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, saying the NFL should stop testing players for marijuana, and that the league should immediately start funding research into the plant’s ability to protect the brain.

“Already, many doctors and researchers believe that marijuana has incredibly powerful neuroprotective properties, an understanding based on both laboratory and clinical data,” he writes.

Goodell recently said that he’d consider permitting athletes to use marijuana if medical research shows that it’s an effective neuroprotective agent.

19. Marijuana lessens nausea.  One of the most well-known medical uses of marijuana is for people going through chemotherapy. Cancer patients being treated with chemo suffer from painful nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. This can cause additional health complications.

Marijuana can help reduce these side effects, alleviating pain, decreasing nausea, and stimulating the appetite. There are also multiple FDA-approved cannabinoid drugs that use THC, the main active chemical in marijuana, for the same purposes.

20. Marijuana can help people trying to cut back on drinking. Who wants to dull the marijuana enhanced wonders of the universe with booze? And it’s safer than alcohol. That’s not to say there aren’t some risks, but it’s demonstrably less addictive and doesn’t cause nearly as much physical damage.

Disorders like alcoholism involve disruptions in the endocannabinoid system. Because of that, some people think cannabis might help patients struggling with those disorders.

Research in Harm Reduction Journal shows that some people use marijuana as a less harmful substitute for alcohol, prescription drugs, and other illegal drugs. Some of the most common reasons for patients to make that substitution are the less adverse side effects from marijuana and the fact that it is less likely to cause withdrawal problems.

Some people do become psychologically dependent on marijuana, and this doesn’t mean that it’s a cure for substance abuse problems. But, from a harm-reduction standpoint, it can help.

How amazing is it that all of these benefits come from the using of marijuana? A special plant indeed. I’d hate to imagine the world without it.

Perhaps one of healthiest tools to experience the benefits of marijuana, consider the Firefly Vaporizer.

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