Relieve Pain: A recent report1 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found there is definitive evidence that cannabis can be effective at relieving chronic pain; this is also the most common reason people request medical marijuana.
Increase Lung Functioning: Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, one study found that not only does marijuana not harm the lungs, but it may also even increase lung capacity.2 The study followed over 5,000 young adults for 20 years and found that while tobacco users lost lung function, marijuana smokers actually increased theirs.
Preserve Healthy Eyes: According to the National Eye Institute, studies show that when smoked, marijuana lowers intraocular pressure for a few hours in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma, thereby serving as an effective short-term treatment for the eye disease.3
Can Help Fight Cancer: In 2007, researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco reported that a chemical found in marijuana known as CBD may help stop cancer from spreading.4 In addition, one 2014 study found that marijuana can slow the growth of the kind of brain tumor associated with 80% of malignant brain cancers.5
Slow Alzheimer’s Disease: Kim Janda of the Scripps Research Institute performed a study in 2006 revealing that Marijuana may be able to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, the study found that the active chemical in marijuana, THC, slows the formation of plaques associated with Alzheimer’s that kill brain cells.6
Good For The Gut: Researchers from the University of Nottingham found that marijuana interacts with cells in the body that play a vital role in gut function; their studies suggest that patients with diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can benefit from marijuana use because it blocks compounds that increase intestinal permeability. As these compounds are blocked, bacteria are not able to enter the intestines as easily, decreasing symptoms in patients.7
Good For Sleep & Reduced Pain: Research out of Israel, a country whose government largely supports cannabis use, shows that smoking marijuana significantly reduces tremors and pain, and improves sleep for sufferers of Parkinson’s disease. The improvement in fine motor skills among patients has been especially impressive.8
Helps Protect The Brain: Marijuana seems to have powerful neuroprotective properties, based on clinical and laboratory data.9 It may even not only protect the brain from trauma and concussions but can also protect the brain after a stroke by reducing the size of the area affected by the stroke.10
Reduces Nausea: Cannabis has been shown to reduce some of the nausea and pain from chemotherapy, and also stimulates appetites in patients.11 Cancer patients going through chemo often suffer from vomiting, loss of appetite, and painful nausea. Marijuana can help reduce these effects. There are actually several FDA-approved medications that use THC for the same purpose.12
Alleviates Inflammation: SymptomsMarijuana alleviates pain, promotes sleep, and reduces inflammation for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers at several hospitals gave patients a cannabinoid-based medicine and after two weeks, patients showed a significant improvement in sleep quality and pain reduction compared to those who used a placebo.13