- Alzheimer’s disease –
It was discovered that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, can prevent an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase from accelerating the formation of “Alzheimer’s plaques” in the brain, as well as protein clumps that can inhibit cognition and memory, more effectively than commercially marketed drugs.
- Epilepsy –
The ingredients found in natural marijuana plays a critical role in controlling spontaneous seizures in epilepsy. Dr. Robert J. DeLorenzo, professor of neurology at the VCU School of Medicine, added that “Although marijuana is illegal in the United States, individuals both here and abroad report that marijuana has been therapeutic for them in the treatment of a variety of ailments, including epilepsy.”
- Multiple sclerosis –
It’s long been believed that smoking pot helps MS patients, and a study published as recently as May provided yet another clinical trial as evidence of marijuana’s impact on multiple sclerosis patients with muscle spasticity. Even though the drug has been known to cause dizziness and fatigue in some users, most MS patients report marijuana not only helps ease the pain in their arms and legs when they painfully contract, but also helps them just “feel good.” How many prescription drugs can say their side effects include “happiness”?
- Glaucoma –
Since the 1970s, studies have called medical marijuana an effective treatment against glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. Researchers say marijuana helps reduce and relieve the intraocular pressure that causes optic nerve damage, but the proponents say it helps “reverse deterioration,” too.
- Arthritis –
Marijuana proves useful for many types of chronic pain conditions, but patients with rheumatoid arthritis report less pain, reduced inflammation and more sleep. However, this is not to say that arthritis patients should exchange their medication with pot; marijuana eases the pain, but it does nothing to ameliorate or curb the disease.
- Depression –
A study on addictive behaviors published by USC and SUNY Albany in 2005, whose 4,400 participants made it the largest investigation of marijuana and depression to date, found that “those who consume marijuana occasionally or even daily have lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who have never tried marijuana.” The study added that “weekly users had less depressed mood, more positive affect, and fewer somatic complaints than non-users.”
- Anxiety –
An article published in the April 2010 edition of the Harvard Mental Health Letter, “Medical marijuana and the mind,” said that while “many recreational users say that smoking marijuana calms them down, for others it has the opposite effect. … Studies report that about 20 to 30 percent of recreational users experience such problems after smoking marijuana.” The article did not mention which “studies” supported this fact, and most marijuana users would call this claim totally erroneous. Here’s a story from Patsy Eagan of Elle Magazine, who describes how she prefers marijuana to treat her anxiety over prescription drugs.
- Hepatitis C – A 2006 study performed by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco found that marijuana helps improve the effectiveness of drug therapy for hepatitis C, an infection that roughly 3 million Americans contract each year. Hepatitis C medications often have severe side effects like loss of appetite, depression, nausea, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. Patients that smoked marijuana every day or two found that not only did they complete the therapy, but that the marijuana even made it more effective in achieving a “sustained virological response,” which is the gold standard in therapy, meaning there was no sign of the virus left in their bodies.