Decades of research have highlighted the benefits of medical marijuana for various health ailments. It’s fairly well known that cannabis can be effective in treating pain disorders and help with nausea and loss of appetite associated with cancer treatments, but this isn’t where the health benefits end. Here are five lesser-known health benefits of medical marijuana.
Slows and Stops Cancer Cells from Spreading
A study published in the Journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics found that Cannabidiol (CBD) has the ability to stop cancer by turning off the gene Id-1. Researchers experimented on breast cancer cells in the lab that had high level of Id-1 and treated them with CBD. The outcome was rather positive; the cells had decreased Id-1 expression, and were less aggressive spreaders. The American Association for Cancer Research has found that marijuana actually works to slow down tumor growth in brain, breast, and lungs considerately.
Slows the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease
A 2006 study from the Scripps Research Institute found that THC slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The team found that THC slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that produces them. These plaques kill brain cells, potentially leading to the onset of Alzheimer’s.
In 2011, researchers found that cannabis reduces pain and inflammation and promotes sleep, which helps relieve the pain and discomfort for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Helps with Chron’s Disease + IBS
Cannabis can cause Chron’s disease to go into remission. In a recent Israeli study, researchers found that smoking medical marijuana considerably reduced symptoms in over 90% of patients and caused complete remission in 45% of the patients. Although this was a small study, other researchers have found similar results. CBD in cannabis seems to help the gut control bacteria and intestinal infection.
As with Chron’s disease, patients suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases could benefit from medical marijuana use. In a study at the University of Nottingham, researchers found that chemicals in cannabis, including THC and CBD, interact with cells in the body that play an important role in gut function and immune system.
THC like chemicals made by the body increase the permeability of the intestines, allowing bacteria in. The plant-derived cannabinoids in marijuana block these body-cannabinoids, stopping this permeability, and making the intestinal bond tighter together.
May Protect the Brain After a Stroke
Research from the University of Nottingham shows that medical marijuana may help protect the brain from damage caused by a stroke. Chemical compounds found in cannabis could help shrink the area of the brain affected by stroke, the study suggests.
Cannabinoids that are found in marijuana and those that are found naturally in the body can also help improve brain function after a stroke attack, the authors said.