With the recent legalization of medical marijuana in more states including Florida and Arkansas, more than half of United States citizens now have access to cannabis for medical use. The total number of states that now permit use of marijuana under the direction of a physician to treat various medical issues currently stands at 28 and the District of Columbia.
1. Reduction of nausea during chemotherapy treatments.
Marijuana has been used for many years to treat the nausea that is suffered by cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Until recently, however, there has been a lack of definitive studies as to the efficacy of the herb. Now, researchers in Australia are engaged in the largest clinical trial of medical marijuana involving cancer patients. 330 patients are set to take part.
2. Stimulation of appetite in AIDS/HIV patients.
Loss of appetite has long been a problem for those individuals suffering from HIV and AIDS. Medical marijuana appears to have some benefit in the stimulation of appetite for these individuals. The drug often produces hunger after use in a wide number of users, and cannabis has also been used in this way to improve the appetite of cancer patients.
3. The treatment of chronic pain.
A 2011 study concluded that medical cannabis was generally safe for the treatment of chronic pain that can arise from fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and neuropathy. Many researchers assert that the herb is safer than opioid pain killers which have long been used to relieve pain, presenting a lower risk of addiction and overdose.
4. The treatment of Multiple Sclerosis.
Ten countries have now approved medical marijuana for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. MS is a disease that breaks down the myelin coating of nerve cells and can create a wide variety of physical and neurological symptoms. Some patients have reported that marijuana is effective in the reduction of spasms and muscle cramps associated with the disease.
5. Reduction of seizures in epileptic patients.
While more studies are needed to confirm the benefits of marijuana for those who suffer epileptic seizures, the initial trials have presented some success. In the San Francisco Bay area, researchers have been exploring the use of cannabis oil to treat children with epilepsy, and the initial results have been promising.
6. The Treatment of Glaucoma
One of the first medical uses of marijuana was in the treatment of glaucoma, and the drug is still prescribed for this today by many health professionals. Marijuana is believed to reduce pressure on the optic nerves and provide considerable relief for those with this serious disorder.