7 Fast Facts about Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana continues to be legalized in more states, and for good reason. While it isn’t yet approved by the FDA, mounting evidence supports the power of marijuana to treat a wide range of illnesses and conditions. To date, there have not been enough FDA-approved studies conducted which show the benefits of marijuana use outweigh the risks, but hundreds of clinical trials have been carried out on a scale smaller than is required by the FDA. This article aims to highlight 7 incredible facts about medical marijuana that show America is well on its way to wider legalization [1].

If you would like to know if medical marijuana (MMJ) is right for you, schedule an exam with one of our Florida Marijuana Doctors. You may complete our eligibility survey in just 5 minutes to find out if you pre-qualify for a recommendation.

The Facts:

 

  • Medical marijuana helps cancer patients

 

A 2001 study on chemotherapy patients found “patients who smoked cannabis showed a 70 – 100% relief from nausea and vomiting, while those who used a Δ9-THC capsule experienced 76 – 88% relief” [2]. Additionally, recent studies on animals show that marijuana extracts may kill or reduce certain cancer cells, including those from a very aggressive type of brain tumor [1].

  • Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) find relief from muscle contractions

 

Extensive research has been documented which shows marijuana to improve the spasticity associated with MS. In 2012, a placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted on 37 patients of MS. Smoked cannabis proved to remedy the effects of spasticity in those who had previously been unable to find relief via other medications or treatments [3].

  • Marijuana is used to treat those with spinal cord injuries

 

There are over 15 million people in the world with spinal injuries and 10,000 new cases in the United States each year. Similar to patients of MS, multiple studies indicate medical marijuana improves the quality of life for those with spinal cord injuries. It is used to treat symptoms such as muscle spasms, pain, trouble sleeping, and spasticity. In one study, a paraplegic patient from a double-blind study was administered oral THC and found it to be more effective than codeine for treating painful muscle spasms in both of his legs [4].

  • Vaporized cannabis treats chronic neuropathic pain

 

1-2% of Americans experience chronic neuropathic pain. Vaporized marijuana has been found to relieve the effects of neuropathic pain in a 2012 study where 23 participants used cannabis for five days, three times per day. Patients noticed a 27% decrease in perceived pain and an overall improvement in their ability to sleep [5].

  • Cannabis reduces migraine symptoms

 

Migraines are characterized by sensitivity to light, sound, altered bodily perceptions, severe headaches and nausea. Use of cannabis to treat migraines dates back to 1915 when Sir William Osler, colloquially named  the “father of modern medicine,” proposed it as a viable remedy [6]. In a recent article published by the Association of Migraine Disorders, Michelle Tracy recounts her history with migraines and the various treatments she tried that were unsuccessful until she tried marijuana. She said, “It took a bit of practice, but I soon got the hang of vaping. I’d typically only take 2-3 hits at a time but that was enough. It was, hands-down, the most effective anti-nausea medication I’d ever used. It lessened the excruciating neck and shoulder pain that accompanied my migraine attacks. It helped me sleep, calmed my restless legs, and lessened my anxiety and depression. While it didn’t help the head, pain associated with my most severe migraine attacks, it did help with my milder and more moderate attacks and I also believe that it played a role in preventing some attacks altogether. I was definitely glad that I had marijuana in my migraine toolbox” [7].

 

  • Marijuana may help patients of rheumatoid arthritis

 

In 2005, researchers studied the effectiveness of a cannabis-based medicine (CBM) called “Sativex” on sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis. The double-blind, placebo trial looked at 58 patients over a five week period of treatment. A clinically controlled measurement of disease activity named DAS28 was used, as well as the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ). The study found that, when compared to the placebo, the CBM showed a measured improvement in pain at rest, pain on movement, and quality of sleep. There were only mild adverse effects reported by patients who used the CBM and “no adverse effect-related withdrawals or serious adverse effects in the active treatment group” [8].

  • Marijuana may stimulate bone formation in those with osteoporosis

 

Osteoporosis is a bone disease which causes a reduction in bone mineral density that leads to an increased risk of bone fractures. There is evidence to suggest that cannabinoid receptor CB2 can stimulate and repair the mineral density of bones by inhibiting bone resorption. CB2 is activated by cannabinoids found in cannabis, especially THC. Backed by a 2009 study, research suggests marijuana has the powerful potential to combat osteoporosis [9].

Is medical marijuana right for me?

Whether medical marijuana will help your condition depends on many factors best evaluated by a medical doctor. If you feel you may benefit from medical marijuana, the first step is to take our eligibility survey. In just 5 minutes, you could pre-qualify for a recommendation. A Florida Marijuana Doctor can then determine if you qualify during an in-person exam. For more information, visit https://docmj.com

  1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J175v01n01_03
  3. http://www.cmaj.ca/content/184/10/1143.short
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK230711/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20805210
  6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014488610001159
  7. https://migrainedisorders.org/medical-marijuana-and-migraine/
  8. https://academic.oup.com/rheumatology/article/45/1/50/1788693
  9. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07853890903121025