Medical Marijuana: Here’s How Pot May Help
There are a lot of end-stage cancer patients who swear by cannabis oil for cancer treatment.
There are a lot of end-stage cancer patients who swear by cannabis oil for cancer treatment. (Photo: iStockphoto)

Medical Marijuana: Here’s How Pot May Help

Patanjali, India’s leading Ayurveda products maker, may just be getting into medical marijuana. Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev’s company is experimenting with various formulations of the plant cannabis in its labs, according to this report here.

Just to be clear, cannabis in India falls under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985, and possession and consumption of the substance can lead to jail term.

But in Ayurveda, it finds a mention as one of the five sacred plants, and was also favoured by Lord Shiva.

So is Patanjali on the right track? World over, countries are waking up to the medical benefits of marijuana. 29 out of 50 states in the US have made it legal in some form.

For your benefit, we’ve put together all the conditions that qualify for medical marijuana use world over. To be very clear, once again, most research remains at early stages and you need to check with your doctor on the best course of treatment.

1. Chemotherapy

Medical cannabis may help with nausea and vomiting in those seeking chemotherapy.
Medical cannabis may help with nausea and vomiting in those seeking chemotherapy.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Several studies have indicated that smoking marijuana can help relieve the symptoms of nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy, according to the American Cancer Society.

Scientists reported that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and other cannabinoids such as CBD slow growth and/or cause death in certain types of cancer cells growing in lab dishes.

Two chemically pure drugs based on marijuana compounds, Dronabinol and Nabinol, have been approved for use in the United States.

Also Read : Legal or Not, Can Marijuana Truly Help Relieve Period Cramps?

2. Sleep Disorders

Can’t sleep? Marijuana may help!
Can’t sleep? Marijuana may help!
(Gif Courtesy: Giphy.com)

Marijuana makes you sleepy? Everyone already knew that. Now it is being used in some states in the US to treat sleep apnea. Studies have shown cannabis improves the quality and duration of sleep and helps manage various sleep disorders.

According to a study, a major cannabinoid found in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), effectively reduces the amount of time it takes those with insomnia to fall asleep.

3. Anxiety and PTSD

Compounds found in cannabis may help treat anxiety and other mental health disorders.
Compounds found in cannabis may help treat anxiety and other mental health disorders.
(Photo: The Quint/ Rhythum Seth)

Smoking pot makes you relaxed? Well it may also help treat more serious mental health conditions. According to a paper in Clinical Psychology Review, as reported by Time magazine, medical marijuana can help with depression, anxiety and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorders.

There is some research that shows it may help treating those suffering from opioid addiction. But smoking pot in any form can be detrimental to those suffering from bipolar disorders and psychosis.

4. Chronic Pain

Medical marijuana can help those living with chronic pain.
Medical marijuana can help those living with chronic pain.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

There is now evidence that medical marijuana can help relieve symptoms of chronic pain including for patients suffering from fibromyalgia. Smoking marijuana has also helped improve food intake in HIV patients in studies.

In fact chronic pain is the one of the most common reasons why people seek medical marijuana.

According to a report released by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), that is believed to be the most comprehensive look at all available research, cannabis has an important role to play in pain relief.

Studies show that both inhaled marijuana and cannabinoid compounds that come from the plant work for pain, as reported in Business Insider.

5. Multiple Sclerosis

The MS Society, UK, has said that patients suffering from multiple sclerosis should be allowed to use medical marijuana. The MS Society is asking that cannabis be made legal for patients whose pain and spasticity cannot be treated by already available medication, reports The Guardian.

Additionally, according to Mayo Clinic, studies indicate:

  • cannabis extract taken in a capsule form can help relieve muscle stiffness (spasticity) and spasms.
  • The extract may reduce pain.
  • A mouth spray form possibly reduces spasticity, pain and bladder urgency.

6. Epilepsy

Up to 30% of children with epilepsy are not getting any help with current drugs. Could medical marijuana help?
Up to 30% of children with epilepsy are not getting any help with current drugs. Could medical marijuana help?
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Studies indicate that the active ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), work by blocking pain signals. CBD has protective and anti-inflammatory properties.

Though various studies are unclear about HOW marijuana controls seizures, they’ve given hope to thousands of parents of children who suffer from epilepsy.

Some studies have also indicated medical marijuana can help with period pain. There are several studies being carried out world over to study the benefits of cannabis for various treatments. Medical marijuana (not pot) should be taken only under the strictest advise of your doctors.

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