Miraculous medical marijuana stories are common in the news these days. From children with severe forms of epilepsy to elderly patients treating arthritis pain, people all over the world have legitimate reasons for medical marijuana use. What are the most common health benefits of cannabinoids? And what reasons to use medical cannabis are most common? Let’s take a look at some of the research done so far!
Reasons For Medical Marijuana
The list of reasons to use medical cannabis is long. And since scientific research into the plant’s potential is still in its infancy, that list is likely to only get longer. The health benefits of cannabinoids range from pain and nausea relief, to treating night terrors in PTSD patients, and drastically reducing the number of seizures in severely epileptic children.
So what is medical cannabis used to treat most commonly? A survey by HelloMD, the largest online community for medical cannabis, looked into that question. They surveyed 1,400 medical marijuana patients in the study, making it one of the largest surveys ever conducted on medical marijuana users. Of all those surveyed, 66 percent of respondents said that they use medical marijuana as their primary treatment option. And while 20 percent of respondents said they only use cannabis as a replacement for alcohol, far more people had conditions and health reasons to use medical cannabis.
What medical reason is cannabis used for most? According to this survey, anxiety was by far the most commonly cited of all reasons for medical marijuana use. Other reasons to use medical cannabis that were most often cited are pain, stress, insomnia, depression, migraines, arthritis, inflammation, muscle spasms, loss of appetite, nausea, and PTSD.
Medical Conditions That Are Treatable With Cannabis
People all over the world have come to rely on cannabis as a medical treatment because it can be incredibly effective. So let’s quickly talk about the science behind the top reasons for medical marijuana and how cannabis actually works to help certain conditions.
Cannabis for Anxiety
As we just mentioned, anxiety is the most common of all reasons to use medical cannabis. Interestingly, certain kinds of cannabis can cause paranoia and anxiety for some people. But for others, it can be a more effective treatment for anxiety than FDA approved anti-anxiety pharmaceuticals. How does cannabis work to relieve anxiety?
In a round of studies conducted at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, researchers looked into this question and came to some pretty interesting conclusions. Cannabis interacts with the endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors found all throughout the body. The researchers’ findings suggest that the endocannabinoid system regulates anxiety by dampening excitatory signals. It’s thought that cannabis interacts with CB1 receptors in the part of the brain that controls anxiety, the central amygdala.
Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain
Chronic pain affects millions of American each year and it happens to be one of the most common reasons for medical marijuana use. When dealing with chronic pain, most doctors prescribe pain pills that are highly addictive and can cause all sorts of terrible side effects. So it’s no wonder that so many people suffering from chronic pain look for natural alternatives.
Study after study shows that cannabis is a very effective pain reliever. In one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers concluded that there was overwhelming evidence to show cannabis can be just as effective, if not more, than opioids for pain. That’s because both CBD and THC work as analgesics, or pain relievers. THC is thought to be more effective as treating pain while CBD is great for treating inflammation that can cause pain.
Medical Marijuana for Insomnia
Insomnia is the leading sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans of all ages each year. There are acute cases of insomnia that only last a day or two and in more severe cases, can last for weeks or months. Because lack of sleep can lead to health and psychological issues, it’s no wonder insomnia is one of the top reasons to use medical cannabis.
Not only does cannabis work as an anti-anxiety treatment, which can help you fall into a relaxed slumber, but it actually works to change up your sleep cycle for a more restful evening. THC improves sleep patterns by reducing the time spent in the REM sleep stage, when most dreams occur, and prolongs the deep sleep stage.
There are many reasons to use medical cannabis for conditions ranging from sleep disorders, to chronic pain, and even nausea. If you’re looking for relief and are a Colorado medical cannabis patient, visit one of our medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado. If you aren’t a registered patient, but interested in trying out recreational products to help, stop by one of our recreational dispensaries in Denver.