Medical marijuana is quickly becoming a viable treatment option for all types of patients. Though marijuana is often associated with cancer treatment, it’s also used to help manage other health conditions. We’ve uncovered 7 conditions marijuana can help treat that aren’t as widely known—they might even surprise you.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
What was once considered the most deadly, untreatable disease in the world (and certainly still is, in some parts of the world), AIDS is still a deadly disease, but now one with more treatment options to manage symptoms. Weed can help AIDS patients. In this study, patients reported self-medicating to manage their condition. Benefits ranged from appetite stimulation, pain management, reducing nausea and vomiting, as well as helping with psychological ailments like anxiety and depression.
Fighting the c-word is a brutal battle, but luckily cannabis is found to be successful in helping with the repercussions associated with chemotherapy along with the disease itself. During the 1970’s, medical marijuana was first linked to relieve side effects of chemotherapy, including nausea. This is a practice that still takes place today. Other studies found that injections of THC destroyed brain tumors in rats.
Israeli and Spanish researchers discovered that in Alzheimer’s, the human brain fails to produce enough of its own marijuana-like compounds. From this breakthrough, marijuana was shown to slow the development of Alzheimer’s by inhibiting microglia cells that deteriorate neurons in the brain. In 2005, Canadian scientists found that a synthetic cannabinoid compound stimulated brain cell growth. Of all the controlled substances, only cannabis was found to promote neurogenesis.
Mad Cow Disease
A human version of mad cow disease called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is believed to be caused by eating contaminated beef products. In 2007, French scientists found evidence that cannabidiol (CBD) could stop or slow down mad cow disease. The CBD inhibits the development of infectious, misshaped protein-particles, known as prions, which cause several fatal, transmissible, neurodegenerative diseases. CBD may then be the key to a developing a new anti-prion drug.
For people suffering from multiple sclerosis or other nervous system disorders, a study stated that marijuana may counteract spasticity. Spasticity is a muscle control disorder that leads to tight and stiff muscles, and a loss of control of them.
Tourette Syndrome (TS)
Research has shown that cannabis can be effective in managing TS. In a study over a six-week period, TS patients who used cannabis showed no detrimental effects in terms of their acute or long-term cognitive functioning. Instead, cannabis was effective in managing their condition, showing many positive results.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Here’s one you probably didn’t expect—urinary tract infections. In this specific case, using cannabis worked for a patient who couldn’t find relief from other remedies. She was also prescribed to use it each time the UTI relapsed and reported that it was effective time and again.
Header photo credit: CasparGirl