The Benefits of Medical Marijuana in Treating Aches and Pains
So far, nearly half of the country now has legalized the use of medical marijuana. The drug has been slowly winning over some of its most committed critics with its high record of success in relieving pain and suffering for many of its users. Even those who have been staunch opposers to the legalization of the drug are now reconsidering their position because of its seemingly high rate of success.
While there has been a great deal of controversy over the use of medical marijuana, few have been able to doubt the benefits it's had in those who have begun to use it. Still, many may be surprised to know that the subject of its uses and benefits is not a new one. According to Live Science, "Marijuana's medicinal uses can be traced back as early as 2737 B.C., when the emperor of China, Shen Neng, touted cannabis tea as a treatment for gout, rheumatism, malaria and even poor memory. … The drug's popularity as a medicine spread throughout Asia, the Middle East and then to Africa and India."
The fact is that for centuries users of marijuana have been able to see its benefits for quite some time. It is actually in the last generation or two that it has been labeled as harmful. Before that the drug was used in many forms for different reasons.
Medical marijuana comes in different forms; smoked, vaporized, or ingested as a pill. There is now even a form that allows you to put it in some of your favorite recipes as an addition to food. While many people may believe that its healing powers are rooted in myth and made from the stuff of fairy tales, scientists have now concluded that its known therapeutic effects are based in "solid science." With 60 different active ingredients, the drug helps the body to produce its own form of cannabinoids, which can be used to manage pain in many patients.
For Pain Relief
The main psychoactive cannabinoid in the drug is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which tags a receptor found in the brain, nervous system, liver, kidney, and the lungs. Since this receptor is the one that tells us if we're experiencing pain, it is an important one in helping the body to recover from whatever is causing harm or damage. Once the CB1 receptor is turned off, the signal to the brain that our body is in pain is also turned off, so the body's energies can be redirected towards healing itself.
This effect has been very beneficial in easing neuropathic pain, or any pain that results from damaged nerves. According to a study reported on in Leaf Science, "Studies show that THC activates pathways in the central nervous system which work to block pain signals from being sent to the brain. Likewise, cannabis has been shown to be especially effective against neuropathic pain, or nerve-related pain."
THC has become one of the key ingredients attributed to why medical marijuana has been used to help patients who suffer chronic pain to get relief in many cases. Now that it has been legalized, doctors have been able to prescribe it to patients suffering from HIV instead of the less effective morphine or other opiates.
To Treat Muscle Stiffness or Spasms
Another well-known benefit of using medical marijuana is to relieve the muscle stiffness or muscle spasms in those who have MS. While the success of using marijuana in pill or capsule form has been well documented, it is not as easy to get the results as many people may think. For some, the side effects of its use can far outweigh the benefits for many MS sufferers. Some users have complained of an increased heart rate, slower reactions, loss of coordination and balance, dizziness, dry mouth, and even sleepiness. However, if you are one of those who are able to avoid some of the side effects of using the drug, you could experience success like those reported on in WebMD, "This feeling of stiffness or uncontrolled movement in your muscles is a common MS symptom. Medical marijuana can help calm your spasms and let you move your arms and legs more freely. ...The drug may give relief and cut down on nerve pain."
While the research done on medical marijuana is still in the early stages, the preliminary reports and studies done to date all seem to reveal that there are many lasting benefits to the use of the drug to bring pain relief to many.
It is often easy in the face of modern science to dismiss the stories of our ancestors as flights of fantasy, but as more and more research is done on the use of medical marijuana, it is becoming increasingly clearer that our ancestors were on the right track in treating their many aches and pains.