Marijuana was a drug that was looked down upon for many years, but there has been a lot of research into the beneficial effects of marijuana in recent years. Medical marijuana is very versatile because it is available in many different forms. For example, it is available in the form of vapor that can be inhaled. It is also available in the form of tablets and can be swallowed. There are also some people who even smoke medical marijuana. There are also other forms of this medication like the liquid form and the leaf form.
There are several benefits of using medical marijuana for medical conditions. The commonly known benefits include the reduction in pain and a reduction in the muscle spasm. Recent research has also shown that this unique medication can help to reduce the number of seizures that an epileptic patient suffers from.
Top reasons for epileptic patients to use medical marijuana
1. Reduction in the severity of seizures: There is a definite reduction in the severity of seizures that patients suffer from. Usually seizures in children can be caused easily by a triggering factor. Since the severity of the seizure is reduced, many side effects are prevented. It can even help affected people to have a better quality of life after this therapy.
2. Reduction in the number of seizure episodes: The use of marijuana therapy can also help in the reduction in the number of seizure episodes. Repeated seizures can cause permanent long term changes in the human nervous system leading to chronic problems. This can be overcome with the new therapy.
3. Treatment of patients unresponsive to other therapies: The other major benefit of using this liquid form of medical marijuanato treat epileptic patients is that it will be helpful in the treatment of those who are unresponsive to other kinds of treatment. The conventional treatments may not help all patients and there are some patients who will be unresponsive to these regular drugs. Even such patients have been found to be responsive to this new therapy.
4. Reduction of symptoms in patients who had severe form of epilepsies: The fact that research has shown that the liquid marijuana therapy helps in the reduction o symptoms in patients who even had severe form of epilepsies is a very good sign. These forms of epilepsies could even cause chronic impairments in the patients that include permanent disability. Since the marijuana therapy is able to reduce symptoms in those with such severe forms of the disease, it is a boon to those who suffer from the disease.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a chronic degenerative neurological disease. This is a disease that is fatal in most people. The effects of the disease are such that it will cause degeneration of the brain cells and because the nervous system is not functioning properly, the muscles of the body will also become weak and inefficient. This leads to problems like respiratory failure and even death. The people who are affected by this disease can also suffer from muscle paralysis, muscle spasm or spasticity and even pain because of the contractures and muscle weakness. Currently, there is no treatment available for the disease and it is considered to be incurable.
There was a research article published in the American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine, which made some sweeping comments about the role of marijuana in the treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The study showed that the disease could be controlled by marijuana, even if the medicine is taken in small amounts.
In the journal of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis & Other Motor Neuron Disorders, the research article published in 2004 said that the investigators at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco had identified that THC intake could prevent the progression of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The disease can be curbed and the life of the patient can be saved.
Animal models for study
Most of the studies that were published were based on animal models, but the truth is that these animal models can be replicated in human models quite easily. The studies in rats suffering from the disease showed that there was rarely any progression in the disease process. Instead, there was an immediate reduction in the disease burden.
Other ways in which THC helps treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
– Reduction in side effects: There is reduction in the side effects of the medications usually used for treating Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The usual medications can cause severe side effects, but when marijuana is used, it does not have any side effects, thus helping in only controlling the disease.
– Reduction in muscle spasm: The muscle spasm that occurs when there is nerve damage can also be countered with the use of marijuana. The reduced muscle spasm helps in providing better functionality to the affected person.
– Regeneration of brain cells: The other important way in which the THC present in cannabis helps is by helping in the regeneration of the brain cells. This not only prevents the control of the disease progression, but also helps in making the affected person feel better.
Anxiety and panic attacks are common in many patients, but it is much more common in those who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. This is a condition that is initially caused because of exposure to a stressful or traumatic incident. Once the incident has been witnessed by a person, it can cause repeated panic attacks and also severe stress. Anxiety, depression and other such psychiatric problems are common in those who suffer from this post traumatic stress disorder. In fact, a psychologist who has been working for 25 years with those suffering from anxiety and depression feels that these attacks can be prevented and treated effectively with medical marijuana.Dr Romulo Valdez works with the Dartmouth Medical Center and feels that cannabis is more effective in treating these conditions than with the regular medicines that are commonly used by psychiatrists.
According to Dr Romulo Valdez, the marijuana helps in controlling panic and anxiety attacks in several ways as listed here:
1. Reduces blood pressure: Blood pressure can be a sign of anxiety and panic. Usually, there is a sudden rise in the blood pressure in those who suffer from panic attacks. There is a sudden release of adrenaline from the body and this leads to severe panic and flight reactions. When marijuana is used, it helps in not only controlling, but also prevention of such sudden rise in the blood pressure. Other than keeping the blood pressure under control, marijuana also helps in preventing panic attacks and reduces anxiety.
2. Reduces memory of specific events: The memory of specific events usually causes panic attacks. It also causes a person to suffer from repeated remembrance of the events leading up to a panic attack. When medical cannabis is used on a regular basis, the memory of such specific incidents that cause panic attacks will reduce. When the memory of such incidents reduces, it helps in controlling and preventing such attacks. A research done with rats has confirmed that the memory of stress and trauma caused by previous incidents are forgotten with a daily dose of cannabis.
3. Soothes the mind: The other effect that medical marijuana has on the brain is that it soothes the mind. There is decreased firing of the brain neurons and this helps in reducing the severity of panic attacks. Over a period of time, there are no attacks altogether. So, there is a fast response of the mind to the use of medical marijuana. There is a decrease in the anxiety levels and this prevents panic attacks altogether.
Research in human subjects will soon commence and after that is successful, more psychiatrists are likely to use medical marijuana for the treatment of complicated chronic diseases.