With pharmaceutical drug addiction at an all-time high across America, we want to know if Cannabis could be an effective replacement for some of the most addictive pills on the market.
As you are probably aware, the American Pharmaceutical industry is the biggest in the world, bringing in billions of dollars every year! The downside to this, of course, it the rise in deaths due to prescription drug abuse, which now kills more Americans than car accidents!
So with so many deaths caused by pharmaceutical drugs, can cannabis replace these addictive and harmful drugs? Here are 5 medical conditions that we believe cannabis can treat. So drop the pills and take a look at this …
What Is Cannabis?
Possibly the most controversial plant in existence, Cannabis has been around for hundreds of thousands of years! While its uses have developed over this time, the stigma has remained attached in many parts of the world.
Once utilized to build materials, cannabis and it’s cannabinoids are now incredibly well researched and regularly used for the treatment of a variety of debilitating conditions.
The famous high that has given marijuana such a bad name over the years is all thanks to THC. What many people may not know is that while yes, THC will get you buzzed, it also provides a range of positive therapeutic side effects, as does its relative cannabinoids!
Cannabis’ true benefits are slowly coming into the light and thanks to enthusiasts and awareness around the plant, weed is now legal to use medicinally in many states, with some even legalizing the herb for recreational use. There has certainly been an incredible switch in opinions over the last decade or so.
What Can Cannabis Treat?
Cannabis has been attributed to helping dozens of conditions, however substantial research into all of these conditions has not yet been done. Despite this, there is a lot of evidence for the herb’s ability to relieve symptoms of the following conditions:
- Chronic Pain
- Chron’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson Disease
These are just a handful of the conditions being looked at about medical cannabis. There are many others currently being researched as we discover more about the abilities of the plant’s cannabinoids.
Cannabis as A Replacement for Pills?
With so many in-depth studies being done on the medicinal qualities of Cannabis, it comes as no surprise that more and more people are turning to the natural herb as a replacement for some pharmaceutical drugs.
It is no secret that the multi-billion dollar industry has millions of patient’s reliant on certain drugs to get through their day to day routines. What may start out as a short-term treatment for a condition often turns into a long-term addiction, bringing with it a host of unpleasant side-effects.
In fact, the statistics surrounding some of the top prescribed drugs in America are quite frightening. Pharmaceuticals such as Zoloft, Ambien, Adderall, Xanax, and Vicodin are all largely over prescribed and over abused leading to addiction, and in many cases overdose and death.
When we look at the most well-researched qualities of the marijuana plant, it becomes quite clear that it can provide patients with the same levels of relief as many of these prescription drugs.
Cannabis has been proven to provide all of the following therapeutic benefits:
It is mind-blowing to think one plant can produce such an impressive list of benefits, but the research behind these claims are indisputable!
Five Medical Conditions That Can Be Treated with Cannabis
So, it is time for the main feature! While we would love to discuss every medical condition Cannabis can treat (because let’s face it, there are plenty!) we have had to narrow it down to just five.
Without further ado, here are the five medical conditions we feel cannabis can be used to treat, instead of pills!
Epilepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system, and affects around 3 million American’s, with the number due to increase by 20,000 each year!
The condition is incredibly difficult to live with, as it is often unpredictable and therefore has a huge impact on the sufferer’s daily life. Epilepsy can be categorized by convulsions, loss of consciousness and seizures.
Studies have shown that very few current epilepsy medications manage to suppress seizures, and often lead to adverse effects that can cause further distress to the patient. It is for this reason that research has been done into cannabis as a potential treatment for the condition.
Cannabis as a Treatment for Epilepsy
There has been encouraging studies done into cannabis as an epilepsy treatment, in particular for the more severe conditions such as Lennox-Gastout Syndrome (LGS) and Dravet Syndrome which is often found in children.
One of the most promising studies was done into Epidiolex, which is a drug derived from CBD, containing a purified 99% oil-based CBD extract from the cannabis plant. The study was done on a group of 214 patients who have received Epidiolex. Over a 12 week period, the group was required to take the CBD based drug, and the results were incredible!
- Each of the 214 patients used in the study suffered from a form of epilepsy that had not responded to traditional medications.
- During the study, seizures decreased by an average of 54%!
This all-natural safe alternative to man-made pharmaceuticals has since been legalized for the treatment of epilepsy in many states across America!
2. Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis (MS), is a neurodegenerative disease that effects around 400,000 Americans!
There has been a lot of work done into finding out how cannabis can help patient’s suffering from MS, and the results have been pretty ground breaking! So much so, that the Multiple Sclerosis Society themselves have addressed the use of the herb, in particular, CBD in MS patients. The MSS say that around 1 in 5 of MS sufferers have used cannabis to treat their condition, which is only likely to increase as time moves on!
Multiple Sclerosis can be highly unpredictable and involves the body’s immune system which essentially attacks the fibers of the central nervous system. Those who have MS are very likely to suffer from chronic pain throughout the body, muscle spasms, dizziness and balance problems, and weakness or fatigue.
Cannabis as a Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis
While there are many treatments out there for MS, from pharmaceutical drugs to physiotherapy, there is nothing yet that has provided complete relief with no unpleasant side effects.
This is where Cannabis comes in, with its proven anti-inflammatory properties, the herb has been proven to combat the inflammation of neural tissue which occurs in MS sufferers. This can lead to a dramatic reduction in stiffness and spasms and has no negative side effects or addictive qualities! It has also been proven to aid in digestive issues and depression which are two very common side effects of MS!
For sufferers of MS, this is a break through option, as cannabis appears to offer levels of relief that no traditional treatment can!
Cancer is one of the biggest killers in the world, with an estimated 1,685,210 cases of the disease being diagnosed in the U.S. in one year!
Cancer is a disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in one or more parts of the body. The disease can be treated, but this is very reliant on how soon treatment begins, and this can be difficult as many forms of cancer don’t present themselves until it has become well-established in the body.
Cancer can affect pretty much every aspect of our body, from the skin to brain, and has an incredibly long list of debilitating side effects and a high mortality rate. Current treatments for cancer are often incredibly invasive and have a lot of unpleasant side effects making the treatment process an overall difficult and painful experience for the sufferer.
Cannabis as a Treatment for Cancer
As one of the most dangerous conditions to exist, there has been a considerable amount of research done on cannabis’ ability to provide medicinal relief for patients with the disease.
While research is still in progress, there have been some very promising results to suggest that marijuana could, in fact, be a potential treatment for cancer patients.
Studies have shown that cannabis has the ability to destroy cancer cells, and prevent their growth which could mean the difference between life and death for some patients!
The American Cancer Society has published some promising results on the subject, stating the following points:
- Some small studies of smoked marijuana found that it can be helpful in treating nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy.
- A few studies have found that inhaled marijuana can be helpful in the treatment of neuropathic pain (pain caused by damaged nerves).
- More recently, scientists reported that THC and other cannabinoids such as CBD slow growth and cause death in certain types of cancer cells growing in lab dishes.
The continuous progress in research of cannabis and cancer shows the herb is an incredibly promising option. However, it must be stated that patients should not rely on marijuana alone while avoiding professional help and treatment!
4. Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be an incredibly difficult and often debilitating condition to live with. Often overlooked as a serious medical condition due to its long-lasting nature that is often difficult to attribute to a specific injury or condition.
Chronic pain, however, is incredibly common, and this is largely reflected in the dramatic increase of Opioid use that has increased by a massive 400% since 1999. The overdose of these kinds of drugs is also at an all-time high, with an astounding 28,000 people dying from an opioid overdose in 2014!
Cannabis as a Treatment for Chronic Pain
Of all the conditions that have been studied concerning cannabis as a potential treatment, chronic pain may well be the most well researched of the lot!
This is likely due to the versatile abilities of the plant, with its proven ability to reduce inflammation throughout the body, which is a common cause of chronic pain, as well as a variety of other therapeutic attributes.
Cannabis as a treatment for chronic pain has been backed by many professionals from a variety of fields. Dr. Abrams, Chief of Oncology at San Francisco General hospital backs cannabis as a potential treatment, stating:
- “Given the safety profile of cannabis compared to opioids, cannabis appears to be far safer.”
The research that was done on THC and CBD, in particular, show the most promise for this condition, as when combined they produce powerful analgesic effects which can combat the most debilitating symptoms!
5. Chron’s Disease
Chron’s disease is an incredibly unpleasant condition which affects the intestines, causing severe inflammation which can bring about some very debilitating side effects.
Often discussed alongside Irritable bowel disease (IBD), a shocking 780,000 Americans are suffering from the condition. Typical symptoms of Chron’s are:
- Severe Constipation
- Severe Diarrhea
- Bloody stools
- Severe abdominal pain
While there is still a lot to understand about this condition, the most well-known trigger is the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. This often leads to further complications over time due to the body’s inability to absorb vital nutrients.
Cannabis as a Treatment for Chron’s Disease
With cannabis being a powerful anti-inflammatory, it was always likely to be looked at with Chrons. In fact, marijuana is a common option for many digestive problems from IBD and IBS to Chrons.
While there are many medications out there for chron’s, that aim to reduce inflammation by suppressing the immune system, the obvious side effects from these can be unbearable. With a constantly weak immune system, patients are left vulnerable to a whole host of diseases!
Cannabis can offer those anti-inflammatory traits, with none of the risks that current treatments pose.
Final Thoughts On Cannabis as a Replacement for Pills
We appreciate that cannabis just isn’t for everyone, and many patients may feel they get everything they need from their prescription medication. However, the overwhelming statistics provide an insight into the long-term benefits of switching over to a more natural treatment.
While the herb cannot be used as a replacement for professional and medical advice and help, it has a lot of scientific backing into its abilities as an alternative to many pills – it seems there is no stopping it!