Cannabis is no longer known as the evil gateway drug that ruins your life. Instead, it is used as a legalized medicine in 31 states (and Washington D.C.) to treat a myriad of different diseases and conditions.
Thanks to the fact that cannabis interacts with a unique health system within our bodies – the endocannabinoid system – cannabis has the ability to interact with a huge range of different possible illnesses.
Here are 20 of the most common conditions that cannabis is prescribed for.
Though it is a lesser known use of cannabis, the CBD – one of the main cannabinoids within cannabis – within the drug is able to help reduce inflammation throughout the body.
It does this by stimulating the creation of endocannabinoids in the body, which interact with the CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, encouraging the body to stop unnecessary inflammation.
As inflammation is simply the body’s response to localized infection or damage, treating it with CBD is essentially the same as taking a painkiller to get rid of a fever.
As strange as it might seem, cannabis can actually help improve serious skin conditions. Eczema is an agonizing skin condition that often comes as a result of erroneous inflammation. The triggers for eczema are sadly unknown for most people, but it turns out that the CBD within cannabis could help treat it by reducing inflammation.
This reduction in inflammation is incredibly helpful in reducing the pain felt by eczema, as it reduces the unpleasant red blistering.
This condition is a more commonly known use of cannabis; everyone knows the stereotype of a stoner taking a lot of naps.
However, cannabis is in fact excellent at treating chronic insomnia due to its THC content. THC interacts with the CB1 receptors and encourages more ready access to melatonin, the important hormone that allows you to get to sleep peacefully and easily.
#17 Eye Surgeries
Eye surgery is a necessary reality for the elderly as their eyes begin to degrade. Due to the deteriorations in the cataracts, it is often an eventual requirement for older people to undergo quite painful and unpleasant surgery.
Using cannabis, elderly patients can both help treat their pain and encourage the healing processes of their eye and skin tissue, to the CB2 receptors interaction with cellular regrowth.
IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is an irritating inflammation of the bowels. This condition is a serious problem for people trying to get on with their lives, as it results in frequent, unpleasant bathroom trips.
Cannabis can help treat this condition through its helpfulness with inflammation, as well as generally helping mask the pain of the syndrome.
However, be aware of the munchies…
#15 Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis affects the brain and the spine, causing a variety of serious problems for the sufferers. Pain, spasms, tingling and even the infamous vision problems await the sufferers of this serious degenerative disease.
Cannabis can help patients deal with the pain and discomfort, as well as having the potential to help repair the damaged nerve cells.
#14 Back Pain
Back pain, despite being a seemingly common occurrence – especially in men – is incredibly uncomfortable and basically unmanageable. If you start suffering from it, other than perfecting your posture and taking painkillers, you’re out of luck.
Cannabis can help to mask the unpleasant pain as well as reduce the inflammation endemic to the condition.
It might seem part of everyday life, but it’s something that can actually be managed with the help of cannabis.
The serious disease that’s on everyone’s mind is, surprisingly, able to be partially managed by cannabis.
Frequently administered to help mask the symptoms of chemotherapy, it turns out that cannabis might be effective at encouraging cellular regrowth of cancerous cells.
Though research is still being conducted into it there have been a few studies, such as this study by Slezinski et al., which have discovered that both the CBD and THC within cannabis are effective at modulating damaged signal pathways and encouraging healthy cell survival.
Anorexia is a mental condition, so might seem surprising to see this on the list, but cannabis is incredibly effective at treating disorders of the mind as well as the body.
Cannabis is a natural oxygenic, meaning it enhances appetite and encourages sufferers to eat more food. Alongside this, cannabis encourages dopamine release, which helps make up the imbalance of dopamine caused by those suffering from mental health issues.
Though it isn’t any kind of miracle cure, cannabis can help anorexics overcome their condition through healthy eating and therapy.
#11 Heart Health
Cannabis has a number of interesting properties when it comes to the heart and the circulatory system; Stanley et al. in an important study discovered that cannabis – more specifically CBD – acts as a vasorelaxant, reducing vascular tension and helping to maintain the integrity of the arterial walls.
This helps the heart to operate – especially in times of increased heart rate – and encourages a more resilient and long-term heart health.
Additionally, CBD helps protect against excess glucose in the system, which is a common outcome of type-2 diabetes.
You’ve been seeing it on food labels for decades, but it turns out that antioxidants are real things after all.
Generally speaking, antioxidants refer to chemicals or properties that help mitigate the effect of oxidation within our bodies. This oxidation is essentially the corruption of our cells due to a loss of electrons throughout the body.
Cannabis has been discovered to be a natural antioxidant, allowing for advanced treatment of such serious diseases as…
#9 Parkinson’s Disease
Again, as strange as it might seem, cannabis seems able to help treat Parkinson’s Disease, as well as help delay its advancement.
Parkinson’s Disease causes a variety of motor neuron degradations throughout the body, resulting in a loss of control of your own movement. This is primarily caused by the development of something called “Lewy Bodies”, which are themselves a result of oxidation.
So, by serving as an antioxidant, cannabis is able to help prevent and treat Parkinson’s Disease.
#8 Health Issues in Pets!
What? Give Cannabis to your pets?!
That’s right, it turns out that the endocannabinoid system, the health system that cannabis interacts with, is present in all mammals.
Pets can benefit from exactly the same treatment with cannabis as humans can. Some veterinarians are prescribing CBD oils to help treat anxiety in dogs, albeit at a much lower quantity and dosage.
It might seem weird to give your pets cannabis, but it really can work.
In fact, you can use it to treat anxiety in humans too.
#7 Social Anxiety
That’s right, all those stoners who say weed makes them more social weren’t wrong after all.
A study conducted by Zone et al. found that, after ingesting CBD of a suitable quantity, they felt essentially the same effects as if they were taking an anti-anxiety medication, but without the unpleasant side effects.
This also caused a reduction in general stress when put into stressful situations.
So, cannabis can actually help you with anxiety, as well as general stress!
To continue this mental theme, Cannabis is actually excellent as an antidepressant.
Common antidepressant medications have the serious drawback of affecting your general mood extremely erratically. Being unable to feel extreme highs or extreme lows is not ideal, so cannabis offers another solution.
By regulating the amount of dopamine released by the brain, people with depression are able to help control their condition and reprogram their brain to release their hormones naturally.
ADHD might be considered the most over diagnosed condition of the century, it’s existence is no less significant.
Sufferers experience difficulty in paying attention or focusing on one task at a time, as well as feeling physically hyperactive.
Cannabis helps level out the feeling of requiring constant movement, as well as encouraging correct dopamine release through the CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system.
#4 Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain is a general term to describe pain that is caused by misfiring neurons in the central nervous system, rather than any location-specific pain.
Neuropathic pain is difficult to treat or diagnose, as it doesn’t have an obvious cause.
Cannabis can help to treat it by reducing the pain felt by sufferers, as well as helping promote healthy nerve cell regeneration. This encourages the misfiring cells to heal, rather than erroneously telling the brain that you’re in some kind of danger or pain.
General pain treatment is cannabis’ specialty. Cannabis interacts with the CB1 receptors in the brain using both the CBD and THC inherent within the plant. Once the receptor is triggered, it tells the brain to stop creating the pain signal – it’s essentially the same as taking a very strong painkiller, but without the unwanted side effects.
This is perhaps the most well known use of cannabis, thanks to the landmark case of Charlotte Figi.
Suffering from Dravet syndrome, a serious form of epilepsy that left her with over 200 grand mal seizures per month, Charlotte’s outlook was bleak, until her parents tried using CBD to help treat her.
Using CBD – which helps repair damaged, seizure-causing cells affected by epilepsy – Charlotte’s seizures went from 200 to only 3 or 4 per month, mostly in her sleep. She was so useful as a landmark case, they named the strain that was developed after her Charlotte’s Web.
#1 Elder Care
You might be asking, ‘elder care is the most common prescription of cannabis?’ Well, elderly people make up a larger and larger proportion of our population as time goes on, and they suffer from a myriad of health complaints.
With the elderly, their problems are often varied and difficult to diagnose, so cannabis is excellent at dealing with the pain and uncomfortability caused by so many problems, enabling them to lead fuller and more enjoyable lives.
It turns out that cannabis has a lot more uses than you might think, not just getting high.