It was worth $6.6 billion in the United States in 2016. Come 2025, experts forecast it’ll become a $24.1 billion industry in the nation. Worldwide, projections say it’ll reach a whopping $57 billion value.
What is this “it” we’re referring to?
None other than the legal cannabis industry, that’s what!
After all, uses for cannabis aren’t only for recreation, contrary to popular belief. In fact, records say its use first came about in 2737 B.C. (you read that right!). That time, the Chinese Emperor Shen Neng prescribed it as a treatment for many illnesses.
Today, the medical industry has (finally) taken a page out of these ancient books. The question is, what exactly does medical marijuana help with?
A lot, that’s for sure. But we’ll give you a rundown of twelve that you most likely weren’t aware of.
So, keep reading! It may be the medicine you’ve long since searched for.
1. Cancel Out Tobacco’s Carcinogenic Effects
A Journal of the American Medical Association study found that marijuana can help boost lung functions. Not only that; it can even expand one’s lung capacity!
Furthermore, the findings point to the potential of the plant’s CBD (Cannabidiol) content of stopping lung cancer that tobacco smoking leads to.
Pro Tip: Essential oils like chamomile and hemp can also help you stick to your efforts of quitting smoking.
2. Enhance PTSD Treatment
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects as many as 8% of the U.S. population at any given time. The veterans have it much worse though. The condition afflicts about 15% of Vietnam Veterans, 12% of Desert Storm Veterans, and 11% to 20% of Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF).
Cannabis’ CBD, according to many studies like this, can help boost extinction of conditioned fears. PTSD patients suffer from learned fears, which CBD can help inhibit.
3. Control or Decrease Fear
Cannabis can also help with controlling or minimizing fear. How is medical marijuana administered in such cases though?
One way is through ingesting it. Ingestion of CBD helps lessen fear expression. It also benefits people with PTSD, since it can affect their memory reconsolidation. In simple terms, the cannabinoid works on their long-term memories (as in memories of war), helping them cope with their fear and anxiety better.
4. Protect the Brains of Stroke Patients
A University of Nottingham research have shown the brain-protecting potential of cannabis on stroke patients. Conducted on more than 1,000 rats, mice, and monkeys, the study found that cannabinoids may hasten stroke recovery by shrinking the affected area. The results even show the cannabis’ potential in improving the functions of a stroke-damaged brain.
5. Help Tighten the Intestines
Inflammatary bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis, make the lives of about 1.6 million people in the U.S. harder. These conditions disrupt the gastrointestinal (GI) tract’s functions, resulting in diarrhea, cramps, abdominal pain, and even bleeding.
Enter CBD and THC oil. Ingesting these cannabis extract forms can help tighten the intestinal bond, which then aids in minimizing the severity and frequency of symptoms.
6. Nightmare-Free Sleep
For people who go through a lot of nightmare-filled sleep, cannabis in the form of THC pills or oil can help. THC interrupts the REM sleep stage, which is the time nightmares (and other dreams) occur. This disruption can then help lessen the frequency of nightmares, giving users a much better sleep.
7. Can Help Decrease Lupus Symptoms
Systemic Lupus Ertyhematosus is a type of autoimmune disorder. In people with Lupus, the body attacks itself, the reasons for which remain unknown. One thing remains true: The disorder leads to so many symptoms, including swelling and damages to the skin, joints, lungs, and even heart.
Because CBD and THC in cannabis boast of anti-inflammatory properties, it can help people deal with their Lupus symptoms better. Furthermore, it helps relieve them from the pain brought about by their condition.
8. Boosts Hepatitis C Treatment Effects
If you’re one of the 3.9 million individuals in the U.S. suffering from Hepatitis C, cannabis can help your treatment deliver better results.
According to the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 86% of Hep C patients using marijuana were successful in completing their therapy. That’s 57% more than the non-using patients who did.
9. Reduce Seizures in Dravet Syndrome Patients
Ever seen the documentary “Weed”? If not, then know that in this show, five-year-old Charlotte Figi showed that cannabis can help with Dravet Syndrome.
Prior to having marijuana included in her treatment, her condition made her experience as many as 300 seizures a week. Cannabis brought this number down to only one in a week.
10. Lessen Epilepsy-Induced Seizures
Almost 350 million people in the U.S. suffer from epilepsy. About half a million of them are children. All go through the same symptoms though, including persistent episodes of seizures, convulsions, fainting, and sensory disturbance.
The good news is, researchers have found something to add to the already long list of uses for cannabis. That’s to help control the seizures in epileptic patients. In fact, parents have reported that this plant is the only effective way to control their kids’ symptoms.
11. Delay Alzheimer’s Progression
Although it requires further studies, cannabis’ THC (the plant’s active chemical content) has shown promising potential for Alzheimer’s patients.
A study that the Molecular Pharmaceutics published in 2006 showed how this marijuana component blocks the brain’s enzyme responsible for forming amyloid plaques. Alzheimer’s patients have these brain cell-killing plaques in their system, so using cannabis can stunt the progress of their condition.
12. Aid in Preventing Obesity
The American Journal of Medicine published a study showing the link between cannabis, glucose, insulin, and obesity.
It suggested that marijuana smokers are not only skinnier than average individuals but also react to and metabolize sugar better.
Marijuana users may tend to have the “munchies,” but these don’t eliminate the possibility of cannabis helping prevent obesity and even benefiting diabetics.
Uses for Cannabis Go Beyond Recreation
The bottom line is, there are many uses for cannabis that can make people live healthier, better lives. Otherwise, nine states and Washington D.C. wouldn’t have legalized marijuana if it didn’t benefit us humans.
So, if you or you know anyone suffering from the above-mentioned health problems, consider cannabis as a treatment.
Want to know more insider tips on THC or CBD? For starters, check out this post on CBD cream benefits. You should also browse our other articles that can help you kick your tobacco cigarette smoking habits.