While cannabis has been around for centuries, many people are still not aware of the health benefits of this plant. However, a growing number of people arguing that marijuana should be legalized for medical use. This is because of the chemicals in this plant called cannabinoids which are proven to heal a number of diseases. Thanks to these ‘miraculous’ chemicals, more and more states are legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.
What Is Medical Marijuana and What Can It Treat?
The medical marijuana implies the use of unprocessed, entire marijuana plant to heal certain diseases and conditions. This term also refers to the basic extracts of marijuana plant for medical purpose. Marijuana extracts are capable of reducing or killing certain cancer cells. The research with rodents has shown that purified marijuana extracts can make the cancer cells grow slower. The mice have been treated with CBD and THC extracts. Those chemicals have enhanced the effects of the radiation.
As medical marijuana in Toronto says, medical marijuana presents a safe, natural alternative to traditional pharmaceutical drugs in numerous conditions. That’s why marijuana is included in the treatment plans of patients who suffer from certain mental and physical illnesses.
Here are illnesses and conditions that are backed by clinical trials:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Mental disorders (especially anxiety and depression)
Marijuana is also considered to be beneficial for the following conditions and diseases:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Chronic Nausea
- Sleep Disorders
- Terminal illnesses
What Are Cannabinoids?
Chemical compounds related to THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) are called cannabinoids. Although cannabis contains over 100 different cannabinoids this mind-altering chemical is its main ingredient. THC is known to make people feel “high.”
A range of cannabinoids has been producing by scientists so far in the lab. The problem is that illegal manufacturers produce cannabinoids as well. When misused, some of them can lead to serious health effects.
What Does FDA Think About Marijuana-Based Medications?
Unfortunately, marijuana as medicine hasn’t been approved by FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) despite having a number of health benefits. To determine the possible risks and benefits of a medication, the FDA requires that the clinical trials or studies are carefully conducted in thousands of humans. That means the marijuana-based medications will have to outweigh the possible risks in order to be approved or recognized by FDA.
It’s worth mentioning a mouth spray called nabiximols, which contains both CBD and THC. That spray can treat muscle control issues associated with multiple sclerosis. Nabiximols (trade name Sativex) is approved in Canada, the United Kingdom, and a few European countries, but it is not approved by FDA yet.
Another CBD-based medication called Epidiolex is proven to cure certain forms of epilepsy in young children. Despite being thoroughly tested in clinical trials, this liquid drug isn’t FDA-approved yet.
The good news is that FDA has approved two cannabinoid-based medications ― dronabinol and nabilone. Both drugs come in pill form and contain THC. They are primarily intended to heal nausea triggered by aggressive chemotherapy. In addition, these medications are capable of improving appetite in HIV patients who have experienced extreme weight loss.
To date, researchers have not conducted a sufficient number of extensive clinical trials regarding the health benefits of the marijuana. Hopefully, continued research of the marijuana chemicals will lead to more FDA-approved medications in the future.