Marijuana Extract Health Benefits
Marijuana Extract may be one of the most powerful natural substances in the world. It’s been used for centuries in herbal remedies. Today, scientists are breaking down marijuana extract and finding some surprising results.
Marijuana extract contains over 70 biologically active components – including well-known chemicals like THC and cannabidiol (CBD).
With more and more research being done every day, scientists are starting to realize that Marijuana Extract could have powerful health benefits.
What is Marijuana Extract?
The scientific name of marijuana is Cannabis sativa. The plant grows in warm and tropical climates throughout the world, and various civilizations have used marijuana leaves and buds for centuries.
Today, the legalization of marijuana is a controversial topic around the world. But as researchers uncover more and more information about the benefits of marijuana extract, more governments are allowing open use – or at least medical use – of the substance.
The secret power of marijuana lies in its biologically active components called cannabinoids. So far, scientists have uncovered over 70 cannabinoids in marijuana, including delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Health Benefits of Marijuana Extract
Supporters of marijuana have long believed that it offers powerful health benefits.
Here are some of the health benefits which have been clinically or scientifically-proven with marijuana extract:
— Relieve Pain
— Control Nausea And Vomiting
— Stimulate Appetite In People With Cancer, Aids, And Other Chronic Conditions
— Reduced Pressure Within The Eyes, Relieving Symptoms Of Glaucoma
Once again, the above benefits have been well-proven over time in numerous clinical and scientific studies.
Below, you’ll find additional health benefits which are rumored to be associated with marijuana extract, but don’t have the same scientific evidence reinforcing their benefits:
— Cures Cancer
— Anti-Bacterial Properties
— Inhibits Tumor Growth
— Enlarges Airways
— Control Seizures And Muscle Spasms In People Who Have Epilepsy Or Spinal Cord Injuries
— Treat Ulcers, Diabetes, Arthritis, Migraines, Infections, And Many Other Diseases
Many of these benefits are based on anecdotal evidence. Due to current legalization efforts, it’s becoming easier for scientists to study the effects of marijuana extract, which is helping to prove or disprove many of the benefits listed above.
Challenges with Marijuana Research
There are three main challenges facing scientific research of marijuana:
— It’s An Illegal Substance In Many Parts Of The World
— There Are Many Different Strains Of Marijuana, And Different Strains Have Different Levels Of THC Or CBD
— The Effects Of Marijuana Vary Widely Depending On How It’s Consumed
Keeping those challenges in mind, there have been thousands of studies performed on the health benefits of marijuana extract over the years. See below for scientific evidence.
Scientific Evidence for Marijuana Extract Health Benefits
1970s Studies Lead National Eye Institute to Recommend Marijuana as Treatment for Glaucoma
Marijuana has long been used as a treatment for glaucoma. According to the National Eye Institute, “Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.” Those who smoke marijuana to treat their glaucoma typically slow their progression of the disease, which means a reduced risk of blindness.
2003 Study Shows Marijuana Can Reduce Risk of Epileptic Seizures
Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University gave marijuana extract to epileptic rats. Epileptic rats stopped having seizures for about 10 hours after being given the drug. Researchers concluded that the active components in marijuana – like THC – reduce the risk of seizures by binding to brain cells that control excitability and regulate relaxation.
Sanjay Gupta Reverses Stance on Marijuana, Especially in Regards to Dravet Syndrome
CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta famously reversed his stance on medical marijuana and is now in favor of its use. In his documentary Weed, Gupta demonstrated that marijuana can be used as a treatment for Dravet Syndrome. Gupta interviewed the parents of a 5-year-old girl who give their child marijuana to control Dravet Syndrome-induced seizures.
2007 Study Shows Cannabidiol Prevents Cancer Cells from Spreading
One landmark study on the anti-cancer benefits of marijuana showed that cannabidiol could prevent the spread of cancer cells. Researchers published their study in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. That study showed that CBD turned off a gene called ID-1, which was found to be heavily active in breast cancer cells. Other studies from the US, Spain, and Israel have suggested that CBD could even kill cancer cells.
THC Could Slow Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease
Marijuana could reduce the spread of degenerative neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s. One 2006 study published in Molecular Pharmaceutics found that THC slowed the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. Amyloid plaques kill brain cells and worsen the effects of Alzheimer’s.
2012 Study Shows Marijuana Can Ease Pain of Multiple Sclerosis
According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, marijuana extract could reduce pain in patients with multiple sclerosis. The study involved 30 MS patients who regularly experienced painful muscle contractions. The patients did not respond to traditional MS treatments, but reported feeling less pain after smoking marijuana “for a few days.” Researchers attributed this effect to the fact that THC binds to nerve receptors and muscle receptors, relieving pain throughout the body.
2006 Study Shows Marijuana Reduces the Side Effects of Hepatitis C Therapy
Hepatitis C treatment is one of the most painful treatments in the world today. Side effects include fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and depression. Approximately one in three people complete Hep C therapy. According to a 2006 study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, however, 86% of patients who took marijuana during Hep C treatment completed the therapy, compared to just 29% in a control group. Marijuana was also observed to boost the effectiveness of treatment.
Marijuana Extract Could Reduce Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Researchers at the University of Nottingham found that patients with inflammatory bowel disease – like Crohn’s disease – were able to reduce their symptoms through the use of marijuana. Chemicals in marijuana extract, like THC and CBD, are thought to interact with cells in the body that control gut function and immune responses. The study was published in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Marijuana Extract Could Relieve Symptoms of Arthritis
Marijuana is popular among arthritis sufferers for its ability to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and promote a restful sleep. A 2011 study showed that marijuana extract was particularly beneficial to those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. In that study, patients didn’t actually smoke marijuana: they took a cannabinoid-based pain medication called Sativex. The group which took Sativex experienced a significantly lower level of pain than a control group.
Better Metabolism and Weight Loss
Most of us don’t associate marijuana with weight loss. However, one study suggested that those who smoke marijuana regularly have a healthier metabolism and better blood glucose control – even if they were observed to consume more calories after smoking marijuana. The study involved 4,500 adult Americans. About 600 of the group were regular marijuana smokers, while the remaining members of the group had smoked marijuana in the past or had never used the drug. The regular marijuana smokers were found to be skinnier, have stronger metabolisms, and better blood sugar control. The study was published in May, 2013 in the American Journal of Medicine.
Side Effects of Marijuana Extract
Marijuana extract has been associated with a number of minor and serious side effects. Those side effects include all of the following:
— Feelings Of Euphoria
— Short-term Memory Loss
— Difficulty In Completing Complex Tasks
— Changes In The Perception Of Time And Space
— Anxiety And Confusion
— Inability To Concentrate
— Depression, Paranoia, And Hallucinations
— Possible increased risk of cancer due to the fact that marijuana contains many of the same carcinogens as tobacco smoke
— Changes in the lining of the breathing passage have been observed in marijuana smokers
— Low Blood Pressure And A Fast Heartbeat
— Slowed Reaction Time
— Heart Palpitations
— Reduced Intelligence Over Time. One study involved 1,000 13 year olds who received a follow up interview after 25 years at age 38. Researchers found that those who had used marijuana experienced a decline in brain function, even after controlling for factors like education.
Should You Use Marijuana Extract?
The jury is still out when it comes to the health benefits of marijuana extract. Using marijuana appears to offer a number of powerful health benefits – as well as a fair share of risks.
I’ll let you decide whether or not those risks outweigh all of the marijuana extract health benefits listed above.