In 2737 BC, cannabis was referenced in China by the Chinese Emperer Shen Nung. His writings shared evidence that cannabis was used as a medication for gout, rheumatism, malaria and absent-mindedness. Its use spread from China to India to North Africa. Eventually it reached Eurpoe and then the United States. In fact, it was listed in the United States Pharmacopeia for nearly 100 years for maladies like rheumatism, nausea and labor pain.
Whether these facts are surprising to you or not, cannabis has been used widely for a long time for its helpful medicinal properties. Here are some more surprising facts about medical marijuana that you may not already know.
1. Alzheimer’s Prevention
The active ingredient in marijuana is THC. THC has been proven to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease through the slowing of the formation of amyloid plaques (these plaques are responsible for killing brain cells that can lead to the disease). This process is possible by THC’s role in blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes amyloid plaques.
2. Slows and Stops Cancer Cells
The American Association for Cancer Research has actually found that marijuana can aggressively work to slow down growth in tumors found in cases of lung, brain and breast cancers. This is possible due to cannabidiol, which has the ability to disable a gene called Id-1. Id-1 is often found in high levels in cancer patients. Studies have found that cancer patients treated with cannabidiol had a decreased Id-1 expression and their cancers were then found to be less aggressive spreaders.
3. Eases the Pain of Multiple Sclerosis
Cannabis helps stop negative neurological effects and muscle spasms brought on by multiple sclerosis. Patients who found no relief from other medications reported to be in less pain after smoking marijuana for a few days.
4. Relieves Arthritis
Cannabinoid-based pain relievers have been given to patients with discomfort and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Successful results were found as a decrease in pain and increase in sleep quality was reported by patients.
5. Helps with Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s is an inflammatory disorder found in the bowel that results in weight loss, pain, vomiting, diarrhea and more. Cannabis has been proven to reduce symptoms in most patients who tried it with some finding symptoms of the disease to disappear altogether.
6. Aids with Treatment of Hepatitis C
The typical treatment of Hepatitis C infection comes with many severe side effects. Ranging from muscle pain, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite and depression, many individuals can’t continue their treatment. Enter cannabis. Cannabis helps to lessen the side effects of treatment and also helps to increase the effectiveness of treatment.
7. Reduces Anxiety
Low doses of cannabis can help to improve one’s mood and help to reduce anxiety. Be cautious, however. Higher doses can actually cause anxiety to climb and contribute to paranoia.
8. Improves Lung Health
This is especially important for those who use tobacco. Marijuana can help to improve lung function along with increase lung capacity.
9. Aids the Brain after a Stroke
Research has found cannabis to have neuroprotective effects. Studies have found that it may be able to protect the brain from damage caused during a stroke by reducing the affected area.