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Did you know that the top 3 benefits of medical marijuana are linked to diseases that are leading causes of death? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cancer (#2), Stroke (#5), and Alzheimer’s disease (#6) are on their list of leading causes of death. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm
The benefits of medical marijuana are only starting to be identified, and these will continue to increase once it becomes easier to conduct research. While many states have legalized it; marijuana continues to be classified by the federal government as a Schedule 1 Substance, meaning it has no accepted medical value and it has a high potential for abuse http://www.businessinsider.com/difficulty-of-study-medical-marijuana-2013-8
This federal classification as a Schedule 1 Substance https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/drug_of_abuse.pdf#page=20
creates a significant obstacle for scientific research into the potential medical benefits of marijuana. However, early medical marijuana research has already identified two beneficial active chemicals: cannabidiol (CBD) impacts the brain, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) relieves pain.
#1 BENEFIT – STOPS THE SPREAD OF CANCER
Cancer, as the second leading cause of death, has touched the lives of most people https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm
Active chemicals in medical marijuana stop the spread of cancer. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/19/marijuana-and-cancer_n_1898208.html
Research conducted at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco discovered CBD may turn off a gene called Id-1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18025276
Cancer cells make more copies of the Id-1 gene than non-cancerous cells, and it helps the cancer cells spread throughout the body. However, the use of CBD found in marijuana turns off the Id-1 gene and thereby stops cancer from spreading.
In addition, significant research also indicates THC found in marijuana has anti-tumor effects http://www.jbc.org/content/early/2014/06/18/jbc.M114.561761
Furthermore, medical marijuana helps relieve the side effects of chemotherapy, pain and nausea. Researchers from Harvard Medical School indicate these benefits may be linked to the drug’s ability to reduce anxiety. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/medical-marijuana-and-the-mind
#2 BENEFIT – PROTECTS THE BRAIN FROM STROKE
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm
Research done on animals by the University of Nottingham indicates that marijuana may protect the brain from stroke damage by reducing the size of the impacted area of the brain. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/12/03/cannabis-may-help-stroke-recovery_n_4376100.html?just_reloaded=1
Additional research provides evidence that marijuana has the ability to not only protect the brain during a stroke but even help heal the brain after other traumatic events like concussions. https://academic.oup.com/cercor/article/25/1/35/365149/CB1-and-CB2-Cannabinoid-Receptor-Antagonists
#3 BENEFIT – SLOWS THE PROGRESSION OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm
The Scripps Research Institute found the active chemical of THC in medical marijuana is linked to slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/15145917/ns/health-alzheimers_disease/t/marijuana-may-help-stave-alzheimers/#.WbLYbLKGPIW
The research study from 2006 was published in the Journal of Molecular Pharmaceutics. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/mp060066m?journalCode=mpohbp THC was found to block the enzyme in the brain that makes amyloid plaques, thereby slowing the formation of these plaques that kill brain cells and causes Alzheimer’s disease.
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