Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is popular as a recreational drug. Cultivated across the globe, it has a history dating back to 1,000 years as a plant beneficial for medical purposes. But due to its psychoactive effects, it is considered illegal in many countries. However, the growing awareness of its benefits to treat several diseases and conditions has led to it being legalized in various countries such as Canada, Australia, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Brazil, South Africa, UK, Switzerland, and more, for medicinal purposes. In the United States, it is currently legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia.
According to Sean Smutny, “Medicinal marijuana is largely used for suppression of chronic pain that affects millions of Americans as they age. It comes in several forms such as dried leaves and buds that can be smoked, oil which can be inhaled through a vaporizer, capsule or tablet, a liquid that can be applied on the skin, and as edibles such as cookies and brownies.” Co-Founder of Truth Enterprises, a California based entity owning multiple cannabis licenses in distribution, cultivation, and manufacturing, Smutny shares his insights on the various applications of medicinal marijuana:
Helps Battle Cancer – One of the significant benefits associated with medical marijuana is its ability to kill cancer cells and slow down the growth of tumors.
Relief from Chronic Pain – It is most commonly used as a pain and inflammation reliever, to alleviate headaches, deal with arthritis, and reduce muscle spasticity from Multiple Sclerosis.
Ease Anxiety – Taken in moderate dosage, it helps to calm anxiety and even depression.
Aids in Chemotherapy and HIV/AIDS – The therapeutic effects of medicinal marijuana help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and HIV/AIDS such as pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weight loss.
Treatment of Various Diseases – Medical marijuana has shown efficacy in treating patients suffering from various diseases such as Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and glaucoma. It is also known to slow the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Helps with Mental Health Conditions – Helps treat conditions such as schizophrenia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Control Seizures – The FDA has approved medical marijuana use to control seizures for two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
The wide range of benefits notwithstanding, Smutny advises users not to consume marijuana alongside alcohol. He also urges people trying to, or are already pregnant, to avoid its usage.