As the medical community embraces the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, more states are legalizing its use.
In fact, it is now lawful for patients with qualifying medical conditions and symptoms to consume medical marijuana in 33 states and DC.
So, how does cannabis alleviate discomfort and improve daily function?
Here’s everything we know about the health effects of weed.
1. Weed Can Relieve Chronic Pain
Pain remains the most cited reason that people seek and use medical marijuana.
Accordingly, cannabis and its cannabinoids have been shown to reduce chronic pain associated with a number of health conditions.
It does so by acting on cannabinoid receptors in a similar way as chemicals that naturally occur in the body.
2. Cannabis Products Have Been Shown to Soothe Skin
Cannabis’ anti-inflammatory properties are able to soothe itchy and irritated skin that’s common with many dermatological issues.
In fact, individuals with eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, and atopic dermatitis may all benefit from application of topical cannabinoid creams.
3. It Can Reduce Symptoms of MS and Epilepsy
An oral spray derived from cannabis, called Sativex, is available in other countries for the treatment of muscle spasticity in patients with MS. The drug is currently in phase 3 testing in the U.S.
However, the FDA has already approved Epiodiolex–a CBD oral solution for the management of two, rare forms of epilepsy.
4. It Maximizes Benefits of Chemo and Minimizes Side Effects
Researchers at the University of London found that chemotherapy with the use of cannabinoids was more effective than chemotherapy alone.
This finding suggests that cannabis could allow patients to receive a lower dose of chemotherapy and experience fewer side effects of treatment.
Another one of the health effects of weed is that it’s able to alleviate nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.
5. Medical Marijuana Carries a Negligible Risk of Overdose
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a fatal overdose from weed is unlikely. This is in stark contrast to other medications such as opioids and benzodiazepines.
That being said, it’s important to consume medical marijuana as recommended and avoid overuse.