Top 5 Reasons People Use Medical Marijuana
While the medical conditions treated by marijuana use are varied, there are a few common ailments which account for the greater number of physician referrals. Here is a list of the top five reasons people use medical marijuana.
Anxiety Related Disorders
By far, the most common ailment of those who use medical marijuana is anxiety. Related disorders can include PTSD, panic attacks, and general anxiety issues. According to recent statistics, 76% of those who use medical marijuana in California do so because of anxiety.
Cannabis has been shown to lessen the affects of anxiety. It is said to provide a calming effect which can help individuals cope with high levels of stress. Anxiety is one of the most crippling medical disorders. It can render individuals unable to handle the normal functions of everyday life. Those who use marijuana to treat these conditions report that they are able to regain a high quality of life.
Cancer is a horrible disease that affects millions of people. While the treatment of cancer has improved greatly and survival rates are increasing, many forms of treatment present side effects. Chemotherapy can cause nausea and a lack of appetite.
In recent years, some clinical studies have shown that cannabis can be used to great effect with cancer patients. To date, most authoritative studies regarding medical marijuana center around this particular ailment. These studies have demonstrated that marijuana can relieve nausea caused by radiation therapy and also increase appetite.
Some individuals have even claimed that medical marijuana has been successful in curing their cancer, although there are no studies at the present time which conclusively support this claim. Among those who have used medical marijuana as an alternative cancer treatment are comedian Tommy Chong. Chong was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012. In 2015, the comedian also received a diagnosis of colorectal cancer and admitted that he was medicating with cannabis in order to deal with the symptoms of traditional treatment.
The use of opioid medication to treat pain has contributed to a significant health crisis in the United States. Many opioid medications are highly addictive and can lead to overdose and death. Today, individuals are turning to medical marijuana as a replacement for traditional pain medications. In particular, cannabis is being used by a growing number of individuals with multiple sclerosis.
An interesting side note regarding the use of cannabis to treat pain is that it may be lowering the rate of opioid addiction. In states where medical cannabis has been legalized, deaths related to opioid use have dropped each year. This is a powerful testimony for the efficacy of marijuana as an opioid replacement.
Insomnia, or the chronic lack of sleep, is one of the most debilitating disorders known to man. Loss of sleep can contribute to a host of other, more serious medical issues. In some individuals, marijuana use can be effective in helping individuals to get their necessary rest.
The tricky part of using medical marijuana to address insomnia is that it affects each user differently. It can also be important to use the proper strain of cannabis. Some strains offer higher levels of CBD, or cannabidiol, which can sometimes produce drowsiness without the psychoactive effects of a THC-heavy strain.
Epilepsy and Seizures
One of the most promising uses of medical marijuana is the treatment of epilepsy and seizures. Cannabis has become so effective in this regard that many states have named their medical marijuana laws in honor of children who suffer from this condition.
Perhaps the most famous case of medical marijuana being used to treat epilepsy is that of Charlotte Figi. Charlotte was diagnosed with epilepsy at a very young age, and at the height of her illness the child was enduring up to 300 seizures each week. She was no longer able to eat, talk, or walk.
When Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2000, Charlotte's parents became marijuana refugees and moved to the state in order to try the treatment. Charlotte became the youngest person in the state to receive a medical marijuana card. The results were nothing short of spectacular. The girl's seizures stopped, first for hours at a time and then for days. The treatment was so successful that a strain was named in the girl's honor. Charlotte's Web is now used to help other children and adults deal with epilepsy. Today, Charlotte is 10 years old and her quality of life continues to improve.