The body of evidence supporting the health benefits of marijuana and its derivatives is becoming quite impressive.
Here’s a short list:
Cancer: Cannabinoids (the active ingredient in marijuana) has been shown in animal studies to kill tumor cells and tumor growth.
Alzheimer’s: Marijuana works to prevent Alzheimer’s by blocking the formation of beta amyloid plaques that are a cause of the disease, according to 2006 research from the Scripps Institute.
Seizures: As a muscle relaxant and antispasmodic, marijuana has been shown to be a very effective treatment for many types of seizures.
Migraines: Doctors in California report they have successfully treated more than 300,000 people with migraine headaches for whom standard medicine could offer no relief since medical marijuana was legalized in the state.
Multiple sclerosis: Marijuana stops the neurological effects and muscles spans of the invariably fatal disease.
Irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease: Marijuana has been shown to relieve the symptoms of these debilitating conditions by stopping nausea, cramping, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS): Marijuana blocks the cramping associated with PMS, much in the same way it works for the digestive problems above.
Glaucoma: Marijuana’s effects on this disease of the optic nerve that can cause blindness. Extensive research shows marijuana lowers the pressure in the eye, relieving pain and even reversing the condition.
Tourette’s syndrome: This neurological condition is characterized by tics, grimaces and involuntary movements. Marijuana has been shown to reduce or even eliminate the spasms.
ADD and ADHD: Marijuana has been shown to be at least as effective as the prescription drug Ritalin without any of the negative side effects associated with the drug.
More research is under way on additional uses of marijuana for cancer treatment as well as its use to treat PTSD.
The U.S. Congress, in all of its ignorance, still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, defined as having a potential for abuse and addiction and no medical value, a classification often reserved for highly addictive street drugs like heroin.