While you’re probably somewhat familiar with medicinal cannabis, you might not know that there’s a tremendous amount of research being done on this ancient medicine. Some of these studies could lead to exciting marijuana news about lifesaving treatments for patients!
What are today’s researchers learning about medicinal cannabis?
Due to the systemic effects of cannabis, there are hundreds of conditions that it may be capable of treating. These are a just a few conditions that researchers believe it might be able to treat:
Infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Researchers are particularly interested in a compound in the cannabis plant called cannabidiol, which is often abbreviated as CBD. It appears to kill microbes without triggering the development of antibiotic resistance. Scientists believe that this compound would be applied to skin infections topically, and researchers believe that it could even be beneficial for individuals affected by MRSA.
Individuals afflicted by cancer
While researchers don’t feel that there are any compounds in cannabis that could treat cancer on their own, scientists are determining if new compounds could be derived from the cannabis plant to treat the disease. A recent study found that the use of THC led to a 68.1% decrease in cancerous invasion, and this is very encouraging news when it comes to the potential for cannabinoids to be used to treat cancer.
Mental health problems
Scientists are studying its potential for people with anxiety, depression, and even severe mental illness. In fact, researchers even believe that it could be effective for some people who have schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
CBD is believed to have some degree of efficacy as an anti-psychotic. Furthermore, researchers have found that many people who suffer from PTSD had a significantly increased ability to navigate triggers in their day to day life after using cannabis. There’s also research on its potential benefits for people who suffer from Tourette’s Syndrome.
The treatment of head injuries
Some studies have found that it can help to reduce the chance of brain damage when it is given within 24 hours of a TBI. Research has shown that CBD has more pronounced neuroprotective effects than THC, and some doctors have even referred to it as “close to a magic bullet” when it comes to preventing brain injury.
Osteoporosis causes a severe reduction in bone density. The reason why cannabis could treat this condition is that there are CB2 receptors within osteoblasts, and cannabis is known to activate these receptors in the nervous system. Some evidence suggests that cannabis may help to prevent the development of osteoporosis, but more research needs to be done to confirm this finding.
Fibromyalgia and other forms of chronic pain
Cannabis is far safer than the opiate medications that are often given for chronic pain, and unlike opiates, it does not have the potential to cause a physical addiction. There have been many studies that found that cannabis can be effective for people who suffer from chronic pain, and 50% of patients with fibromyalgia who took THC in a study experienced reduced levels of pain.
Alzheimer’s disease is common among the elderly and has no known cure. However, one very exciting bit of marijuana news is that researchers believe that cannabis could significantly slow the progression of the illness! A study done by the Salk Institute in 2016 found that cannabis has the ability to reverse amyloid plaque build-up, and this is believed to be one of the main causes of the disease. Also, a study that was done on mice in 2018 indicated that THC can lead to better memory and reduced neuron loss in Alzheimer’s Patients.
Research has found that cannabis may be effective for a wide range of sleep conditions, such as sleep apnea and insomnia. In fact, studies have found that relieving insomnia is one of the most common reasons why people smoke cannabis. A study found that marijuana increases the amount of time that patients spend in slow-wave sleep, and this can lead to more restorative rest.
While no studies have shown that cannabis is more effective than conventional treatments for glaucoma, it has been shown to reduce the amount of pressure inside of the eye (intraocular pressure). However, researchers believe that it could be an effective adjunct to conventional glaucoma treatments.
A study with 30 patients who hadn’t benefited from conventional treatments for the illness was done in August of 2011, and it found that all of the patients experienced an improvement in their overall well-being as a result of using marijuana! In addition, a study in October of 2013 found that patients who smoked cigarettes that contained THC did better in terms of symptom improvement than those who received a placebo.
Researchers have developed synthetic cannabinoids to treat diseases
Synthetic cannabinoids are compounds that are pharmacologically similar to the compounds found in the cannabis plant and often derived from marijuana. Here are a few examples of these compounds:
– Synthetic Cannabinoids For Colorectal Cancer: There have been several different synthetic cannabinoids created that are designed to treat colorectal cancer, and while the research is in its early stages, the results of the studies look very promising.
– Nabilone: This compound is similar to THC, but it is more potent. It’s most commonly prescribed for people suffering from severe weight loss and people who are having serious side effects of chemotherapy. Researchers are continuing to study the compound to learn more about how it can be used to treat patients.
The Legal Status And Social Acceptance Of Cannabis Influences How Much Research Is Done
Prior to the increased social acceptance of marijuana and legalizations at the state level, there was less research on medicinal marijuana being done, but that has changed quickly in recent years due to an increase in the social acceptance of marijuana. Due to the fact that 65% of the American public now supports the legalization of marijuana (more than twice the number of people who thought it should be legalized in 1979), it’s easier for organizations to get the funds that are needed to conduct cannabis research.
If cannabis is ever legalized at the federal level, there’s likely to be even more research done on the plant and the compounds in it. The federal laws against cannabis prevent many organizations that conduct research from getting the funding that they need to conduct research on it. In addition, the overturning of federal laws against cannabis could lead more states to legalize it.
While the DEA still lists marijuana as a schedule I drug, they have made some changes that make it easier for researchers to get the licensure that allows them to study medical marijuana in compliance with federal law. In addition, the agency even made the decision to actively support more research on cannabis.
New Marijuana Discoveries Are On The Horizon
It’s a very exciting time when it comes to medical marijuana news, and there could be hundreds of new discoveries in the future that show just how useful medicinal marijuana can be. These discoveries could revolutionize medical care, and some of these discoveries could happen far sooner than you might be thinking. Stay tuned to the latest marijuana news to learn about these exciting new discoveries!