In 2010, following the ‘gold standard’ FDA protocol, the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research conducted a placebo-controlled clinical trial of “the medical utility of inhaled cannabis” — to find the medical benefits of medical marijuana. It found that by using marijuana as an inhaled remedy – i.e. smoking weed – neuropathy was significantly alleviated. Neuropathy presents as various levels of nerve pain associated with many conditions/diseases including HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, spasticity, tremors and spinal cord injury. The health benefits of cannabinoids continue to be studied beyond their psychoactive reaction (i.e.: THC and how it gets you high) which is showing impressive results.
Anti-Inflammatory and Memory Improvement
Cannabinoids are a unique variety of chemical compounds only found in the marijuana plant and the human body/animals. Plant cannabinoids are called phytocannabinoids and in humans they are called endocannabinoids. When these two compounds bind, research has found and continues to discover several health benefits. One such benefit is anti-inflammatory properties. Humans are forever struggling with a barrage of inflammatory challenges and by inhaling or ingesting these cannabinoid properties inflammation may be alleviated. This was reported in a 2008 study by the Ohio State University Psychology Department in a study entitled, ‘Cannabinoid receptor stimulation is anti-inflammatory and improves memory in old rats’.
Below is the Abstract from this study:
“The number of activated microglia increase during normal aging. Stimulation of endocannabinoid receptors can reduce the number of activated microglia, particularly in the hippocampus, of young rats infused chronically with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). In the current study we demonstrate that endocannabinoid receptor stimulation by administration of WIN-55212-2 (2 mg/kg day) can reduce the number of activated microglia in hippocampus of aged rats and attenuate the spatial memory impairment in the water pool task. Our results suggest that the action of WIN-55212-2 does not depend upon a direct effect upon microglia or astrocytes but is dependent upon stimulation of neuronal cannabinoid receptors. Aging significantly reduced cannabinoid type 1 receptor binding but had no effect on cannabinoid receptor protein levels. Stimulation of cannabinoid receptors may provide clinical benefits in age-related diseases that are associated with brain inflammation, such as Alzheimer’s disease.”
Autoimmune Disorder Benefits
Autoimmune disorders result when the body is afflicted with a disease that the immune system does not recognize therefore is unable to fight. Research is showing that the use of cannabinoids can result in considerable improvement when it comes to autoimmune afflictions such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome. Medical marijuana has the potential to remedy various diseases if given the chance. Interestingly, due to many successful research studies proving the health benefits of cannabinoids, in 2009 the American Medical Association (AMA) put out this statement:
“…marijuana has status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines.”
Conventional Drugs Containing Marijuana based Cannabinoids Big Pharma is currently jumping on the medicinal marijuana bandwagon. Below are a few drugs being used for proto-typed: Rimonabant – Used for anti-obesity and smoking cessation. Dronabinol – THC used as an appetite stimulant, anti-emetic, and analgesic. Sativex – Cannabinoid extract oral spray containing THC used for neuropathic pain and spasticity in 22 countries including England, Canada and Spain. These health benefits of cannabinoids are only a small portion representing the wide range of research of the incredible marijuana plant, from sativas to indicas. Hopefully soon it will be treated with the respect it truly deserves.