Medical Cannabis Explained

A beginers guide to the benefits of medical marijuana

How does it work?

There are over 400 natural compound in medical marijuana and, of these, eighty are found in cannabis plants. These eighty special compounds are known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids relieve symptoms of illness by attaching to receptors in the brain that look for similar compounds that occur in the human body, such as dopamine.

There are five major cannabinoids in medical marijuana that are particularly effective in relieving symptoms of illness, and each one produces different physical and physiological effects. This is why certain staring of medical marijuana are bred to have different amounts of each cannabinoid and are recommended for different reasons.

Information courtesy “United Patients Group”

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“Cannabis is the single most versatile herbal remedy, and the most useful plant on Earth. No other single plant contains as wide a range of medically active herbal constituents.”
Dr. Ethan Russo (Cannabinoid Research Institute)
Marijuana IS Medicine. “Every 19 minutes somebody dies from a prescription drug overdose. It doesn’t happen with Marijuana.”
Sanjay Gupta, MD (Neurosurgeon, Chief Medical Correspondant, CNN)

Sativa

Energy
Stimulating
Head High
Cerebral
Uplifting
Creativity
Focus
Fights Depression

Indica

Chilling
Appetite
Body high
Deep relaxation
Sleep aid
Pain + nausea relief
Stress + anxiety relief
Couch lock

Top 10

10 of the most notable, common conditions, afflictions and diseases that marijuana has been proven to help.

Alzheimer’s disease – In 2006, the Scripps Research Institute in California discovered that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, can prevent an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase from accelerating the formation of “Alzheimer’s plaques” in the brain, as well as protein clumps that can inhibit cognition and memory, more effectively than commercially marketed drugs.

Epilepsy – A study performed by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University discovered that ingredients found in natural marijuana “play a critical role in controlling spontaneous seizures in epilepsy.” Dr. Robert J. DeLorenzo, professor of neurology at the VCU School of Medicine, added that “Although marijuana is illegal in the United States, individuals both here and abroad report that marijuana has been therapeutic for them in the treatment of a variety of ailments, including epilepsy.”

Multiple sclerosis – It’s long been believed that smoking pot helps MS patients, and a study publishedas recently as May provided yet another clinical trial as evidence of marijuana’s impact on multiple sclerosis patients with muscle spasticity. Even though the drug has been known to cause dizziness and fatigue in some users, most MS patients report marijuana not only helps ease the pain in their arms and legs when they painfully contract, but also helps them just “feel good.” How many prescription drugs can say their side effects include “happiness”?

Glaucoma – Since the 1970s, studies have called medical marijuana an effective treatment against glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. Researchers say marijuana helps reduce and relieve the intraocular pressure that causes optic nerve damage, but the proponents say it helps “reverse deterioration,” too.

Arthritis – Marijuana proves useful for many types of chronic pain conditions, but patients with rheumatoid arthritis report less pain, reduced inflammation and more sleep. However, this is not to say that arthritis patients should exchange their medication with pot; marijuana eases the pain, but it does nothing to ameliorate or curb the disease.

Depression – A study on addictive behaviors published by USC and SUNY Albany in 2005, whose 4,400 participants made it the largest investigation of marijuana and depression to date, found that “those who consume marijuana occasionally or even daily have lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who have never tried marijuana.” The study added that “weekly users had less depressed mood, more positive affect, and fewer somatic complaints than non-users.”

Anxiety – An article published in the April 2010 edition of the Harvard Mental Health Letter, “Medical marijuana and the mind,” said that while “many recreational users say that smoking marijuana calms them down, for others it has the opposite effect. … Studies report that about 20 to 30 percent of recreational users experience such problems after smoking marijuana.” The article did not mention which “studies” supported this fact, and most marijuana users would call this claim totally erroneous. Here’s a story from Patsy Eagan of Elle Magazine, who describes how she prefers marijuana to treat her anxiety over prescription drugs.

Hepatitis C – A 2006 study performed by researchers at the University of California at San Franciscofound that marijuana helps improve the effectiveness of drug therapy for hepatitis C, an infection that roughly 3 million Americans contract each year. Hepatitis C medications often have severe side effects like loss of appetite, depression, nausea, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. Patients that smoked marijuana every day or two found that not only did they complete the therapy, but that the marijuana even made it more effective in achieving a “sustained virological response,” which is the gold standard in therapy, meaning there was no sign of the virus left in their bodies.

Morning sickness – In a peer-reviewed study, researchers at the British Columbia Compassion Club Society found that 92 percent of women found marijuana’s effect on morning sickness symptoms as either “very effective” or effective.”

Facts/descriptions are excerpts from an article published by Dave Smith for the International Business Times.

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Prescription drugs kill about 100,000 people in the world each year.

“There are no deaths from cannabis use. Anywhere. You can’t find one,” – Dr. Lester Grinspoon, professor emeritus at Harvard Medical School.