Marijuana has been recognized for having healing properties that treat dozens of ailments. Each state distinguishes its own qualifying conditions, so make sure to research your own state. The following conditions have been compiled because they are among the most common qualifying conditions:
Cancer is a broad term for multiple diseases in which abnormal cells in the body continue to divide and multiply. These unhealthy cells invade tissues in the body and spread over time. There are over 100 types of cancer.
Marijuana can help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy that is used to combat cancer cells. In addition, there have been multiple studies that show the potential cancer-fighting properties that are found within cannabinoids.
Glaucoma is a complex disease that affects the optic nerve and leads to irreversible vision loss. It is the second leading cause of blindness.
Marijuana has been proven to lower intraocular pressure, therefore relieving many of the symptoms associated with glaucoma.
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a condition that is characterized by progressive failure of the immune system. With most viruses, the immune system will eventually flush them from the body. For unknown reasons, HIV cannot be flushed naturally from the body, and it attacks the healthy cells that fight diseases in the body. After enough cells have been destroyed, HIV enters its final stage, known as AIDS.
Many patients with HIV use marijuana to treat the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and nerve pain.
AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. It is the final stage of the HIV infection. At this point, there are so few healthy cells left in the body that one can easily be overrun by infections and cancers, leading to probable death.
Marijuana can ease the pain of AIDS patients, as well as help to curb the cachexia symptoms.
Hepatitis C is an infectious disease, caused by a virus, which primarily affects the liver. Over time, it can lead to permanent liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer and complete liver failure.
Marijuana helps curb symptoms associated with Hepatitis, such as fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea and muscle pain.
ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and is often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” It is characterized by the progressive degeneration of motor neurons. When motor neurons are damaged, the brain can no longer control muscle movement. Over time, this degeneration leads to death.
Patients diagnosed with ALS are usually given a 3-5 year survival estimate. Not only can marijuana relieve the many painful symptoms of ALS, but it has also been shown to slow the progression, therefore extending the life span. Some studies show it can add an additional 3 years to a person’s life when dealing with ALS.
Crohn’s Disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus. The most common type of Crohn’s Disease affects the lower part of the small intestine, called the ileum. Symptoms are chronic and include abdominal pain and diarrhea.
There is no known cure for Crohn’s Disease, but marijuana can alleviate certain symptoms, such as the pain and discomfort, as well as the inflammation that plagues sufferers.
Alzheimer’s disease can bring about numerous behavioral changes in patients, including depression, paranoia, hallucinations, irritability, restlessness, aggressiveness and confusion. These agitations can be triggered by environmental conditions, fear, fatigue or medical conditions.
Research has shown that marijuana may prevent the formation of deposits in the brain that are associated with the degenerative disease.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
MS is an autoimmune disease in which the body mistakenly attacks its own cells and tissues, primarily in the brain and spinal cord, leading to muscle degeneration, paralysis and sometimes death.
There is no cure for MS and the many prescriptions drugs used to treat it come with a slew of negative side effects. Marijuana helps to combat many symptoms associated with MS and its treatments, including spasticity, muscle spasms, chronic pain, tremor, sexual dysfunction, bowel and bladder dysfunctions, vision dimness, dysfunctions of walking and balance (ataxia) and memory loss.
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system that is highly progressive. Although the cause is unknown, this disease occurs when dopamine-generating cells are damaged or killed, leading to involuntary spasms and loss of motor skills.
Medical marijuana offers anti-anxiety, anti-oxidant and pain relief all in one medication for Parkinson’s Disease patients.
Medical Marijuana Uses
Marijuana has been used for centuries as a natural treatment for many ailments, from aches and pains to Glaucoma and Arthritis. However, the United States banned the use of marijuana in 1937 and classified it as a Schedule I drug in 1972, which by definition means that it has no accepted medical use. Since then, 33 states and the District of Columbia have disregarded this classification and have legalized medical marijuana for qualifying conditions. These states and others like them, who are currently fighting for legalization, know that there have been dozens of peer-reviewed studies, major reports, and claims made by prominent medical organizations that cite the medical benefits of marijuana.
Legalization is the answer. It’s almost a joke that marijuana is still classified as having no medical use when it has been proven time and again to treat a multitude of conditions. Without the approval of all 50 states and the federal government, research and development is happening at too slow a rate.
So why is legalization such a heated debate? Well, opponents believe that marijuana is dangerous, lacks FDA approval and is just unnecessary considering other prescription drugs which can be used in place of it. They also claim that marijuana is addictive and impairs the functioning of the mind and body. These are all uninformed claims.
Let’s look at the facts:
- Marijuana is not dangerous. In fact, there has never been a single lethal overdose from marijuana.
- Marijuana lacks FDA approval because of the government’s opposition to it. Without support and legalization, the FDA cannot perform the studies necessary to give it a stamp of approval.
- Marijuana is safer than the alternative prescription drugs, which are laden with chemicals and fillers. Marijuana is an all-natural herb, with very limited side effects. On the other hand, prescription drugs come with a multitude of dangerous side effects and account for tens of thousands of lethal overdoses each year!
- Marijuana has the lowest risk of dependency of any drug. Only 9% of users develop some form of addiction, compared to 32% of tobacco users, 23% of heroin users, 17% of cocaine users and 15% of alcohol users.
- Marijuana can impair mental and physical functioning temporarily, but so can alcohol and a slew of prescription drugs. No one is trying to make it legal to operate heavy machinery while under the influence of marijuana. Safety considerations and restrictions will apply in the same way they do for legal drugs that cause impairment.
Here at My Marijuana Story, we do not believe that medical marijuana should have any stigma attached to it. It is simply a safe, natural way to treat patients that are suffering from various ailments. Logically, it makes no sense not to legalize the medical use of marijuana. However, the law does not always follow logic. It will take awareness, education and advocacy to get marijuana the recognition it deserves.