Is Marijuana Medicine? The Good & Bad

marijuanaMarijuana users beware! While that high may clear your mind or set you at ease, new research details both the good AND bad on marijuana use.

When it comes to the effects of weed on your health, it’s true, there’s a lot of misleading information circulating around the Internet. So, in an effort to soothe the chatter, we did a little digging ourselves.

Believe it or not, marijuana has many positive effects on your health. In fact, researchers at Vanderbilt University found that cannabinoid receptors discovered in an emotional hub of the brain in mice soothed anxiety as well as the flight-or-fight response. It “could be highly important for understanding how cannabis exerts its behavioral effects,” Dr. Sachin Patel, senior author of the study, said in a press release.

When it comes to sickle cell disease (SCD) for example, many sickle cell disease patients use marijuana for its medicinal benefits, according to an anonymous survey by researchers from Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale University.

Acute pain is one of the main symptoms of SCD, a genetic blood disorder. Numerous episodes of acute pain can lead to chronic pain in these patients. According to the authors, SCD patients seek out and use marijuana to either avoid opioid use or because other medications are ineffective in relieving their pain.

Of the total study population, 42% reported using marijuana within the past two years. Most of these patients used it for medicinal purposes to help with pain, anxiety, appetite, mood, and sleep.

Other experts argue that weed-based medicines such as Sativex are effective when treating MS symptoms including neuropathic pain and muscle spasms.

Meanwhile, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy have revealed that it calms nausea and more.

“Certain cannabinoid drugs have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to relieve nausea and vomiting and increase appetite in people with cancer and AIDS,” says the American Cancer Society.

Other reported benefits associated with marijuana use include

On the flip side, pot use comes with a long list of potential health risks, whether the use is medicinal or recreational, a new report from the National Academy of Sciences states.