The list of diseases and conditions that are effectively treated–and sometimes cured–by cannabis is ever growing. The stigma resulting from uninformed propaganda is beginning to clear and science and the medical profession are discovering the incredible power of this medicinal plant.
The effective ingredient in cannabis (of which there are many different varieties) is a compound called a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids work by affecting certain receptors in cells in the body called endocannabinoids. Not all cannabinoids are psychoactive and of those that are, there are varying degrees. Of all the studies performed on cannabis, none have shown any detrimental effects other than perhaps a dry mouth.
Drug Enforcement Administration Judge Francis L. Young made this statement after a two-year hearing on cannabis in 1998:
“Nearly all medicines have toxic, potentially lethal effects. But marijuana is not such a substance. There is no record in the extensive medical literature describing a proven, documented cannabis-induced fatality…In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume…Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”
Below are five conditions that are more effectively treated with cannabis than pharmaceuticals.
1. ADHD/ADD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder/Attention Deficit Disorder)
Standard treatment for this condition is a prescription of Ritalin, a stimulant. The side effects of this drug include diarrhea, headaches, psychosis, difficulty sleeping, and stomach aches. Statistics are emerging that show that an increasing number of children are dying from long-term Ritalin use. This and other drugs like it change in every way the children who take them. Not the least of these effects are mood swings and violence.
Dr. David Bearman, a cannabis researcher, said this about using cannabis for treating ADHD:
“Cannabis appears to treat ADD and ADHD by increasing the availability of dopamine. This then has the same effect but is a different mechanism of action than stimulants like Ritalin (methylphenidate) and dexedrine amphetamine, which act by binding to the dopamine and interfering with the metabolic breakdown of dopamine.”
It’ll sure help with the hyperactivity part–chill, kid.
2. The Big C
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a chemical in the body responsible for blood vessel growth in tumors. When the ceramide in cannabis comes into contact with VEGF, the cancerous cells die, leaving healthy cells alone.