Health Benefits Of
Medical Marijuana

The health benefits of medical marijuana are downplayed, dismissed and rejected by the government's Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In its advisory, FDA claimed that "no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States."

On the other hand, in 2008 the ten largest pharmaceutical companies made a combined $276.5B in U.S. sales. To put into perspective, that is over a quarter of a trillion dollars from ten corporations.

Do you think these corporations are interested in giving up market share to anyone, much less a multi use natural remedy that anyone can grow for themselves?

Here is a partial list of documented research that have shown promising results of the health benefits of marijuana. When millions of patients are suffering from these and other conditions, the FDA's assertion that there are no sound scientific studies seem disingenuous at best, negligent at worst.

Alzheimer's Disease
Forget the burnout jokes you've heard about effects of smoking marijuana on the brain. Scripps Research Institute found the active ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, inhibits the formation amyloid plaque, a primary pathological marker.

The report, published in 2006 in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, said THC is a "considerably superior inhibitor of (amyloid plaque) aggregation" to several currently approved drugs for treating the disease.

Brain Cancer
Researchers from Compultense University in Madrid, Spain have found THC promotes the death of brain cancer cells by a process called autophagy. Autophagy essentially causes the cancerous cells to eat itself. Seems that would be a health benefit of medical marijuana that should be investigated further, no?

Head and Neck Cancer
The journal Cancer Prevention Research published a study in 2009 that observed 434 subjects with incidents of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) from 9 medical facilities. While the results were far from conclusive, the evidence indicated patients with 10-20 years of marijuana use was associated with the "significantly reduced" risk of HNSCC.

Lung Cancer and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Researchers at Harvard University found THC to reduce tumor growth in common lung cancer by 50% and significantly reduce the ability of the cancer to spread. In 2006 a UCLA researcher found smoking marijuana did not appear to increase the risk of lung cancer or head-and-neck malignancies even among heavy users.

However, the study indicated the more tobacco a person smoked, the greater the risk of developing cancer of the lung and head and neck.

Note: I am by no means saying the ingestion of combustible smoke of any kind is not without risks. I am merely trying to present information about research conducted and the results that show promising results of the potential health benefits of medical marijuana which warrant further investigation.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
More commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease is a fatal neurodegnerative disorder characterized by the selective loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord, brain stem and motor cortex.

Clinical trials have indicated that cannabinoids in mice can delay ALS progression. This supports anecdotal reports from ALS sufferers who found the health benefits of medical marijuana helpful in relieving certain disease symptoms such as pain, appetite loss and depression.

Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is a broad category that includes, but is not limited to, arthritis, migraines, back pain, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, phantom limb pain, scoliosis, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis and HIV.

The University of California at Davis studied the efficacy of inhaled cannabis patients with central or peripheral nerve-related pain in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Results indicated that low levels of THC was equally effective as high levels in resolving pain indicating you don't have to smoke your brains out for the analgesic effects of THC.

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