With more states opening their hearts and minds to medical marijuana, more physicians and pharmacists are looking into how medical marijuana will change the way they treat their patients and their ailments. For some, medical marijuana could mean the difference between having a treatment or no treatment whatsoever. So, what are some of the ways medical marijuana will change the future of medicine?
Some of the best scientifically-based evidence for medical marijuana is for neuropathic pain, pain that is caused by the nerves themselves. This is caused by damage or disruption of the nerves and can be very difficult to treat. In recent years, medical marijuana trials have been focusing on neuropathic pain due to limited available treatments.
Many patients with psychiatric disorders are turning to medical marijuana to improve their symptoms. Many of these patients suffer from such issues as PTSD, depression, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, and a variety of anxiety disorders. Because medical marijuana contains 100’s of cannabinoids, there is ample opportunity to study how each one can affect individuals and their symptoms the same way pharmaceutical drugs affect each person differently.
Studies for CBD have been found to be most conclusive with regards to medical marijuana and mental health. CBD produces a calming effect without the traditional “high” of THC making it one of the easiest medical trials to conduct.
We know that medical marijuana reduces symptoms related to cancer treatments, but did you know that more and more patients suffering from Epilepsy and other neural diseases are benefiting from medical marijuana? In fact, the first recipient of medical marijuana in Texas was a sufferer of Epilepsy — and she was just six years old.
Currently, there is evidence showing medical marijuana can help with controlling difficult-to-control conditions such as Dravet syndrome in children and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome in children and adults. Though the side effects can include sleepiness, diarrhea, and decreased appetite, patients involved in small clinical trials have found the benefits of decreased seizures and increased comprehension, strongly outweigh the potential side effects.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioid overdoses contributed more than 33,000 deaths in 2015. Many families of victims of opioid addiction claim the addiction started to subdue the effects of chronic pain. There have been multiple studies showing states with legalized medical marijuana have fewer opiate deaths than those that don’t. But, given that marijuana is still considered a “schedule 1” substance, there are no federal studies taking place.
Zach Walsh, an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, says though more research is needed, studies also suggested that cannabis may have a place in dealing with addiction.
“We are really excited about the potential substitution effect.” He then went on to say, “[meaning] if people use cannabis as a replacement for opioid medications, or to get off of opioids or cut back, we could see some pretty dramatic public health benefits.”
Here at medicalmarijuana.com, it’s no secret where our stance is regarding the evolution of medical marijuana in modern medicine. But, we’d love to hear from our readers. How has medical marijuana helped you in your everyday life? Where do you think the future of medical marijuana will go?