Of all the plants used for medicinal purposes, marijuana is probably the most controversial.
There are those who swear by its effectiveness, and others who insist that using cannabis to treat glaucoma is today inspiring a new generation of drug addicts for tomorrow.
Because of that, it’s difficult to find an unbiased look at what its beneficial effects are. Everyone has an agenda, and care must be taken to figure out if sources exist to further one view or another.
One certainty is that marijuana’s medical properties have been known for centuries. There is evidence dating back to 2737 BC.
Marijuana is a fundamental herb in traditional Chinese medicine, and it was used back in Ancient Egypt. Doctors used it to treat patients in Ancient India, while the Greeks used it to treat horses as well.
In fact, records show that most ancient cultures knew about cannabis and used it medicinally. Because marijuana is common throughout the world it may have been the basic pain medication prescribed by a caveman shaman.
The plant was reintroduced to the West again in the 1800s, but was banned by the United States in 1937, where it is still considered illegal, even though 16 states have legalized medical marijuana.
Interestingly, a study entitled Marijuana and Medicine from the United States National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine took a middle ground, not recommending it for fighting any diseases but noting that it might have an effect on nausea, anxiety and appetite loss.
One common use for marijuana is to fight the effects of glaucoma and provide comfort for its sufferers.
Other relatively uncontroversial uses for it are to treat nausea and vomiting, to stimulate the appetite of patients undergoing chemotherapy or other medical treatments that sap hunger pangs, and to treat gastrointestinal illnesses.
Marijuana has been studied for its positive effects in dealing with everything from bipolar disorder to epilepsy to Alzheimer’s to cancer to MS to AIDS and ALS. It is best to look up the research and the studies on the particular condition you are looking for marijuana to treat, since it may well be the most studied product on the planet.
Most people associate marijuana with smoking, or those bong hits some experienced in their college days. But many take medicinal marijuana in other ways, such as baked into brownies or inhaled in a vaporizer.
The baked goods are proven to have longer-lasting effects than what comes from smoking, while the vaporizer avoids the cancerous byproducts associated with smoking.
Of course, marijuana is still associated with young people getting stoned. But it appears that the cavemen were right when they decided it was one of the best plant medicines that nature could provide. There is plenty of information, here and elsewhere, that can help you make your own decisions regarding its use.
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