The recognition of the therapeutic virtues of cannabis is now spreading to many diseases. However, medical cannabis treatments are subject to the laws of the countries or states where they are authorized.
All American states have listed epilepsy as a disease that justifies the use of medical cannabis, and it is probably the one that has received the most media coverage and has contributed to the recognition of the therapeutic virtues of cannabis.
CBD oil reduces Dravet syndrome (a form of severe epilepsy) seizures by 39% and the CBD-based drug Epidiolex generally reduces seizures by 42%. A case study on an American girl named Charlotte Figi.
The current cancer treatment, chemotherapy, is a very heavy treatment that destroys healthy cells as well as cancer cells and is accompanied by many side effects such as nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, hair loss, fatigue, or pain, among others. Also,cannabis is known to be effective in relieving these side effects. The antiemetic effect of cannabinoids reduces nausea and vomiting, stimulates appetite and relieves pain, for example.
In any case, pain is the main cause of medical cannabis prescriptions. Cannabis is generally smoked and it is the synergy of CBD and THC molecules that has an analgesic effect. Dronabinol can also be prescribed for pain and is used in particular for pain related to cancer and its treatment.
The symptoms of the disease are numerous and disabling, cannabis can relieve a number of them: for example, it stimulates appetite, has an antiemetic and analgesic effect and can relieve anxiety and mood disorders.
Moreover, a study even determined that cannabis could be effective against the spread of the virus that, at an advanced stage, mutates to infect resting immune cells. By activating the CB1 and CB2 molecular receptors, cannabinoids block the signaling process that allows the virus to infiltrate these cells and thus slows down the infection.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes loss of visual acuity and even blindness. This is due to excessive intraocular pressure that damages the optic nerve. Cannabis can be an appropriate treatment in that it reduces intraocular pressure. It also has myotic properties that can prevent mydriasis. Finally, for the more severe and rare forms of glaucoma known as angle-closure, the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis can be effective too.
PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
This syndrome results in acute anxiety after the traumatic situation that caused it. In fact, it is common among veterans and victims of sexual assault. Cannabis is used to soothe sleep and eliminate nightmares, stabilize mood and calm panic, anxiety and anger attacks.
The effects of cannabis on this syndrome are controversial. In particular, if it helps to calm patients.
Cachexia corresponds to a serious deterioration in an individual’s general state of health linked to severe undernutrition and results in a significant loss of muscle mass. It is often associated with other diseases such as anorexia nervosa, cancer, heart, kidney or liver failure, or infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS. Besides,the treatment of cachexia involves nutrition .
Cannabis is known to be effective against muscle spasms and may, therefore, be useful in combating the disabling symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis by maintaining a form of plasticity.
As mentioned above for cancer and AIDS, the antiemetic effects of cannabis can also treat nausea problems .
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of cannabis are also beneficial in preventing disease. Moreover, it seems that cannabis also stimulates neurogenesis, which corresponds to the creation of new neural tissue and compensates for its destruction by Alzheimer’s disease.
In conclusion,some states do not set limits on diseases that qualify access to medicines and leave this choice to the discretion of doctors. But, there are other conditions not included in this list on which cannabis can have a beneficial effect, such as fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, and autism.