Medical Cannabis: Jack of All Trades
Medical cannabis gets a lot of attention for its benefits to cancer patients, and rightfully so.
Apart from helping to manage and alleviate the numerous symptoms of the illness and the side effects of its treatments, studies suggest that cannabis could play a role in helping to fight cancerous cells in the body when included in a course of treatment. Constance Therapeutics has been working with a respected oncologist who sent us 28 stage four patients in 2012, all of whom were battling their second cancer occurrence. According to that oncologist, 26 of the 28 went into remission after using cannabis extracts for three months, and in 2015, 76 percent of them were still alive. But whole plant cannabis extracts can help in treating a wide variety of other conditions as well – and I have firsthand experience. When I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, an inflammatory disease, I tried a number of prescription medications, one of which almost cost me my life. Cannabis extracts – specifically those from the female cannabis plant – have given me my life back.
Below are several conditions that cannabis extracts have shown great potential in treating:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
A 2015 study found that, when chronically administered to mice in the early symptomatic stage of Alzheimer’s, THC and CBD preserved memory. Administering THC and CBD together yielded the most effective results in comparison to isolated compounds such as CBD only – what is known as “The Entourage Effect.”
- Crohn’s Disease/Ulcerative Colitis
The severe pain, frequent diarrhea and weight loss associated with these inflammatory bowel diseases were demonstrated to be alleviated by the ingestion of cannabis in a small 2012 study.
A CBD-based treatment was recently tested in conjunction with traditional treatments among a group of patients with severe, treatment-resistant epilepsy. The findings of the 2015 study suggest that CBD-based treatments could help reduce seizure frequency among those who suffer from the condition.
Medical cannabis is known for its ability to ease severe pain. While much about Fibromyalgia is still a mystery, a 2011 study noted that cannabis helped decrease the pain and stiffness associated with the disorder.
- Lyme Disease
The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease can have a negative impact on a person’s quality of life. In my firsthand experience in working with physician-referred Lyme patients, I’ve found that cannabis’ anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties offer significant potential for treating the disease, from helping with pain management to decreasing seizure occurrence.
The potential that cannabis holds in treating these conditions is promising, and this list is absolutely not comprehensive. However, the research community does face hurdles. The federal government holds a Department of Health and Human Services patent for the medical use of cannabinoids (including THC) as antioxidants and neuroprotectants, despite stating that cannabis offers no medical benefit. The federal government has classified cannabis as a Schedule One drug alongside heroin, LSD, peyote, methaqualone and “ecstasy.” Largely due to this absurd classification, the medical community has only begun to re-explore the benefits of cannabis following prohibition.
Although cannabis sativa’s full potential is yet to be understood, there is enough research that indicates it has tremendous potential as a treatment. Therefore, I believe the current classification is wrong and it is preventing the additional research that needs to be conducted in order to understand this plant. It is time for the government to acknowledge the plentiful research that indicates the plant’s vast potential and take action on what is truly common knowledge today.
I look forward to the day that cannabis is decriminalized and it will finally be accessible to those who need it.