Health

What World Health Organization is saying about Marijuana

Recent reports indicate the World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed cannabidiol (CBD) as safe.  WHO has concluded that CBD, one of the main chemical components in marijuana, “exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”

A central talking point of the WHO’s report is that CBD has “been demonstrated as an effective treatment of epilepsy in several clinical trials” and is being reviewed as a potential treatment for other conditions such as Crohn’s disease, nausea, cancer, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. This is great news!

World Health Organization

World Health Organization

Don’t get it misconstrued, while the WHO firmly stands behind the studies referenced, they do make certain to note that “their assessment shouldn’t be read as an endorsement of CBD” or a recommendation of use either.  Rather, it is a declaration that the chemical “doesn’t warrant a place in international drug scheduling”.

In fact, historically, the WHO has not been known to be “sympathetic to cannabis or particularly progressive when it comes to cannabis policy”. That’s why this public support has real potential to significantly impact the medicinal marijuana industry!

While “several countries have modified their national controls to accommodate CBD as a medicinal product…the United States isn’t among them”.  Currently, in the United States, CBD is a prohibited substance on the federal level. However, there is a growing movement of support for CBD, among people in the United States who claim “to be gaining therapeutic benefit from the substance”. The WHO’s new findings only serve to further support this movement.

What Research Says Marijuana Can Do

The movement towards legalizing marijuana has gained international traction in recent years.  The belief that marijuana provides medicinal benefits has been a catalyst for marijuana proponents.  Despite many who claim therapeutic benefits from marijuana use, still there is opposition to the idea of medical marijuana.  Though, at the end of the day, truth reigns supreme.  Here’s what research supports about the benefits of marijuana use.

Medical Marijuana Benefits

Chronic Pain

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The most common use of medical marijuana in the United States is for chronic pain.  It is a common option for treating pain attributed to aging.  Marijuana has been shown to help with pain associated with conditions such as multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia (2).

Parkinson’s Disease

Marijuana is considered to have muscle relaxing or analgesic effects.  As such, people suffering from Parkinson’s disease (PD) report that marijuana assists in controlling their tremors.  Marijuana is said to provide additional benefits for those afflicted with PD such as pain relief, better sleep, improved mood and more ease in movement (3).

Mental Health Disorders

PTSD

Reports indicate that people suffering from disorders such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD acknowledge benefits from the use of marijuana.  A scientific theory is that CBD “boosts the signal of 5-HT1A serotonin receptors on brain cells…and can produce a calming effect” (4).  Despite this theory, the scientific community insists on further testing and evidence to support marijuana use as a means to treat mental health disorders.

Cancer

Cannabinoids have been shown to help treat symptoms of cancer and side effects of cancer treatment.  Cannabinoids are chemicals that act on certain receptors on cells in our body. Cannabinoids have been used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by radiation or chemotherapy treatments, as well as help with pain in cancer patients.

Glaucoma

Smoking marijuana has been shown to lower eye pressure.  This benefit has caused marijuana to often be considered an alternative treatment for glaucoma patients.  Notable is that smoking marijuana is known to lower eye pressure for periods of 3-4 hours.  Considering this, marijuana would need to be smoked 6-8 times a day to produce consistent results (6).

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