Comedian Tommy Chong has made a living telling jokes about his love of marijuana! But for Chong, the subject is no longer a laughing matter.
Tommy recently announced that he is using medical marijuana as a supplement to his treatment for rectal cancer. (blasphemy!)
While Chong’s belief that marijuana helps medical conditions will come as no surprise, it is still hard for uninformed people to make peace with the idea that marijuana use can provide real medical benefits.
Due to the increasing number of studies that support medical marijuana, those who oppose it are finding it more difficult to claim ignorance as a defense.
5 Examples of How Marijuana Helps Medical Conditions
For those who are interested in learning how marijuana helps medical conditions, here are five specific examples that have been substantiated by research published in peer-reviewed medical journals.
These research examples are an excellent place to begin for those who want to know more about marijuana’s medical usefulness. We have also interviewed professional endurance athlete Liz Sampey to learn more about her use of topical creams in physical therapy.
1. How Marijuana Helps Glaucoma
It is hard to miss the inherent irony in medical marijuana being successfully used to treat glaucoma; state legislators that do not yet recognize or acknowledge marijuana’s medical potential in this one area alone must be blind.
A 2006 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology states that intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma was significantly reduced by marijuana use.
Some critics will be quick to point out other studies which do not dispute these findings but contend that the side effects of smoking marijuana are a poor trade off. This argument is moot due to the availability of THC-infused eyedrops and other cannabis topical lotions which do not produce psychotropic effects.
2. How Marijuana Helps Epilepsy
The treatment of epilepsy is one of the more exciting research areas where medical marijuana use is concerned. Perhaps no more remarkable case exists than that of Charlotte Figi.
Charlotte suffered her first epileptic seizure at just three months old. Her disease progressed and by the time Charlotte was five her doctors stated that she was nearing the end of her road.
At her worst, Charlotte was suffering up to fifty seizures each day.
Charlotte’s mother, Paige Figi, had heard of a California parent using cannabis to treat their own child’s epilepsy with success. Since Figi lived in Colorado, she wanted to give the treatment a try. Without the benefit of a cannabis strain selector or other detailed information, Figi did her own research and ultimately began Charlotte’s treatment with the help of a local supplier that was able to buy bulk cannabis.
In just 20 months, Charlotte went from 50 seizures each day to only two or three nocturnal seizures each month. The strain of medical marijuana used to treat the child was so effective that it has been renamed Charlotte’s Web in her honor.
3. How Marijuana Helps PTSD
In several states PTSD is explicitly approved for treatment by medical marijuana. Those who suffer from PTSD relate that using medical marijuana helps them cope and relieves insomnia.
A few researchers have claimed that using medical marijuana as a coping mechanism is ineffective and leads to a greater use of cannabis. This argument, while perhaps theoretically sound, is nonsensical. All medication is developed for the purpose of coping with symptoms. It is no more unreasonable to cope with the effects of PTSD by taking medical marijuana than it is to cope with a headache by taking an aspirin, especially if symptoms are relieved.
Although PTSD has long been recognized as a legitimate disorder, the research on PTSD treatment with medical marijuana is still in its infancy.
It is logical to expect that researchers will continue to monitor the success of marijuana as insomnia relief for those who suffer from the disorder.
4. How Marijuana Helps Multiple Sclerosis
In June of this year, Montel Williams gave an impassioned speech in Pennsylvania urging the legalization of medical marijuana.
Williams, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, stated that he did not truly experience relief from his MS pain until he began using cannabis on a daily basis.
He also revealed that he had contemplated suicide twice after his MS diagnosis before he began relieving the pain with medical marijuana. One of the primary symptoms of MS is muscle spasms, and medical marijuana has been proven effective in muscle spasm relief.
“The reason why I am contributing member of society, paying taxes, the way I am right now, is because of the relief I’ve gotten from cannabis,” said Williams during his speech.
Controlled trials are becoming more prevalent to determine if medical marijuana does indeed relieve the pain of MS. One randomized trial conducted in 2005 and published in the Neurology medical journal concluded that cannabis-based medicine was effective in reducing pain and helping MS sufferers to sleep, and that it presented no significant long term side effects.
5. How Marijuana Helps Cancer
The idea of medical marijuana as an aid to cancer patients has long been substantiated by numerous research studies, but it was always seen as a means of keeping cancer patients hungry or dealing with nausea as a result of chemotherapy.
Tommy Chong is learning that medical marijuana may have greater benefits for cancer patients than once realized.
Chong first battled cancer in 2012 and treated that instance with medical marijuana in addition to other conventional treatments. Chong recently tweeted that he will be documenting his use of the drug for treatment on the Cheech and Chong podcast.
Some studies even suggest that cancer may be prevented from spreading by cannabis use as well as that marijuana can be useful for pain relief and research continues to document each way that the disease may be treated.
Evolving our Attitude Toward How Marijuana Helps Medical Conditions
A hallmark of any advanced civilization and society is the collective ability of its citizens to challenge and reform how they think about issues.
There may have been a time when it was possible to delay an acceptance of how marijuana helps medical conditions, due to a lack of informed research, but that period of society has eroded now into an abundance of documentation that cannot be further ignored.
As our society embraces the medical benefits of marijuana, we benefit not only from increasing wellness but taking another leap in the evolutionary growth of mankind.
Sallan, Stephen E., Norman E. Zinberg, and Emil Frei III. “Antiemetic effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy.” New England Journal of Medicine 293.16 (1975): 795-797.
Rog, David J., et al. “Randomized, controlled trial of cannabis-based medicine in central pain in multiple sclerosis.” Neurology 65.6 (2005): 812-819.
Bonn-Miller, Marcel O., Kimberly A. Babson, and Ryan Vandrey. “Using cannabis to help you sleep: Heightened frequency of medical cannabis use among those with PTSD.” Drug and alcohol dependence 136 (2014): 162-165.
Maa, Edward, and Paige Figi. “The case for medical marijuana in epilepsy.” Epilepsia 55.6 (2014): 783-786.
Amar, Mohamed Ben. “Cannabinoids in medicine: A review of their therapeutic potential.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 105.1 (2006): 1-25.