11 Incredible Benefits Of Medicinal Marijuana You Probably Didn't Know About

medical marijuana
PHOTO: DRAGONIMAGES / GETTY IMAGES

Marijuana is most commonly associated with relaxation, chilling out, and just good old fashioned stress relief, but medical studies are increasingly showing some of its other major effects. I was surprised to learn about a lot of the illnesses pot has been known to help out with. Whether it’s smoked, eaten, or consumed via oils or topical treatments, there is no denying the medicinal benefits of marijuana. Here are 11 of its most surprising effects, according to scientific studies. 

1. It Reduces Anxiety
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1. It Reduces Anxiety

Anxiety relief is one of the most common reasons people have for using marijuana. As time goes by, more scientists discover evidence that pot can offer great relief for those who suffer from anxiety disorders. Fun fact: In 1563, Portuguese doctor Garcia de Orta said cannabis could offer relief from “all worries and care.”

2. It Helps Vets Suffering From PTSD
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2. It Helps Vets Suffering From PTSD

Some people suffering from PTSD are urged to smoke marijuana. In fact, it’s said that the way the main psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabinoids affect the memory can by very helpful to PTSD patients. 

3. It Helps Eliminate Nightmares
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3. It Helps Eliminate Nightmares

You can say goodbye to nightmares if you smoke some pot before bed. At least according to a study where he author reported that “nabilone” had reduced both the severity and the frequency of nightmares in patients. Nabilone is a synthetic cannabinoid commonly used to treat neuropathic pain. 

4. It Reduces Pain And Nausea From Chemo And Stimulates Appetite
PHOTO: POINT GREY
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4. It Reduces Pain And Nausea From Chemo And Stimulates Appetite

Newsweek once called marijuana a wonder drug when it came to the horrors of chemo. The same article revealed that an increasing number of cancer patients and oncologists were seeing the drug as a legit answer for keeping the nasty side effects of chemotherapy like bone pain, anxiety, depression more or less under control.

5. It Eases The Pain Of Multiple Sclerosis
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5. It Eases The Pain Of Multiple Sclerosis

More and more people with Multiple Sclerosis are reportedly turning to medical marijuana to treat their symptoms like fatigue, loss of muscle strength, and insomnia. One of the MS patients in the study conducted by Colorado State University neurophysiologist Thorsten Rudolf called cannabis a “miracle drug.”

6. It Helps Relieves Arthritis
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6. It Helps Relieves Arthritis

Researchers found in 2011 that cannabis reduced pain and inflammation in people with  rheumatoid arthritis. After two weeks of taking a cannabinoid-based pain relief medication called Sativex, doctors found that patients experienced a lot less pain. 

In another study, researches found that targeting cannabinoid receptors with marijuana may help ease knee joint pain commonly associated with osteoarthritis. 

7. It Helps Prevent Alzheimer's
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7. It Helps Prevent Alzheimer's

A 2006 study led by Jim Kanda discovered that THC, the most active ingredient in marijuana, actually slows the progression of Alzheimer’s. Also, other studies have found that taking cannabinoids can possibly help manage agitation, aggression, and some of the other behavioral symptoms often associated with dementia. 

8. It Treats Glaucoma
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8. It Treats Glaucoma

People have been dangling the idea that smoking pot helps treat glaucoma since the 1970s. One of the causes of optic nerve damage in glaucoma is high pressure in the eye, otherwise known as IOP. Studies have shown that smoking marijuana lowered the IOP of people with glaucoma. The research was reportedly supported by the National Eye Institute. 

9. It Soothes Tremors Associated With Parkinson’s Disease
PHOTO: CUT
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9. It Soothes Tremors Associated With Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system. A recent report found that pain symptoms and motor control improved in patients in the 30 minutes following their cannabis exposure. Another report found similar benefits, including “significant improvement” in tremors, rigidity, as well as the quality and duration of sleep in patients. 

10. It Helps With Crohn’s Disease
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10. It Helps With Crohn’s Disease

A study conducted in Israel found that smoking marijuana significantly reduced symptoms often reported by Crohn’s disease patients like pain, vomiting, weight loss, and diarrhea. Incredibly, the same study reported that five out of 11 patients who participated in this experiment had a “complete cancellation” of the disease after smoking. 

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ALICIA BARRóN

I'm a writer and photographer based in Arizona. I started as an entertainment reporter, evolved into a web producer, and somehow beautifully ended up as a full-time writer. I love to read, hike, and craft. I'm also a proud pug mom to Lola Maria, and a proud aunt to many a cool kid. 

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