The Science Behind Medical Marijuana



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Marijuana or Cannabis, known to some as the stoner drug, is known for getting people“high.” It is legal in 8 states for recreational use, legal in 20 states for medical use, and illegal in 22 states.
Some consider it to be as dangerous as cocaine or heroin.
But did you know that marijuana also has many reported health benefits, many that have been backed by research?
But before we get into that – let’s start by looking at the makeup of marijuana itself.

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Marijuana contains 2 key ingredients.
The main component is a psychoactive ingredient that is responsible for the “high” effects. It’s called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is a psychoactive chemical.
THC attaches to cannabinoid receptors in parts of the brain that include thinking, memory, sensory and time perception. This is how THC plays a part in psychological effects you may have while under the influence of cannabis.
THC has also been used for it’s pain-relieving effects.
A study published in the Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy suggested that THC activates pathways in the central nervous system which work to block pain signals from being sent to the brain.
A pilot study published in clinical drug investigation talks about how THC helps with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Because of its psychological effects on the brain, it has been therapeutic for some patients that have suffered from flashbacks, agitation and nightmares and other symptoms of PTSD
Another component of Marijuana is a non-psychoactive ingredient that is called cannabidiol (CBD). It reduces the effect that THC has, in other words it works against the “high effects”
CBD is thought to be responsible for turning off a gene by the name of ID-1, a protein coding gene that is suggested to help cancer cells spread throughout the body. Studies published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, suggest that Cancerous cells make more copies of these genes than non-cancerous cells.
Some anecdotal cases show marijuana may also help in treating epilepsy – although this is yet to be comprehensively studied. But in the case of 8 year old Charlotte Figi, the use of marijuana that was low on THC but high on CBD had reduced her 300 seizures a week to just 1 seizure every 7 days.
So marijuana has other applications – other than just producing the ‘high effect’.
Are there any other science issues or phenomena you’d like us to explain? Let us know in the comments below!

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Source: Youtube