Written by Christina Sarich, Natural Society, July 1, 2014
A study published in a well-respected medical journal, the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, recently disclosed that the active chemicals in marijuana can help treat multiple sclerosis and similar diseases. The active compounds, namely THC and CBD, are able to do so by inhibiting inflammation of the spinal chord and brain. This is not all THC and CBD can do, though.
The study abstract reads:
“Cannabinoids, the Cannabis constituents, are known to possess anti-inflammatory properties but the mechanisms involved are not understood. Here we show that the main psychoactive cannabinoid, Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and the main nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), markedly reduce the Th17 phenotype which is known to be increased in inflammatory autoimmune pathologies such as Multiple Sclerosis.”
The Healing Properties of Cannabis
THC, or, tetrahydrocannabinol, offers multiple medical benefits. This is also the part of marijuana that makes users feel ‘high’ or ‘stoned.’ But while the psychoactive component deters individuals from accepting the plant, people should know that marijuana has been shown to relieve pain and spasticity in patients who suffer from MS, and so much more. The vilified plant is also known for reducing cancer cells, relieving chronic pain, and halting seizures. It is no wonder that companies want to patent certain chemical properties in Marijuana.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is just one of over 400 active compounds in the plant. CBD is the plant compound in marijuana or cannabis that offers medical effects but without the “high”. It can even counter the psychoactive effects of THC. After decades in which only high-THC Cannabis was available, CBD-rich strains are now being grown by and for medical users. Hemp, which is also derived from the cannabis plant, is one example of very low THC levels and high CBD levels – which is just one reason hemp should have never been made illegal. (Though the 2014 farm bill does legalize industrial hemp).
The list of medicinal qualities of just this one compound, CBD, is extremely long:
For example, CBD helps with:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Bipolar Disorder
- Brain Injury
- And hundreds more
While more than half of the American pubic supports the legalization of marijuana use, and rightly so, since it comes with a host of medicinal properties, marijuana smoke can also be detrimental to health, so alternative ways of administering marijuana or ‘weed’ are advised. While about 20 states already have legalized marijuana dispensaries, others drag their feet.
Dr. J. Michael Bostwick, a psychiatrist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., explains that the classification of marijuana as a ‘drug’ was primarily political and ignored more than 40 years of scientific research, which has shown that cellular receptors for marijuana’s active ingredients are present throughout the body. These political maneuvers are outlined expressly in a lengthy report by Bostwick.
As with any herb, there are contraindications, but the benefits of marijuana seem to far outweigh any concerns. It should be legalized in more states due to medicinal benefits and basic rights.