[Viral Now] 7 Shocking Health Benefits of Medical Marijuana
Disclaimer: this article is not about promoting marijuana as a recreational product. It’s January 20, 2013. My mother is lying on her dea...
Disclaimer: this article is not about promoting marijuana as a recreational product.
It’s January 20, 2013. My mother is lying on her deathbed; she’d been bedridden for five days. Her immune system was shattered. Slowly, surely, her organs were shutting down. Hooked up to breathing tubes, she needed four extra blankets to keep warm. It was a daily struggle for her to breathe, to even smile.
She was among the crowd of prize winners who successfully KO’d lung cancer. What a prize! Being stuck in a bed, miserable, fighting another fight: the after effects of a year’s worth of chemotherapy and radiation. Before undergoing treatment (and even after), my older brothers – marijuana aficionados – wanted her to try dabbing, a form of “taking” marijuana without smoking.
They cited reports, second-hand stories, personal experiences, and unloaded pound after pound of information on her. Telling her that, if she didn’t overdo it (since excess, regardless of what it is, is still dangerous), it would be a lot healthier for her than chemical treatment. She didn’t budge. Now, years later, I wanted to see whether or not they were simply blowing smoke up her…or if there’s some form of truth to what they said.
Here’s just a small taste of what I found about marijuana’s health benefits.
1. Turns cancer into a snail.
Learning this had me punch a hole in the roof in triumph (and “too little, too late” anger)! Victory! Huzzah! A particular marijuana compound slows the growth of ferocious cancer cells, says Eileen Shim of Mic.com, citing a 2012 study.
Need more? The American Association for Cancer Research found out, a long time ago, the same thing: Mary Jane slows down tumor growth in the brain, breasts, and lungs. Would this have been enough to help my poor mother? I don’t know, but what I do know is this: what I found out next should send bedridden, terminally ill loved ones through the roof.
2. Relieves major pain.
The Huffington Post reported that marijuana curbs the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. I’ll bet 5:1 the pain relief comes from either THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or CBD (cannabidiol) – the active ingredients in marijuana. These two compounds are responsible for pot-smokers everywhere sounding the trumpets when it comes to Mary Jane’s health benefits. The difference? CBD plays its due part, sans getting (or feeling) high.
This was big news for me. My mother, rest her soul, for over 10 years gobbled down her daily dose of pain medication to take the edge off her lower back problems. Months before she passed, she went to a doctor, looking for a back operation. She needed something to help her bear living. The doctor told her that the surgery had an 80% chance of killing her. She didn’t get it.
3. Stops seizures.
During my hellish time in high school, my bus driver tried soothing my anxiety (since I was prone to stress-induced seizures) by telling me that his nephew, a 4-year-old, would have seizures all the time. For no reason at all! He could be eating cereal and WHAM! His parents bore the heart-shattering shock of seeing their darling boy writhing on the floor like a thunderstruck snake. Sometimes the kid had 15 seizures a day! And the doctors couldn’t do anything.
Until someone prescribed him medical CBD, extracted from marijuana. Within a week he went from 15 seizures a day, to once every other day. And after a while? Nothing. CBD didn’t make him high. He didn’t feel any of the usual stoned effects; it was a simple as a needle, and he went on his day. His parents were happy as punch that their child had a chance for a normal life. Remembering all of this, I wondered if anybody else suffering seizures found the same path. Turns out, they have.
4. It makes you hungry.
No kidding! Who would have thought that, right? Well, hold on there. The primary cause for “the munchies” – THC – is prescribed (on a daily basis) to anorexics, cancer sufferers, and HIV-bearers whose appetites have plummeted. Thank the FDA they approved Marinol, a THC-in-a-pill capsule used to make the dying and unhealthy feel the need to feed themselves again.
5. Glaucoma, be gone!
6. Slows down Alzheimer’s disease.
That’s right! Patients with Alzheimer’s disease suffer from brain degradation. Thoughts vanish, memory becomes extinct. It’s a pure horror show. However, marijuana slows the effects of Alzheimer’s. This is because the plant slows amyloid plaques. These little cretins are responsible for destroying brain cells, thus paving the way for Alzheimer’s to make its move and ruin lives.
In my younger years when I was in a mental ward, there was a sweet old lady who walked around. She smiled and struck up conversations with anybody and everybody – even families who came to visit. But she had one terrifying not-so-secret secret: she killed her sister. Or so she thought.
What happened was, she knew that she was violent, and had a dark past. The reality is: she forgot that her sister was alive. Because of her aggressive nature, she put two together. Misplaced by madness, she’d howl and flail uncontrollably – putting the orderlies’ lives (and her own) on the line when she remembered “what she had done.”
Despite the fact that, often, the doctors and nurses would have her sister on the phone. Her sister was waiting, and willing to talk to her beloved. To prove to her that she was still alive. In her fits of miserable sobbing and constant heartbreaks, she never picked up the phone. Alzheimer’s ruined her brain, sending her far past the point of no return.
7. Sweet sleep.
It’s not news to anyone that marijuana puts you to sleep. What is news, is the literal life-saving opportunities this has for people with sleep disorders – insomniacs, those who stay up all night, can’t get to bed, or wake up half a dozen times a night.
If it hasn’t happened to you or someone you know and care about, the dangers can be swept under the rug. But, speaking on behalf of my partner who takes many prescribed sleeping pills, marijuana is a healthy alternative to battling the constant nightmare of the disorder. It’s just too good to pass up.
When I found out these health benefits of marijuana (medical or not), I thought of my late mother. How many more years she would have lived. She’d be able to see her grandchildren. She’d be able to see her oldest son find the love of his life and get married. She would have seen me stay with a job for more than two months.
My only hope is that my research plays its part, among the thousands of other research provided on a near-daily basis, in helping people see that marijuana isn’t just for people looking for a good time. It helps the sick, the ill, and mentally damaged people enjoy their own time, too.
Featured photo credit: International Business Times via ibtimes.co.uk