“The effects of cannabis on the economy are hitting new highs, and are expected to keep growing for years. Thanks to stronger public support and new legalization laws, the billion-dollar cannabis market is soon set to quadruple.”
“The strong growth in demand for legal cannabis over the past two years is expected to continue in the years ahead,” explains the report. “Twenty-three states already permit medical cannabis use and four states and the District of Columbia allow full adult use. With nearly a dozen states debating changes to their cannabis laws in the coming year, 2016 will be the tipping point in which a majority of U.S. states transition from cannabis prohibition to some form of regulated legal markets. Key states, including California, Nevada and Massachusetts, are expected to legalize adult use, while Florida is expected to pass a medical cannabis bill similar to the one that narrowly failed in 2014.”
Courtesy: Cheat Sheet
The downside of this natural health boom for growers is that sales and tax revenue may go to state agencies and create less profit for them. In addition, there are a few pharmaceutical companies that have jumped on the train and have found are trying to find a way to patent marijuana and make it into a compound, which de-classifies it from being an herb. Not only that, but it then becomes laced with chemicals, loses its purity and, therefore, is not as natural health-friendly.
On the other hand, more jobs and business opportunities are on the plus side. It’s a slippery slope, but the health benefits are too effective to ignore. Individual large growers may lose or gain, depending on how they align with the BIG BOYS, or not. Small growers or private growers have more to gain, as big pharma is less likely to come after them.
The health benefits of cannabis are epic. Scientists, doctors, chemists and practitioners worldwide have witnessed and endorsed these benefits, and that’s how medical marijuana has progressed this far.
Here is a list of medical health benefits:
Marijuana Slows and Stops Cancer Cell Metastasis
Researchers experimented on breast cancer cells in the lab that had a high level of Id-1, and treated them with cannabidiol. In fact, the American Association for Cancer Research has found that marijuana actually works to slow down tumor growth in brain, breast, and lungs.
Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s
THC, the active ingredient present in marijuana, slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a 2006 study led by Kim Janda of the Scripps Research Institute discovered. THC slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. These plaques kill brain cells, and potentially lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
Marijuana can be used to treat glaucoma, which increases pressure in the eyes, injuring the optic nerve and causing loss of vision. According to National Eye Institute, marijuana lowers the pressure inside the eye: “Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.”
In 2011, researchers reported that cannabis reduces pain and inflammation and promotes sleep, which has been reported to help people with rheumatoid arthritis and insomnia.
Controls Epileptic Seizures
It has been discovered that THC controlled the seizures by binding the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation. The results were published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Eases the Pain of Multiple Sclerosis and Helps with Balance
Marijuana helps stop the neurological effects and muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis. “Jody Cory Bloom studied 30 multiple sclerosis patients with painful contractions in their muscles. These patients didn’t respond to other medications, but after smoking marijuana for few days, they reported that they were in less pain. The THC in the marijuana bonds the receptors in the nerves and muscles to relieve pain.”
Helps Veterans Suffering from PTSD
Marijuana is approved to treat PTSD in some states in America. Naturally occurring cannabinoids, similar to THC, help control the system that causes fear and anxiety in the body and brain.
Reduces Tremors of Parkinson’s Disease
Recent studies show that smoking marijuana remarkably reduces pains and tremors and improves sleep for Parkinson’s disease patients.
Controls Muscle Spasms
Other types of muscle spasms respond to marijuana too. Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s (a natural health practitioner and MD), patient, Chaz, has used medical marijuana to treat this disease where other medications have failed him.
Helps Inflammation of Crohn’s
Cannabis can cure Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disorder that causes pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and more. The cannabinoids from cannabis seem to help the gut control bacteria and intestinal function. It also improves IBS and SIBO, which are both inflammation of the bowel and stomach.
Lessens Side Effects of Hepatitis C, and Increases Effectiveness of Treatment
Treating Hepatitis C infection with Interferon has severe side effects such as fatigue, nausea, muscle pains, loss of appetite, and depression, which lasts for months. Cannabis helps improve the treatment’s effectiveness. 54% of the Hepatitis C patients who smoked marijuana got their viral levels low, and kept them low, compared to only 8% of the non-smokers.
In 2010, researchers at Harvard University suggested that some of the marijuana’s benefits may be reduced anxiety, which acts as a sedative in low doses.
Protects Brain after a Stroke
Research from University of Nottingham shows that cannabis may help protect the brain from damage caused by a stroke by reducing the size of the area affected by the stroke, thereby, reducing inflammation.
Helps Reverse the Carcinogenic Effects of Tobacco
“In January 2012, a study published in Journal of the American Medical Association showed that marijuana improved lung functions, and increased lung capacity. Researchers looking for risks factors of heart disease, tested on 5,115 young adults, over the period of 20 years, and found out that only pot users showed an increase in lung capacity, compared to the tobacco smokers who lost lung function over time.”
Reduces Pain and Nausea from Chemo and Stimulates Appetite
One of the most common uses of medical marijuana is for people going through chemotherapy. Cancer patients going through chemo suffer from pain, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. The THC like effects in the Cannabidiol doesn’t cause hallucinations or a “high.”
Improves Symptoms of Lupus, and Other Autoimmune Disorders
Medical marijuana is used to treat the autoimmune disorder called Systemic Lupus Ertyhematosus, which is the body attacking itself due to a compromised immune system. Cannabidiol reduces pain and inflammation and other symptoms of Lupus and autoimmune disorders.
These benefits of medical marijuana are among the countless ways in which it is more of a blessing than a curse. It is not yet legal everywhere, but hopefully, because of its beneficial effects on pain, inflammation, nausea, vision, anxiety, IBS and Crohn’s, cancer, and a host of other autoimmune disorders, marijuana will be the norm, rather than the exception. Since it is both profitable and helpful, let’s hope for the legalization worldwide. And for the business of marijuana to stay in the hands of the public, not BIG PHARMA.