Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also more widely known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that causes it’s carrier’s loss of muscle control and coordination along the spinal cord, brain stem and motor cortex. Although there is no cure for this debilitating illness, medical marijuana can be used to help alleviate the symptoms of the disease, including: loss of appetite and chronic pain caused by muscle spasms and/or stiffness.
Many doctors will prescribe the use of marijuana as an aid to not only help combat the disease itself but also to help mollify the effects of chemotherapy treatment. Chemotherapy has been known to produce many side effects that can be hard on the patient, including: vomiting, nausea, and loss of appetite. Medical marijuana has been known to help reduce the feeling of nausea and vomiting while increasing appetite, which helps fight cancer treatment-related anorexia. Studies have also shown a positive effect in regards to inhibiting tumor growth in leukemia and breast cancer as well as the invasion of cervical cancer and lung cancer cells.
Glaucoma is considered the leading source of blindness in the world and is caused by the degeneration of the optic nerve. The leading cause of optic nerve damage in glaucoma patients is intracocular pressure (IOP). Studies have shown that the use of medical marijuana can not only help stop the damage caused by IOP but can also help reverse deterioration of the optic nerve. The combination of medical marijuana with traditional glaucoma medication is widely accepted as a positive and effective treatment method within medical marijuana states.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) occurs when the cells in the bloodstream that make up the immune system become compromised and multiple. The disease attacks the immune system allowing for a person to contract a variety of opportunistic infections. Although there is no cure for HIV yet, there have been many treatment regimens that help decrease the viral-load within the inflicted’s bloodstream and help prevent the virus from reproducing. However, many of these treatments can cause some harsh negative side effects. Medical marijuana is effective in treating the symptoms caused by many HIV medications, including: nausea, lack of appetite, nerve pain, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is disorder that directly effects an individual’s central nervous system and in turn causes deterioration with the individual’s vision, hearing, memory, balance and mobility. Although the symptoms of MS vary from person to person, one of the most frequent symptoms is muscle spasticity, a symptom that causes intense pain, spasms and eventually complete loss of functionality. The use of medical marijuana within MS patients has been known to reduce the muscle stiffness and tremors, allowing from better mobility. Marijuana can also help increase the individual’s balance, bladder control, speech and eyesight.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to a threatening or otherwise traumatic event. Events that cause PTS vary greatly but the more common causes include: sexual assault, warfare, traffic collisions, or other real or perceived threats on a person’s life. Symptoms of PTSD often include disturbing thoughts, extreme anxiety, nightmares, mental or physical distress to trauma-related cues, attempts to avoid trauma-related cues and events, alterations in how a person functions, thinks and feels. Patients suffering from PTSD are at a higher risk of suicide and have difficulties in social and other every-day situations. Medical marijuana has been proven effective in alleviating the mental anxiety and disturbing thoughts caused by PTSD.
Spinal Cord Disease and Injury
Individuals who suffer from a spinal cord disease or injury are often at the mercy of their symptoms. As the spinal cord is the tether that holds together the human body’s central nervous system, many people who are afflicted with an SCD or SCI experience intense pain and muscle spasming and/or stiffness. Medical marijuana can be used to help alleviate muscle twitching, jerking and spasticity by switching on the nerve receptors in the central nervous system that help to aid in muscle spasm. Cannabis can also be used as a natural pain killer and anti-inflammatory in cases with intense chronic pain as well as an appetite stimulant and sleep aid.