Medical science is advancing at an exponential rate every day. New treatments, remedies, and cures for existing and new illnesses are being discovered and tested constantly, especially in the United States. But not all treatments are created equal, and some fairly recent developments in medicine have sparked controversy in the medical community and beyond.
Over the past decade or so, debates have grown over the effectiveness, proper use, and legality of marijuana as a treatment for multiple problems. As of today 23 of the 50 states in the U.S. have passed legal medical marijuana laws, and it’s becoming likely that more and more states will adopt similar laws fairly soon. As a result, more medical marijuana doctors are surfacing, doing what they can to help their patients with these new methods. But why marijuana? Is cannabis truly an effective medical treatment, or is its use being overplayed by advocates for general legalization of marijuana?
Three Major Uses for Medical Marijuana
Researchers have found multiple uses for medicinal cannabis, but only some have proven very effective. Here are three major applications that excite medical marijuana doctors and researchers:
Epilepsy is a chronic nerve disorder in the brain that causes one to have seizures. As of today there is no cure for this disorder which affects over 200,000 people per year in the U.S. alone. However, epilepsy can be treated, and recent studies have shown medical marijuana to be an effective method for preventing seizures in those who suffer from epilepsy.
Many of us might take sleep for granted, but those who suffer from insomnia have difficulty falling asleep and getting a good night’s rest. This lack of sleep affects all aspects of one’s life, including focus, work performance, relationships, and appetite. There are various pills one can take to help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep, but many of them contain undesirable side effects or don’t work for some patients. Medicinal cannabis has been shown to help those with insomnia get more sleep since it also reduces levels of anxiety and depression which often corresponds with the condition.
3) ADD and ADHD
These days many people, especially children, are being diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). As of 2011, about 11% of kids between the ages of four and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. Doctors primarily prescribe drugs like Adderall and Ritalin for patients with ADHD and ADD. Unfortunately, these drugs are of the same family as methamphetamine and cocaine.
One of the pain side effects of ADHD is chronic headaches. In recent studies, many patients who suffer from headaches due to ADHD experienced significant relief after medical marijuana treatment. This seems to be due to cannabis’ effect of increasing dopamine levels in one’s brain. Many people with ADHD have a deficit of this chemical.
There is more research to be in the field of medical marijuana, but so far it looks promising for the controversial plant. Medical marijuana doctors can be found in states with regulated medical marijuana laws. For those who suffer from epilepsy, insomnia and ADHD, treatments derived from this research might just make life a whole lot better.