Saturday, February 1, 2014

13 Benefits of Smoking Marijuana for Aging Men

With Federal and State policy recent changes towards Marijuana, more and more studies on its positive medical benefits, which were “unwelcome” before, become now disclosed to the general public.  Along with being a way to relax, the medical benefits of marijuana have been tapped and explored for years. In 1850, marijuana was listed as a recognized medicine in the U.S. Pharmacopia, where it stayed until 1941.

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1. Cancer 

There are a lot of people that say smoking pot can cause lung cancer because your inhaling smoke, like cigarettes. This simply isn’t true. Cigarette smoke causes cancer because the tobacco is radiated whereas marijuana isn’t. In fact, the American Association for Cancer Research has found the marijuana actually works to slow down tumor growth in the lungs, breasts, and brain considerably.

Cannabinoids have been proven to reduce cancer cells as they have a great impact on the rebuilding of the immune system. While not every strain of cannabis has the same effect, more and more patients are seeing success in cancer reduction in a short period of time by using cannabis.

To make the long story short, here is a link, where 20 medical studies collected, proving cannabis can be an effective treatment and possible cure for different types of cancer:

2. Seizures and Epilepsy

Marijuana is a muscle relaxant and has “antispasmodic” qualities which have proven to be a very effective treatment of seizures. There are actually countless cases of people suffering from seizures that have only been able to function better through the use of marijuana. 

A study performed by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University discovered that ingredients found in natural marijuana "play critical roles in controlling spontaneous seizures in epilepsy." Dr. Robert J. DeLorenzo, professor of neurology at the VCU School of Medicine, added that "Although marijuana is illegal in the United States, individuals both here and abroad report that marijuana has been therapeutic for them in the treatment of a variety of ailments, including epilepsy."

3. Migraines 

Since medicinal marijuana was legalized in California, doctors have reported that they have been able to treat more than 300,000 cases of migraines that conventional medicine could not do. 

A recent publication from the University of California, San Francisco, in The Journal of Neuroscience, has offered a scientific explanation for why the use of marijuana may not only ease, but even prevent migraine headaches.

Our brain’s own endogenous marijuana-like chemicals produce analgesia by modulating the entry of pain signals into the brain at the level of our spinal cord.  Future generations of pain relievers will likely be developed based upon the action of marijuana in the body.  The advantage of targeting the endogenous marijuana system is that only noxious or painful signals are blocked; normal touch sensation is normal.

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4. Glaucoma 

Since the 1970s, studies have called medical marijuana an effective treatment against glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. Researchers say marijuana helps reduce and relieve the intraocular pressure that causes optic nerve damage, but the proponents say it helps "reverse deterioration," too.

Marijuana’s treatment of glaucoma has been one of the best documented. There aren’t any valid studies so far that disprove marijuana’s powerful effects on glaucoma patients.

5. Multiple Sclerosis 

It's long been believed that smoking pot helps MS patients, and a study performed in UCSD  - University of California, San Diego, and published in May 2012 in Canadian Medical Association Journal, provided yet another clinical trial as evidence of marijuana's impact on multiple sclerosis patients with muscle spasticity. Even though the drug has been known to cause dizziness and fatigue in some users, most MS patients report marijuana not only helps ease the pain in their arms and legs when they painfully contract, but also helps them just "feel good." How many prescription drugs can say their side effects include "happiness"?

Marijuana’s effects on multiple sclerosis patients became better documented when former talk-show host, Montel Williams began to use pot to treat his MS. Marijuana works to stop the neurological effects and muscle spasms that come from the fatal disease.

6. Tourette’s and OCD 

Just like marijuana can treat seizures and multiple sclerosis, marijuana’s effects slow down the tics in those suffering from Tourette’s, and the obsessive neurological symptoms in people with OCD.

7. Arthritis

Marijuana proves useful for many types of chronic pain conditions, but patients with rheumatoid arthritis report less pain, reduced inflammation and more sleep. But unlike other pain-causing conditions, such as osteoarthritis, RA is associated with a higher risk of lung problems and heart attacks. However, this is not to say that arthritis patients should totally replace their medication with pot; marijuana eases the pain, but it does nothing to ameliorate or curb the disease.

Still, cannabis and cannabinoids represent a promising treatment which can not only reduce arthritic pain and inflammation, but also positively modulate bone growth and maintenance throughout life. Cannabis has also been shown to have powerful immune-modulation and antiinflammatory properties, suggesting that it could play a role not just in symptom management but treatment of arthritis. In fact, one of the earliest records of medical use of cannabis, a Chinese text dating from ca. 2000 BC, notes that cannabis "undoes rheumatism," suggesting its anti-inflammatory and immune modulating effects were known even then.

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8. Depression

A study on addictive behaviors published by USC and SUNY Albany in 2005, whose 4,400 participants made it the largest investigation of marijuana and depression to date, found that "those who consume marijuana occasionally or even daily have lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who have never tried marijuana." The study added that "weekly users had less depressed mood, more positive effect, and fewer somatic complaints than non-users."

9. Anxiety

An article published in the April 2010 edition of the Harvard Mental Health Letter, "Medical marijuana and the mind," said that while "many recreational users say that smoking marijuana calms them down, for others it has the opposite effect. ... Studies report that about 20 to 30 percent of recreational users experience such problems after smoking marijuana." The article did not mention which "studies" supported this fact, and most marijuana users would call this claim totally erroneous.

10. Hepatitis C

A 2006 study performed by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco found that marijuana helps improve the effectiveness of drug therapy for hepatitis C, an infection that roughly 3 million Americans contract each year. Hepatitis C medications often have severe side effects like loss of appetite, depression, nausea, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. Patients that smoked marijuana every day or two found that not only did they complete the therapy, but that the marijuana even made it more effective in achieving a "sustained virological response," which is the gold standard in therapy, meaning there was no sign of the virus left in their bodies.

11. IBS and Crohn’s 

Marijuana has shown that it can help with symptoms of the chronic diseases as it stops nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

12. Erectile Dysfunction

When a person uses marijuana, THC enters the bloodstream and travels around the body. In different organs, it interacts with proteins called cannabinoid receptors. This interaction is what impairs functioning. For example, the interaction of THC and cannabinoid receptors in the brain triggers a “high” feeling. Studies have shown that cannabinoid receptors are also found in the penis and testes. Thus, THC is believed to interfere with these organs, too. Cannabinoid receptors have been found in the smooth muscle of the penis. So, when THC triggers a reaction with these receptors, it can interfere with erectile function. And since 70% to 80% of the penis is smooth muscle, this interference can be considerable.

An new study published by the journal Clinical and Developmental Immunology and the National Institute of Health has found that activation of the body’s cannabinoid receptors - something done naturally by cannabis – can actually reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction in those with hypercholesterolemia. According to the study’s researchers, hypercholesterolemia (which is the presence of high levels of cholesterol in the blood) is “one of the most important risk factors for erectile dysfunction, mostly due to the impairment of oxidative stress and endothelial function in the penis”.

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13. Alzheimer’s 

One of the latest discoveries concerning cannabinoids involves their ability to act as antioxidants in the brain. Researchers from Germany found that the brain’s cannabinoid system is fully capable of not only cleansing damaged brain cells from the brain, but also triggering the production of new brain cells within the brain, a concept that contradicts years of conventional thinking about how the brain works. Cannabinoids also supercharge mitochondria in the brain, which are the powerhouses of energy that maintain proper cell function.

Published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, these discoveries shed new insight on how natural marijuana cannabinoids hold the capacity to literally quell the brain inflammation responsible for causing cognitive decline, neural failure, and brain degeneration. By supplying these receptor sites with cannabinoids, patients may be able to overcome brain conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and many other conditions, not to mention premature brain aging, all conditions for which modern science has failed to find real solutions.

The latest scientific finding just collaborate the results obtained by multiple earlier researches. For example, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute in 2006 have found that the active ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, inhibits the formation of amyloid plaque, the primary pathological marker for Alzheimer's disease. In fact, the study said, THC is "a considerably superior inhibitor of [amyloid plaque] aggregation" to several currently approved drugs for treating the disease. That makes marijuana is one of the few known substances which may not only delay the Alzheimer’s symptoms development, but even reverse them.

13. Anti-Aging Properties

Not long ago, a Canadian court hearing addressed the expert statement that cannabis is safer than aspirin and can restore the balance in people's bodies to help fight illness.

That was the testimony of Dr. Robert Melamede, an associate professor at the University of Colorado, who was brought in by the defense team for the four men accused in the Holy Smoke Culture Shop drug trafficking case. In a lengthy scientific explanation, the U.S. expert told the court that the human body produces marijuana-like compounds, or endocannabinoids, which act as a "lubricant" for food produced chemicals called "free radicals" that are very reactive and can cause an imbalance in the body. "You can look at the harm caused by free radicals as biological friction or biological rust and the endocannabinoid system minimizes the impact of that and directly acts as an antioxidant as well as modifying the biochemistry in a way that minimizes the impacts," said Melamede outside court Thursday, likening endocannabinoids to humans like oil is to cars. He said if you don't have lubrication in your car, your car breaks. In the human body, the damage comes in the form of age-related diseases.

"I'm saying what science has now shown is that marijuana and cannabinoids are effective anti-aging agents which means that they are effective in minimizing the onset and the severity of age-related illnesses which include cognitive dysfunction things like Alzheimers, cardiovascular disease be it heart attacks, strokes, or clogged arteries," he said.

Melamede explained that you would have to take 40,000 times the therapeutic dose before causing harm to your body. But the therapeutic index for aspirin is 15 to one. "It's extremely safe," said Melamede of marijuana, noting the overdose amount would equal 40,000 joints. 

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