With a growing number of states, particularly in the southern U.S., starting to accept the medicinal benefits of cannabidiol, or CBD, a therapeutic compound found in the cannabis plant that is beneficial for treating seizures, inflammation and other health conditions, the more widely known cannabis compound tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is being left in the dark. But emerging science clearly delineates that, like CBD, THC is also good medicine. Here are seven reasons why:
1) Pain Relief. Though it sometimes gets a bad rap for its cerebral effects, THC is a powerful pain reliever that activates certain pathways in the central nervous system associated with pain. In fact, THC is the primary pain-relieving compound found in cannabis, as it blocks pain signals from being sent to the brain. THC is particularly beneficial for those who suffer from neuropathic, or nerve-related, pain, based on the findings of numerous studies.
It is important to note that, prior to 1937 when cannabis officially became a prohibited substance in the U.S., it was commonly used to treat pain naturally, without triggering harmful side effects. THC-rich cannabis, in fact, had been part of the official U.S. Pharmacopoeia up until 1942, which is right around the time that “Reefer Madness” paranoia took over and the plant was suddenly and erroneously vilified as a dangerous “gateway drug” with no beneficial properties.
2) Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Thankfully, much of this is now changing, which is good news for our nation’s war veterans, many of whom battle with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While the Veterans Association (VA) still prescribes SSRIs and other dangerous pharmaceuticals as treatment for this harrowing condition, emerging science is showing that the THC in cannabis is a safer, preferable alternative.
3) Nausea and vomiting. Believe it or not, a pill form of THC has been available as a treatment for nausea and vomiting since the 1980s. But the official government position is still one that views THC in natural plant form as having no medicinal benefits, despite evidence showing that this natural cannabinoid eases stomach pain while stimulating the appetite, which is especially helpful for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
4) Appetite stimulant. There are many reasons why a person’s appetite might be lacking. With so many chemicals, GMOs (genetically-modified organisms), pesticides and other toxins floating around in our environment and food supply — not to mention the gut-damaging effects of vaccine ingredients — it is no wonder that many people are sick and not getting enough nutrients in their bodies.
THC, however, can help reduce stomach pains and stimulate a person’s appetite, including in patients with cancer and HIV-associated wasting syndrome. THC can also help otherwise healthy individuals put on more muscle and boost their nutritional intake.
5) Asthma. Believe it or not, research dating back to the 1970s cites THC as a highly medicinal compound in the treatment of asthma. Trials have shown that smoking marijuana can actually calm asthma attacks, though ingesting cannabis via edibles or a vaporizer may be preferable to avoid agitating one’s lungs.
6) Glaucoma. One of the first conditions to be identified as a target of cannabis, glaucoma is another condition that responds exceptionally well to THC. Glaucoma sufferers have found that marijuana cannabinoids can relieve eye pressure in ways that no pharmaceutical ever could, all without causing any harm.
7) Sleeping aid. The latest statistics estimate that as many as 12 million Americans suffer from some kind of sleeping disorder. Many of these folks have turned to dangerous, FDA-approved sleeping drugs like Ambien that can lead to sleepwalking and other dangerous behaviors, not to mention alter one’s brain chemistry for the worst.
But the THC in cannabis provides natural relaxation and calm that numerous studies have shown works much better at promoting truly restful sleep. THC has also been linked to improving nighttime breathing and reducing sleep interruptions, including in those who suffer from sleep apnea. And unlike synthetic pharmaceuticals, THC induces natural sleeping patterns that provide real rest, relief and recovery.
Ethan A. Huff
Sources for this article include: