5 things you didn’t know about marijuana


Derek Van de Ven,

Parents, teachers and the government will tell you all sorts of things on how bad marijuana is for your body. We all know about the mental problems it can create, but what about the good things it does for you? Here are the main things you need to know about cannabis.

cannabis smoker


Blindness and epileptic seizures can be controlled with marijuana. With respect to blindness, it can be used to treat the eye disease glaucoma, which severely pressurises the optic nerves in your eye, leading to blindness. According the United States National Eye Institute, smoking marijuana lowers intraocular pressure for those with glaucoma. With respect to seizures, the active ingredient for the drug, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), controls this problem by regulating brain cells that create seizures and relaxes them. Cannabis has “antispasmodic” qualities which are an effective way to stop seizures.

smoking pot


Cancer is a disease that everyone finds terrifying. Medical marijuana may not cure the disease, but is often given out to chemotherapy patients. Users claim that the drug supresses pain and nausea, two of the main side effects of such treatment. The Harvard Medical School suggested in 2010 that marijuana is an effective anxiety reducer, and that the smoker’s mood would improve and that it could be used as a sedative. All this is of course only effective in small quantities – smoking large amounts of the drug can lead to paranoia and memory loss.

cannabis plant


Diseases in the brain can also be prevented with marijuana. The active chemical found in marijuana, THC blocks the enzyme that creates amyloid plaques which is part of the onslaught of Alzheimer’s. Smoking marijuana is also an effective pain medication. A study in Canada on multiple sclerosis found that patients responded much better to marijuana than other medicine. It reduces muscle spasms that come from the disease. The drug’s pain preventing capabilities are well documented, and it is not uncommon for arthritics to be offered cannabis.

marijuana glasses


AIDS is another scary, incurable disease. Clinical trials at Columbia University in 2007 suggested that patients who are HIV-positive are 4 times as likely to eat, thus maintaining their strength and showed no cognitive impairment.  In another trial at the University of California, San Diego found that patients who were on various treatments for AIDs and took medicinal marijuana suffered much less pain and an overall improvement in quality of life. At the moment, neuropathic pain is a big issue among AIDs patients. Whilst it is not going to cure a patient, it will help reduce pain and keep them strong; again providing it is used in small amounts.

smoking cannabis


It is important to remember that not everything about marijuana is beneficial. Firstly, research about the medical uses of the substance is difficult to research on as the active chemicals vary largely from plant to plant. Mental illness is a big problem among regular abusers. A Swedish study on its military found, in a survey of 50,000 soldiers that those who had smoked the drug at least once were twice as likely to develop schizophrenia. Whilst cannabis itself does not cause cancer, many use it with tobacco, and as many have cigarettes on top of the combined use of marijuana and tobacco, some studies have found a 300% increased chance of lung cancer in these users.


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