The Most Promising Research on CBD and Medical Marijuana
Several studies support the benefits of medical marijuana, but more research is needed to understand the full capabilities of cannabis.Although 33 states, including Ohio, have approved marijuana for medical purposes, scientific studies on the health benefits of cannabis have lagged because the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug. This could change if a bipartisan bill introduced in the House of Representatives ultimately becomes law. The proposal would streamline the registration process for cannabis research and provide more options to obtain marijuana for testing.For decades, researchers have investigated the effects of the two active ingredients in cannabis — cannabidiol, or CBD, and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — on the endocannabinoid system. This system works throughout the body to control appetite, mood, inflammation, memory, and pain. In other words, when we’re hungry or hurt, the endocannabinoid springs into action to tell us to eat or calm inflammation. The CBD and THC in marijuana interacts with the endocannabinoid system and intensifies those benefits. The scientific inquiries that have already been done on medical marijuana show promise in managing the symptoms of many chronic conditions. However, more large-scale clinical trials comparing marijuana versus a placebo are needed to understand the full benefits and potential side effects of the treatment.
Therapeutic Uses for Medical Marijuana
Backed by research, medical marijuana is already an accepted treatment option for several chronic disorders. Here’s a partial list of these ailments.
Childhood Epilepsy. Studies have proven the effectiveness of a CBD-rich medication in reducing epileptic seizures in children. Since 2013, the drug Epidiolex has been used to treat two forms of childhood epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Alzheimer’s Disease. The agitation and behavioral complications associated with Alzheimer’s disease make it a particularly difficult condition to manage. A recent study done in Switzerland observed the effect of a combination THC/CBD medication on 10 patients with severe behavioral issues. Researchers concluded the combination “greatly improved” their behavior and rigidity.
Schizophrenia. A study completed by researchers at King’s College in London indicate CBD may potentially mitigate the psychosis of schizophrenia. Another research project, also done at the same institution, supported those conclusions, and found CBD helped patients at high risk of a psychotic episode.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease. A broad term referring to inflammation of the intestinal tract, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been approved in Ohio for medical marijuana treatment. Studies back up the claim that medical cannabis can lessen the pain and distressing symptoms of IBD.
Cancer. Medical marijuana has been used to boost appetite and mitigate the effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients for several years. Since the 1980s, marinol and cesamet have been given to cancer and AIDs patients to treat nausea. Yet a recent study in Spain on two patients with an aggressive brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, found a THC compound killed off the cancer cells but didn’t harm the healthy ones.
Autism. Earlier this year, Israeli researchers released the findings of a study on medical marijuana and autism. The majority of children age 18 and younger diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder saw marked improvement in symptoms, including seizures, tics, depression, restlessness, and aggressive outbursts, with cannabis treatment.
These studies represent a small sample of the research compiled on medical marijuana and its use as a therapy for a variety of disorders. In the future, as more scientific investigations are launched and medical marijuana reaches widespread adoption, more chronic conditions may be added to the list that patients and their doctors can explore as a treatment option.
Medical Marijuana & You
At the Lakewood Medical Clinic, our knowledgeable staff can discuss with you and/or a loved one the potential benefits of medical marijuana. We’ll determine if you’re a candidate for medical cannabis based on one of 21 qualifying conditions and guide you through the registration process. Contact us to set up an appointment today.
Lakewood Medical Clinic is a holistic medical practice promoting the use of cannabis as a complement to traditional treatment. Our mission is to break down the stigma that prevents patients from considering medical marijuana as a treatment option.