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Knowing the Benefits of Medical Marijuana Marijuana is known in its scientific name, Cannabis sativa, from the hemp plant family, in which its leaves, flowers, and buds are used as a herbal drug. Doctors use the term, medical marijuana, to refer to when marijuana is used as a drug to help treat symptoms, like pain, muscle stiffness (spasticity), nausea, and lack of appetite, and is also used by people who have conditions, such as cancer, AIDS, or multiple sclerosis. The US government has a federal law that prohibits the possession, selling, giving away, or growing marijuana for any purpose other than medical marijuana, such that some states allow or even provide license to people to dispense medical marijuana, like a state-licensed dispensary, or doctors who can write a certificate to avail of marijuana and some medical experts do not recommend marijuana, as well, for reasons, such as: it is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration; marijuana may impair your memory, judgment, and coordination; marijuana smoke can harm the lungs; and there are legal drugs that may work, as well, just like marijuana. There are two active chemicals in marijuana that researchers believe have medicinal applications and they are: cannabidiol (CBD), which seems to impact the brain and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has pain relieving properties; however, because these chemicals can also be produced chemically, the advantage of using marijuana, as a natural medicine, has become a better alternative than the chemically-processed medicines. Based on the CBD and THC medical applications, these are the following benefits from medical marijuana.
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Early 1970 studies by the National Eye Institute showed that marijuana, when smoked, can lower intra-ocular pressure in people with normal eye pressure and those with glaucoma, such that frequent use of this herbal drug can slow the progression of glaucoma, an eye disease that causes an increase pressure in the eyeball, damaging the optic nerve and causing blindness.
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In its January 2012 publication, the American Medical Association journal reported that marijuana does not impair lung function and, instead, can even increase lung capacity; an interesting result from doing tests on lung function by medical researchers to 5,115 young adults over a period of 20 years, which showed that tobacco smokers lost lung function over time while pot users showed an increase in lung capacity. The medical researchers believed that due to taking deep breaths while pot smoking may be the reason for the increased lung capacity and not necessarily from the therapeutic chemicals in the herbal drug. Robert J. de Lorenzo of Virginia Commonwealth University in his 2003 research study, which was published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, he experimented with marijuana extract and synthetic marijuana to treat epileptic rats and the results showed that the drugs were able to relieve the rats of the epileptic seizures for about 10 hours, to which he concluded that the THC chemical in marijuana can control seizures by binding brain cells, which are responsible for controlling excitement and regulating relaxation. Medical marijuana is still very much regulated by the US government, even if more benefits are being discovered by medical researchers.