The Medical Minute: Three Unexpected Cannabis Benefits Prohibitionists Won’t BelieveBailey RahnFebruary 19, 2014
For every new study that comes out demonstrating the therapeutic power of cannabis, there’s much rejoicing — and much frustration. Even when new science contradicts the outdated anti-cannabis propaganda still fueling U.S. drug policies, marijuana sits stagnantly as a federally prohibited Schedule I substance. Meanwhile, drugs like meth and cocaine are placed in Schedule II, meaning the government deems them less dangerous than marijuana.
The federal stance on cannabis is that it offers “no medical value.” We invite you to rage with us as we look at three more reasons to protest this classification of marijuana.
1. (Another) Cancer Study Finds Value in Cannabis
If you haven’t heard about the amazing cancer-fighting revelations being made in cannabis research, you have a lot of good news to catch up on. A recent study published in Case Reports of Oncology added to this growing body of scientific literature by testing the success of cannabis extracts in treating acute lymphoblastic leukemia (or ALL). A Canadian patient diagnosed at age 14 with an aggressive form of ALL was given variable doses of cannabis oil when other treatments failed, and while the patient ultimately died of gastrointestinal bleeding, researchers noted a significant plunge in her blast cell count over a 78 day period.
2. The Unlikely Asthma Fighter
Cannabis is often associated with smoking, and smoking is associated with poor respiratory health. It’s a good thing not all scientists abide by assumptions, because THC has actually been found to help asthma symptoms by widening the bronchiolar airway. Before ditching your prescription asthma medication in favor of cannabis, it’s important to note that many standard treatments are just as safe and effective. This discovery is more important in that asthmatic patients treating other conditions don’t have to shy away from using cannabis medically. For those still skeptical of smoking cannabis, let us steer you toward a smoke-free mode of administration: vaporization.
3. More Good News for AIDS Patients
There’s overwhelming evidence supporting cannabis’ value in combating AIDS-related symptoms and side effects like pain, wasting, and appetite loss, but a new study conducted by Louisiana State University gives more reason to celebrate. Researchers monitored the disease’s progression in monkeys and found that administering THC led to reduced cell suicide, more immune cells, and fewer AIDS-infected cells. While these results are contingent on a specific dose and regimen, cannabinoid therapy offers hope, and quite possibly longer lives, to AIDS patients.