Currently in the UK cannabis is classes as a drug and surrounded by laws that make even possession a chargeable offence. These kinds of laws prevent scientific exploration of the plant and its uses. This poses an issue as many are now starting to believe in the possible medicinal benefits of using cannabis, but many places are not permitted to do tests upon the substance as it is banned under a class that states it has no medical use at all. A huge push has swept through the world to get cannabis legalised, and it some places it has worked. Some states in America have voted to legalise cannabis for medical use, with a large majority of their population pushing for recreational use too. Other countries such as Portugal have completely decriminalised and other large countries openly have large scale marijuana treatment programmes. But with all these countries accepting its medicinal use, what can this plant actually do to improve our health?
Chronic pain relief
Although there is a lot more evidence to support cannabis as aid for pains in the nervous system there are also claims it can help with chronic pain from other causes. Many self diagnosed users claim the benefits of cannabis for pain are incredible and completely alleviate them of their ongoing symptoms and help them get through their day. Scientific studies however show that it does not have the all curing effect many claim it does, in fact in controlled studies it seems to make the pain more tolerable at best, but not completely rid the patient of symptoms.
There is also speculation about cannabis and its ability to treat cancer. There is currently possible but not verified evidence that cannabis may be able to be used to shrink existing tumours in size, however this has not been tested thoroughly. There is more evidence, though still not enough, for its effect on the growth rate of cancer cells. Meaning that the drug has shown capabilities of slowing down or pausing the growth of cancer cells in patients, and could possibly be used to prevent spreading of certain types of cancer.
Originally tested in the hopes of improving the motor skills of those afflicted with Parkinson's, scientists are now less hopeful that cannabis will be able to help in this area. However they did find that it does show signs of reducing arm and leg stiffness brought on by the disease. More tests and trials are still needed for conclusive evidence, but it seems further trials will be focused on stiff joint relief than full scale rehabilitation.
An area that is largely behind on previous testing is the effect cannabis as on anxiety. Some studies show that marijuana receptors have been found in the part of the brain that regulates a person's levels of stress and anxiety. Suggesting that occasional treatment could reduce symptoms, effectiveness of treatment has not yet been studied fully. However, other studies have shown that prolonged or continuous use could worsen the symptoms of anxiety rather than aid them. Calls for more extensive testing have been made to work out which of these analysis are correct and if both, how they interlock with each other.
Tests on the effect cannabis has on Ptsd has shown severely mixed results and seems to require more extensive and specialised testing. Some studies found that cannabis helped relieve sufferers of recurring nightmares triggered by their Ptsd whereas others found it made the symptoms worse. In some cases it even increased the possibility of inducing violent behaviour from those who were treated with it.
Much more practised by people in the comfort of their own homes with oils containing CBD, cannabis is said to have an effect on severe epilepsy in both children and adults. Many have claimed personal use has stopped symptoms including seizures entirely. Studies on severe kinds of epilepsy currently difficult to control with medication have shown positive reaction to the treatment with results of a reduction in the amount of seizures patients experience.