Cannabis has been around for more than 3000 years for a reason. And its legalization is highly controlled, and in some places, it is even banned- for a reason. Yeah, that is how complex and dynamic cannabis is. Cannabis has more than 1200 slang names and more than 2300 names for individual strains. This shows how deeply it is embedded in human society, and the need for so many names such as hashish, marijuana, ganja, hemp, Mary Jane, etc., shows how not-so-simple is the relation of humankind with this plant.
Therefore, blindly enlisting all the good effects of this plant and skipping the potential dangers of it due to limited research will not be fair and ethical. That is why, in this article, we will look at what are the good and bad effects of Cannabis.
The medical benefits of Cannabis:
- Chronic Pain: Chronic pain is the leading reason in our modern age, which has lead to all kinds of disabilities. In the U.S. alone, reports reveal that around 25 million adults are affected due to it. The good news is that cannabis can help the situation. Many reports have supported that products containing cannabinoids (an active ingredient found in cannabis) are proved to be effective in chronic pains.
- Alcohol and opioid addiction: Some clinical psychology studies have revealed that cannabis may help in cases of alcohol and opioid addiction. But this report is greatly debated, as other scientific reports reveal that the use of marijuana may spike the risk of abusing and may increase the dependency on other substances.
- Depression and Post-Trauma disorder and Anxiety: Some clinical studies reveal that the use of cannabis can treat the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress. Along with this report, it was clarified that marijuana is not fit for the treatment of other mental disorders such as bipolar disorder and psychosis. Whether the drug is beneficial for relieving social anxiety is still under scientific debate.
- Treatment of the side-effects of Cancer: We don’t support any cheaply-researched fact about this very serious disease. Therefore, instead of showing you a rosy picture here are the true facts:
The official report published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says-
“Cannabis is not approved as a treatment for cancer or any other medical condition. […] Commercially available cannabinoids, such as dronabinol and nabilone, are approved drugs for the treatment of cancer-related side effects. Cannabinoids may have benefits in the treatment of cancer-related side effects.”
- Multiple Sclerosis: Cannabis has a short term and modest effect in cases of multiple sclerosis. The oral use of cannabinoids can help in improving the symptoms of the disease.
- Epilepsy: The two rare, severe, and very specific types of epilepsy- 1. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and 2. Dravet syndrome can be treated with the medication that contains cannabidiol (CBD), which is found in Cannabis. CBD, as reports reveal, is not psychoactive.
CBD can lessen seizures among children with Dravet syndrome.
- Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease: THC is an active ingredient that is present in marijuana, which is responsible for slowing the growth of Alzheimer’s disease, as it
slows the formation of amyloid plaques (These plaques kill the brain cells). THC does so by blocking the enzyme in the brain, which creates it.
- Treatment of Glaucoma: Glaucoma is responsible for the increased pressure in the eyeball. This disease can lead to injuries on the optic nerve and can lead to blindness. Scientific reports have revealed that Marijuana can lower the pressure inside the eye.
- Reduction in pains and tremors form Parkinson’s disease: Studies show that Cannabis can reduce pains and tremors and improves sleep for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. It also improves the fine-motor skills in the patients.
Health Risks of Cannabis:
Every time the medical benefits of Cannabis are mentioned, it goes without saying that the complete picture should be presented. There are some serious health risks too involved with Cannabis, which you should be made aware of. Here they are:
Exacerbation of mental health problems: Mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, can rather get exacerbated upon daily use of cannabis. Regular users of this drug can develop suicidal thoughts, risk of psychosis, including schizophrenia, and in some cases, they even develop depression.
Testicular cancer: Using Cannabis, reports reveal, can lead to an increased risk for the slow-growing seminoma, which is a subtype of testicular cancer. Although, no proof has been found that can show any link between the use of cannabis and other types of cancer.
Other ill effects: Along with many long-standing and deep effects, regular and unsupervised use of Cannabis can lead to many other short-term effects, which include- distorted perception, memory and learning challenges, issues related to thinking and problem-solving, an increase in heart rate.
Both the sides that are for and against the motion when it comes to benefits of Cannabis or marijuana will surely agree to one fact that it is a very powerful drug. How we use it, boils down to how much we are aware of its power and ways of using it. Things like professionally-supervised in-take can help you reap only the benefits of Cannabis and steer clear from the life-threatening ill effects. The power and wisdom are in your hands on how you use Cannabis, which therefore is a boon as well as a bane at the same time.