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Health Benefits of Medical Marijuana Marijuana is the herbal drug that is made up of the leaves, flowers, and buds of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. 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. Because some medical experts do not recommend marijuana 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, 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. 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. The medical applications of CBD and THC in marijuana are the following.
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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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The American Medical Association journal, in its January 2012 publication, reported that marijuana does not impair lung function and, instead, can even increase lung capacity; a discovery that medical researchers found from doing tests on lung function from 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. The 2003 research of Robert J. de Lorenzo of Virginia Commonwealth University, which was published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, reported that after giving marijuana extract and synthetic marijuana to epileptic rats, 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. There are more benefits which medical researchers are discovering about medical marijuana, but which the US government has yet to consider and approve of before allowing full use of it; otherwise, medical marijuana is still very much regulated.