In today’s society, smoking marijuana has become almost as common as drinking alcohol. Many people from teenagers to middle- aged men and women use it for both recreational and medicinal purposes. The subject of pot legalization has been extremely controversial and debated among several politicians and state governments. This controversy surrounds all the negative side effects of using marijuana however, there are also many benefits.
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The first of many benefits being the prevention and treatment of glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the optic nerve and can lead to a loss of vision or even blindness. This disease can create intense pressure inside the eyeball and smoking marijuana actually helps to decrease that pressure and prevent further loss of vision (Business Insider).
Another study found that marijuana may prevent cancer cells from spreading. Cancer cells replicate a gene called, Id-1, that helps them spread throughout the body more rapidly. Researchers found that smoking marijuana makes this gene inactive and thus, stops cancer cells from spreading. It may also be possible that the components of marijuana can eliminate cancer cells completely (Business Insider).
It is also suggested that smoking marijuana may aid in the treatment of Inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory bowel disease occurs when the walls of the intestines are weak and “leaky” making it easier for bacteria to seep through and cause an inflammatory response within the intestines. Smoking pot creates tighter bonds between the cells within your gut and therefore, the walls are stronger and less likely to let bacteria through. Researchers at the Society of Cannabis Clinicians found that patients suffering from Inflammatory bowel disease that were treated with marijuana had improvements in hunger, nausea, and fatigue while also experiencing less symptoms. (Medical Marijuana).
An additional, but certainly not final, benefit to smoking cannabis is the relief of arthritis discomfort. Smoking marijuana can help treat arthritis by making pathways called, CB2 receptors, active which are extremely present in the joints of arthritis sufferers. By activating these receptors, inflammation in the joints is decreased and arthritis pain is lessened. Again, researchers found that arthritis sufferers had a significant decrease of pain upon taking Cannabis medicine (LeafScience.com).
Although I never have, and never plan to, use marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes, it is interesting for me to learn that there are several potential health benefits to using marijuana. It can help aid and prevent glaucoma, stop cancer cells from spreading, treat inflammatory bowel disease, and help decrease arthritis pain. While there may also be several negative side effects, marijuana may one day serve to be one of the biggest medical advances and help many people that suffer from various kinds of conditions and diseases. I hope to one day live in a world where nobody suffers, even if that means using what was once known as a “gateway drug”.