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Like many Canadians, you’ve been hearing more about the positive medical effects of cannabis. Ongoing research in the field is discovering many exciting potential uses for cannabis in the realm of human health. So far, the literature strongly supports medical marijuana for a few conditions, such as chronic pain.

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With so much new research being published, it can be difficult to keep track of all the medical uses of medical cannabis being investigated. If you’re a beginner, you may feel overwhelmed.

This guide will outline the positive medical effects that have good support in the scientific literature, as well as potential effects still being investigated. After reading it, you should have a clearer picture of just what medical researchers think and hope medical cannabis can do for patients going forward.


Pain Relief Is One of the Positive Medical Effects of Cannabis

As already mentioned, one of medical marijuana’s best-supported uses is the treatment of chronic pain. There are a number of studies proving the effectiveness of cannabis as a pain reliever.

This is good news for those who are concerned about the opioid crisis in Canada. As the number of chronic pain cases continues to increase across the country, so too has the number of opioid prescriptions. These medications come with an increased risk of addiction, particularly for long-term use.

Many hope medical cannabis can be an effective alternative.


Insomnia and Other Sleep Disorders Can Be Alleviated with Medical Cannabis

Another one of the positive medical effects of cannabis is its ability to help patients relax and get to sleep. Cannabinoids like THC are well-known for their sedative effects, which help patients feel drowsy and may allow them to get to sleep sooner.

Research suggests cannabis oil may also help people stay asleep longer. Some studies indicate cannabis may assist patients in achieving more restful sleep.


Research Connects Medical Cannabis Treatment and Epilepsy

Other positive medical effects of cannabis are not as well-established in the literature, although many researchers are hopeful more studies will bear out initial findings. One example is the use of medical marijuana in the treatment of epilepsy.

Some early research indicates cannabis could be effective in alleviating the symptoms of some severe forms of epilepsy. In the few studies available, the results suggested CBD oil can be helpful in treating some particularly difficult-to-treat forms of epilepsy, including drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE).


Cancer Patients Can Benefit from Medical Marijuana

One of the first areas of investigation for the medical use of cannabis was in cancer treatment. As such, this area has one of the best bodies of supporting literature in the entire medical cannabis research field.

Medical marijuana appears to assist cancer patients in several ways. First, it can alleviate pain associated with cancer. Next, it can also reduce nausea and vomiting associated with both cancer and cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. Finally, it can also boost the appetite, helping cancer patients maintain their weight.


Other Areas of Possibility

Researchers are delving into the potential positive medical effects of cannabis. Other conditions that have been studied to date include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, mental health conditions, and HIV. The initial results have been promising, but more research is needed.

The positive medical effects of cannabis appear to be wide-ranging. Keep an eye on the science as this area continues to evolve.


why-more-patients-are-turning-to-cannabis-for-pain-relief

Dr. Michael Verbora

Michael earned an MBA from the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business in 2009 and an M.D. from Schulich School of Medicine at Western University in 2013, before entering a Family Practice residency at the University of Toronto. A member of the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids, Doctors for Responsible Access and the Canadian Pain Society, he has completed over 2,000 cannabinoid therapy consultations and has presented many talks in community and hospital settings while serving as student health physician at Seneca College and Medical Director, Canabo Medical Clinic.

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