Research has suggested myriad positive effects of marijuana and different preparations of THC and/or CBD. They’re currently used for several purposes and more possible uses are on the horizon.
Some of the current uses of cannabinoids include:
- Alleviating pain and inflammation, especially chronic forms, from diseases such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, glaucoma, neuropathy, and Crohn’s disease
- Increasing appetite to prevent the extreme weight loss of AIDS
- Improving muscle control/lessening spasticity in conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease
- Controlling epileptic seizures, especially in children
- Treating mental illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, and multiple anxiety disorders
- Treating addiction, including smoking cessation
These uses have different levels of backing with scientific evidence. So far, no uses of marijuana are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but the FDA has approved some pharmaceutical products containing cannabinoid ingredients.
Possible Future Uses
Early studies suggest cannabinoids may be beneficial at fighting cancer by:1
- Helping kill some cancer cells
- Reducing the size of some other cancers
- Slowing the growth of cancer cells in one of the most serious types of brain tumor
- Reducing nausea from chemotherapy
- Increasing the effectiveness of radiation treatments
These substances are also under investigation as treatments of diseases of the immune system, including:1
Autoimmune diseases (such as MS, lupus, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis) may benefit from multiple functions of cannabinoids because it alleviates pain and inflammation while also regulating the immune system.