(Natural News) Cannabis has a host of benefits and medicinal uses, and has been used as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments for centuries. Now, scientific research has underscored just how useful medical marijuana can be — specifically for those in their golden years. Studies show that most people who use medical marijuana are between 50 and 70 years old, and now scientists have confirmed that cannabis can be used to help treat a variety of degenerative diseases, sleep problems, and other issues people combat as they age.
Medical marijuana has been legalized in more than half of U.S. states, and the District of Columbia — and yet, the federal government continues to lag behind with their draconian stance on cannabis, labeling it a Schedule I drug. By classifying it as such, the DEA proclaims that cannabis has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
The DEA currently gives opioid pain relievers (which are killing up to 130 people a day) a lower ranking than cannabis — a laughable gesture, to the say the least.
Medical cannabis safe, effective for older patients
Recent research from the Dent Neurologic Institute located in Buffalo, New York confirms that medical marijuana is safe for use in older adults — and proves that this plant has a myriad of medical uses, including many conditions that are notoriously hard to treat.
In a study of 204 patients with an average age of 81, Dr. Lazlo Mechtler and his team found that medical cannabis can help patients relieve their chronic pain, neuropathy, anxiety and sleep disturbances — and reduce their use of opioid pain relievers. Past research has shown that cannabis is better for long-term pain management, and that many medical marijuana patients are able to stop using opioids entirely.
The team saw similar results in their research: 32 percent of their patients reduced their opioid intake during the study, thanks to the pain-relieving benefits of cannabis compounds. Dr. Mechtler states that their findings “show medical marijuana is well-tolerated in people age 75 and older and may improve symptoms like chronic pain and anxiety.”
To conduct their research, the scientists analyzed medical charts from 204 random patients who were part of New York’s medical marijuana program.
Nearly 70 percent of the patients reported experiencing relief from their symptoms — including pain, anxiety and sleep issues. While small minority (34 percent) did report initial side effects, including sleepiness and trouble with balance, many of these cases were resolved with dosage adjustments.
In a statement, Dr. Mechtler said, “Our findings are promising and can help fuel further research into medical marijuana as an additional option for this group of people who often have chronic conditions.”
More benefits of medical cannabis
There are many diseases and conditions that can be helped by medical marijuana. Last year, scientists found that cannabis can even be useful in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), which can cause an array of symptoms. As Medical News Today reports, scientists have found that medical marijuana can help improve muscle control, reduce nausea and boost appetite in patients with MS.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is known as the “pyschoactive” component of marijuana. While many people like to say that THC has no medical use, studies show that is simply untrue. In the treatment of MS, scientists have found that THC is particularly useful for relieving muscle control problems like spasticity or prolonged muscle contractions.
In addition to treating the symptoms of MS, there is no shortage of reports on marijuana’s ability to stop cancer in its tracks. There are hundreds of studies proving that cannabis extract is a natural cancer killer, and countless anecdotal accounts. Many cancer survivors turned to cannabis extract after “conventional” medical treatments failed them.
You can learn more about cannabis and other cures at NaturalMedicine.news.
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