Over the past decade, the use of alternative medicine has increasingly taken the spotlight in mainstream culture. Natural treatments can not only be more effective than synthetic drugs, but often lack the paragraph of fine-print side effects. Aromatherapy blends, acupuncture, and even meditation and yoga have all proven to be successful ways of relieving stress from the body without having to take antidepressants or other medications. Recently, medical marijuana has stepped onto the stage, especially in states such as California and Colorado where it is now legal on the state level for medical use. As of January 2014, it is even available for recreational use in Colorado. Here are the four most common ailments that medicinal marijuana treats:

1. Insomnia

Everyone deals with insomnia at one point or another, but for some it is an exhausting, nightly battle. Those that suffer from insomnia, often are very stressed with a lot on their mind and unable to just shut off at night. Marijuana helps slow down these racing thoughts. Therefore, medical marijuana serves as a great way to release and ease the mind to aid in sounder sleep and relaxation in general.

2. Chronic Pain

Pain is another ailment it has been used to treat. Many individuals suffer from chronic pain in their muscles and joints, and they refuse to take any prescribed drugs due to their often addictive properties. A blind case study was performed where individuals smoked different strengths of marijuana over the course of several days. The strain with the highest THC content, the psychoactive chemical that creates a euphoric high feeling when smoked or ingested, proved to relieve the highest amount of pain as it was measured. Many studies have also shown that THC is nonaddictive.

3. Loss of Appetite

A well-known side effect of smoking marijuana is the munchies, or an increased appetite and thirst. Most noticeably when it is smoked, users experience an increased appetite of sweet and fatty foods. This can be very useful for those suffering from HIV or AIDS that have loss of appetite, as well as those who are anorexic. Sometimes helping the body get its necessary calories can be difficult for these people. I don’t know anyone who could argue against this use of medical marijuana.

4. Nausea

Nausea and vomiting are specifically a problem for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The body has two receptors that interact with cannabis. This interaction usually has a dulling effect on our senses. Many case studies have shown the marijuana as a source of treatment for nausea has been more effective than drugs approved by the FDA. This can help people with motion sickness and other nausea related illnesses too, not only cancer patients.

Medical marijuana has come a very long way in the past decade. You no longer have to smoke the plant in a paper or pipe. The THC content is being extracted and put into edibles like candies and baked goods. Any food recipe that calls for butter can actually be made with medical marijuana. With this development, it has become even healthier for use and treatment for a variety of ailments.

This article was written by Nick Quinlan, blog writer for 21 Drops. Nick has done research into holistic treatments for common ailments for over 3 years and has become an expert in the field.

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/26/Cannabis_01_bgiu.jpg/800px-Cannabis_01_bgiu.jpg

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