Benefits of Marijuana in Alternative Treatments
PETALING JAYA: Medical marijuana will be a better alternative treatment for about 70 types of diseases, including autism, epilepsy, depression, Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma and other non-cancerous conditions, medical experts have said.
They noted that several studies have shown the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating illnesses, especially those related to mental health, as well as relieving a patient’s pain.
Medical marijuana is legal in 47 countries, with Thailand becoming the latest to be added to the list, allowing its use for medical purposes.
Public health expert and CEO of Gleneagles Medini Hospital, Dr Kamal Amzan, said studies have shown that medical marijuana helps reduce tremors, facilitates movement and helps patients sleep comfortably.
He said Parkinson’s disease is caused by a loss of neurons called dopamine, which causes the body to exhibit symptoms such as slow movements, tremors, muscle stiffness and difficulty speaking and writing.
“What marijuana does is bind to receptors in the basal ganglia, which is the part of the brain responsible for motor control. So when the receptors are linked, it helps reduce some of the symptoms.
“There will be no more tremors because of this attachment of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol to receptors in the brain. This will allow patients to move better and sleep better, while improving their mood. »
Kamal said that despite the use of medical marijuana for the treatment of various ailments and illnesses, research shows that it will take one to two months before symptoms are reduced.
Another disease that can potentially be treated using marijuana is glaucoma.
Unlike cataracts, glaucoma is dangerous because it increases the pressure inside the eyeball and causes blindness.
“Research shows that treatment using medical marijuana helps reduce intraocular pressure (the pressure inside the eyeball) or the evacuation of fluid inside the eyeball,” he said. .
Unlike using marijuana to treat Parkinson’s disease, the treatment for glaucoma takes about three to four hours.
One of the ways to consume the drug is by inhaling marijuana vapor or consuming it in the form of chewing gum, but not using eye drops.
In the treatment of mental health disorders with medical marijuana, Professor Mohamad Hussain Habil, Director of the Faculty of Medicine at the Malaysian Academy of Health Sciences, said that in his experience medical marijuana has helped patients with autism spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder and anxiety.
“Although there are drugs and treatments available, this does not necessarily mean that everyone can benefit from them and some need another alternative for their disease.
“Most of the time, patients with these disorders have tried the available alternatives and find themselves at a dead end. I would recommend them to try CBD then,” he said.
Hussain added that medical marijuana could help patients whose quality of life is affected by their behavioral issues.
He said people with bipolar disorder can combine CBD with a mood stabilizer to help ease their manic episodes.
Both experts agree that regulations need to be in place to ensure that no party profits from a rise in CBD prices, making it costly for people.
Apart from this, the regulations and the application must also ensure the purity of the substance without contaminating it with other substances that could endanger the health of the consumer.