Cannabis research studies have exploded over the past few decades. Trials in the 1980s and 1990s began exploring what cannabinoids, the active ingredients in medical marijuana, could do for patients. Some of the first explorations included looking at how cannabis could help cancer patients undergoing chemo and radiation therapies manage the side effects of these treatments.
Medical marijuana research has come a long way since there. Here are some of the latest findings.
It Could Prevent Strokes
A study published in August 2017 suggested medical marijuana patients have higher cerebral blood flow. What’s more, they extracted more oxygen from the blood flowing to their brains than those who didn’t use cannabis. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was already reported to relax blood vessels. It may also make your heart race and may have effects on blood pressure.
The changes to blood flow to the brain and the relaxation of blood vessels may make it less likely you’ll develop a blood clot. This may reduce your risk of having a stroke. More research is required, however.
It Could Help You Age Healthily
As more people enter their senior years, aging is on the minds of many. Younger people may be interested in helping their parents be healthy, active, and well into their senior years, as well as protecting their own health as they age. Medical practitioners and government officials are certainly interested.
One of the many cannabis research studies published in 2017 suggested there was a link between healthy brain aging and medical marijuana use. As people enter adulthood, the endocannabinoid system appears to weaken. It’s thought this weakening may actually contribute to cognitive decline in older adults.
A team in Germany gave mice a low daily dose of THC. The team then reported this prevented age-related cognitive decline.
While it remains to be seen if the same happens to humans, the team theorized THC was actually acting on the DNA expression in genes in the mice. The mice had “old” and “young” gene expression patterns. THC reported to alter gene expression in older mice, meaning they performed and acted like younger mice.
It Helps in the Bedroom
One of 2017’s many cannabis research studies comes from a team at Stanford University. The researchers analyzed the activity of 50,000 men and women to see if cannabis usage was linked to decreased activity or performance in the bedroom. One frequent claim related to cannabis usage is that it impairs or reduces sexual activity.
The Stanford research team claimed to have debunked this claim and suggest the exact opposite. The researchers reported sexual activity increased for both men and women. The increase was consistent across demographics. If you’ve been worried adopting medical marijuana as a treatment option will harm your relationship with your partner, it could do the exact opposite.
It May Provide Relief for Parkinson’s Patients
Parkinson’s disease has many devastating effects. Tremors, impaired cognitive function, difficulty initiating movement, and impaired gait and balance are just some of them. While medical marijuana is not a cure for Parkinson’s, one of the latest cannabis research studies suggests it may improve many of these symptoms.
Over the course of 19 months, 40 patients were treated with medical marijuana. The majority reported improvement in their overall symptoms. They reported cannabis use reduced the number of falls and tremors, helped with stiff muscles, improved sleep, and provided pain relief. Three-quarters also suggested it improved their mood.
While it’s not a cure, providing better care for Parkinson’s patients may be only a step away with medical marijuana.
More Discoveries Await
This is research conducted only in the last year. More studies are underway, and it’s certain more discoveries will be uncovered about the use of cannabis to potentially treat medical conditions. The latest cannabis research studies will give more patients more hope.