More and more states around the country are legalizing medical marijuana, as the American public believes that the drug should be allowed to be used for medicinal purposes. While its advocates have overstated some of the therapeutic benefits of smoking pot, recent research has shown that there are many legitimate uses of marijuana for medical purposes and several strong reasons to continue to study the drug.

There are two active chemicals in marijuana that have medicinal applications. They are cannabidiol (CBD), which impacts the brain without a high, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has pain relieving properties and is the chemical that is mainly responsible for getting users of the drug high. In addition to the CBD and TCH, there are around 400 other chemical compounds, of which more than 60 are cannabinoids. Many of these could be used for various medical conditions. However, without more research, there is no way of knowing how to make the best use of these additional compounds. Here are four seldom discussed health benefits of medical marijuana.

It Helps With PTSD

Most people know that marijuana can affect a person’s mood and memory, and, according to the National Cancer Institute, it can also lessen a person’s anxiety while boosting their sense of well-being. THC, which is the active chemical in marijuana, helps to replace memories of traumatic events with new ones. It works in conjunction with the part of the brain that controls anxiety and fear. Scientific studies have found that the chemicals in the plant can help those who have PTSD to forget painful memories while lowering their anxiety. Unlike the antidepressants and antipsychotics that continue to be prescribed, marijuana can treat the condition without the harmful side effects.

It Fights Cancer Cells

Research shows that the THC in cannabis can significantly reduce the size of cancerous tumors, in both size and weight, by 50 percent, according to the American Association for Cancer Research. And, unlike chemotherapy, it only targets and kills cancer cells. It has also been shown that marijuana can also prevent the spread of cancer by stunting the growth of the blood vessels that feed tumors oxygen and other nutrients. Other preliminary studies on aggressive brain tumors in mice have shown that both CBD and THC can dramatically slow, and even shrink tumors when given the right dose. The THC isn’t the only chemical that has anti-tumor effects, the CBD found in marijuana also can inhibit the growth of aggressive brain tumors, and was shown to significantly slow the growth of malignant brain cancer in people.

It’s a Powerful Pain Killer

A recent report released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine showed that there was definitive evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain. In fact, when it comes to pain relief, the THC in marijuana has been shown to work better than aspirin and hydrocortisone. In fact, it’s 20 times more potent, and the higher doses that can be found at now offers similar pain relief as dangerous drugs like codeine. Recent research has revealed that patients who inhale vaporized marijuana had relief from their chronic neuropathic pain within minutes, while the CBD helped to reduce pain and inflammation.

It Helps Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a devastating disease that causes extreme muscle weakness and a loss of coordination. Over time, those suffering from MS can become permanently disabled. However, research has revealed that marijuana can help calm the spasms that these patients deal with while also easing depression, nerve pain, fatigue, and even incontinence that come with the disease. It seems that the THC in marijuana is able to bind to the nerve receptors to help decrease the painful contractions in the muscles of those suffering from MS and relieve pain.

These are just four of the surprising benefits that can be gained from using medical marijuana. With the numerous studies that have shown it to have positive benefits on a variety of illnesses and medical conditions, it’s surprising that less than half of the states have made it legal. Hopefully, as more research is conducted on the positive benefits of marijuana on a number of medical conditions, more states will start to legalize medical marijuana and help those who continue to suffer.

About The Author:

Stacey Smith is a freelance health writer. She is passionate to write about women’s health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology and nutrition and provide in-depth features on the latest in health news for medical clinics and health magazines.

Love to Share