It’s no secret that Colorado legalized marijuana, when citizens passed Amendment 64 in November 2012. This allowed adults over 21 to grow three immature and three mature marijuana plants legally, and it’s no surprise that Colorado’s has benefitted from the positive economic impact that the cannabis industry has brought to the table. “I think tourism and tax revenue would be at the top, many jobs have been created because of the legalization,” said Scott Solary, general manager of Flower Power Botanicals.

While you might be familiar with cannabis, you might not be aware of the medical benefit some are receiving from the plant. According to some studies, it’s been known to help treat glaucoma. The disease which is known to put pressure on the eyeball and optic nerve, even potentially causing vision loss, when patients used medical marijuana they saw a decrease in symptoms. While it won’t reverse or cure the disease it can prevent pain and blindness temporarily.

One of the more well-known uses for medical marijuana is the reduction it has on epileptic seizures. Certain strains bind together with the brain cells that control relaxation and can stop the seizing altogether in some cases. Many patients have found it helpful, so much so that those who have severe seizures have even moved to states where they can get access to medical marijuana.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent was outspoken about his anti-medical marijuana view, but after he was involved in a special exploring the benefits of cannabis, he’s changed his mind completely. “I didn’t look far enough,” said Gupta. “I didn’t review papers from smaller labs in other countries doing some remarkable research, and I was too dismissive of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis.”

It’s also known to ease tremors for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Those who have the disease suffer from chronic and progressive movement disorder, there is no cure and currently only temporary treatment options are available. According to researchers in Israel, patients who smoked marijuana saw a significant decrease in symptoms and even saw improvement with fine motor skills.

There you have it, while there are certain stigmas about marijuana it has actually proven to help those who suffer from glaucoma, epileptic seizures and Parkinson’s disease. While you can’t cure these diseases, research has proved that marijuana can be helpful and change their quality of life completely. Solary says, “Medical marijuana has given people an alternative to the more traditional pharmaceutical treatments of the past.”

Lena Ham – Reprinted from The Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 9, 2017

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