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Whether you’re suffering from a debilitating illness or simply want to know how marijuana can help people feel better, these are the many health benefits associated with the use of cannabis. As with any drug, overuse can lead to complications and addiction. Nevertheless, for many people, the advantages of using cannabis far outweigh the potential risks.

1. Relieves Painful Arthritis

Research from a 2011 study showed that people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis may experience reduced inflammation and better rest when using cannabis. Several hospitals gave their rheumatology patients a cannabinoid-based pain-reliever for the two-week study and found these patients experienced a more significant reduction in pain and discomfort than those given a placebo.

2. Improves Lung Function

According to a Journal of the American Medical Association study, marijuana can increase lung capacity. A research study that tested the lung function of 5,115 young adults over a span of 20 years showed that tobacco smokers lost lung function while cannabis users experienced an increase in lung capacity over that period.

3. Slows Alzheimer’s Disease

Scripps Research Institute conducted a study that showed how THC could slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by blocking the enzyme in the brain that is responsible for killing brain cells.

4. Controls Seizures

Anyone with epilepsy understands the importance of finding ways to reduce or eliminate seizures. According to a 2003 study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, marijuana can prevent epileptic seizures.

5. Relieves Pain in MS Patients

The treatment of multiple sclerosis often focuses on reducing or eliminating symptoms. According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, 30 MS patients who suffered from painful muscle contractions felt relief after smoking marijuana for only a few days. It’s important to note that these patients hadn't responded to any other treatment.

6. Stops the Spread of Cancer

In 2007, researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco found that cannabidiol turns off the cancer-spreading gene Id-1. The scientists found that, after treatment with cannabidiol, the breast cancer cells present in the study decreased in number and were less aggressive.

7. Relieves IBS

Anyone who suffers from inflammatory bowel disease likely knows the wide range of symptoms that can cause extreme discomfort. Chemicals found in cannabis interact with cells that assist with gut function and immune responses to block harmful bacteria from entering the body.

8. Speeds Up Metabolism

A study that analyzed data from more than 4,500 adults showed that pot users are typically thinner than those who don't smoke pot because of their bodies’ healthier response to sugar.

9. Improves Symptoms of Lupus

Chemicals in cannabis have been shown to have a relaxing influence on the body’s immune system. That’s why, in addition to a reduction in pain and nausea, lupus patients suffer less debilitating symptoms of their disease.

10. Reduces the Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy often suffer from nausea, vomiting and a reduction in appetite. The FDA has approved the use of cannabis among these patients to reduce some of these symptoms.

Whether you’re a fan of cannabis use or not, you can't argue with science. Time and again, medical and health professionals have proven a large number of health benefits associated with the use of cannabis.

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