Marijuana/cannabis for medicinal purposes is not new. Its first recorded use was in ancient China, but findings suggest it had been utilized long before then. Brought to America in the 1500s, it was not until the early twentieth century that it became stigmatized. Now, almost a century later, the question of its safety, benefits, and risks is still a subject of debate. Increasing evidence suggests that the use of marijuana provides a range of benefits. Despite this affirmation, its use is still discouraged by those in power.

Ongoing research has accumulated an astounding list of medical benefits connected to marijuana. Among the benefits are pain relief for ailments like diabetes and cancer. Its antispasmodic and muscle relaxant qualities help individuals coping with Multiple Sclerosis (MS,) Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Syndrome (IBS,) and seizures. It has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help migraine and IBD sufferers. Said to boost the immune system, it helps patients with HIV/AIDS, MS, IBD, arthritis, and more. It relieves nausea, often associated with chemotherapy and relieves insomnia. For HIV/AIDS and dementia patients, it can act as an appetite stimulant. There is even research suggesting that marijuana slows the growth of and protects against tumors, destroying some cancer cells.Common sense dictates that inhaling any type of smoke into the lungs can be detrimental. If an individual insists on smoking marijuana, there are measures to be taken to lessen harmful effects. For example, resisting the urge to hold the smoke in before exhaling, which does not actually increase absorption, reduces harmful smoke exposure in the lungs. Another helpful measure would be to use a filter when smoking.

Fortunately, there are alternative methods of ingesting marijuana. For example, a specially designed vaporizer heats the cannabis to create a filtered and controlled vapor. It can also be used in cooking, but it should be done with specific guidelines to ensure optimum results. As a concentrated tincture, it can be dropped directly into the mouth or mixed with a glass of water or other liquid. Some prefer to use a tonic, an already mixed drink, over the tincture. It can even be used in pill or suppository form.

It would be physically impossible for a human being to ingest or smoke enough marijuana for a lethal overdose. There are no documented instances of such an occurrence. Despite positive findings, the debate continues. In the meantime, small strides have been made in reconsidering the benefits of marijuana use. Hopefully these strides will gain in momentum over time.

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