Anorexia Nervosa and the influence of cannabis
The prescription drug Olanzapine is effective in treating certain aspects of this condition as it increases appetite, causes the body to store fat, and helps to raise body mass index. However, the drug
can have serious side effects including hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, high blood sugar, numbness or weakness, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance, fever, chills, body aches, flu-like symptoms, sores in the mouth and throat, swelling in the hands or feet and many other complications. Cannabis has none of these side effects and can increase appetite and ease anxiety. Dr. Elliot Berry, a consultant to the World Health Organization, has conducted a trial using cannabis oil to treat this eating disorder. Early results show that cannabinoids stimulate a chemical in the brain that effectively boosts appetite. In another unrelated trial it was reported that after 21 days of inpatient cannabis smoking, both body weight gain and caloric consumption were higher in casual and heavy users than in the control subjects who did not use cannabis.
Arthritis (Rheumatoid or Osteoarthritis) and the influence of cannabis
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a malfunction of the immune system. Instead of fighting bacteria or viruses, the body attacks the synovial membranes, which facilitate the movement of joints, eventually destroying cartilage and eroding bones. This manifests as a painful and debilitating inflammation of one or more joints. A joint is an area where two bones contact. When the body metabolizes THC it generates chemicals that include at least one that is an anti-inflammatory, THC also achieves relief from the pain associated with the condition. Cannabidiol (CBD) is also useful in the treatment of arthritis and has been found to minimize the destruction of the joints in laboratory rats and mice. Cannabis is beneficial not only when smoked by patients who seek relief from the symptoms, but it also works extremely well when applied topically as a cream.
Asthma and the influence of cannabis
Cannabis use has been shown to ease asthma attacks in patients. Asthma is the shortness of breath and wheezing caused by spasms of the bronchial tubes, overproduction of mucus, and swelling of the mucous membranes; it kills more than 4,000 U.S. citizens each year. Clinical research shows that THC acts as a bronchial dilator, clearing blocked air passageways and allowing free breathing. The New England Journal of Medicine published a 1973 study that claimed that “Marihuana smoke, unlike cigarette smoke, causes broncho-dilation rather than broncho-constriction [narrowing of the air passages] and, unlike opiates, does not cause central respiratory depression.” Cannabis smoke at 2.6% THC content causes a fall of 38% in airway resistance and an increase of 44% in airway conductivity. However, it is recommended that asthma sufferers use a vaporizer to relieve their symptoms rather than any other method of delivery.