If you read medical journals, you’ve no doubt come across the phrase “health benefits of cannabis.” Research is underway to find out more about its health benefits, but even though there’s evidence of great benefits in use of cannabis, more focused studies would certainly assist. It is widely accepted that marijuana use is related to chronic diseases, as are most drugs. There have been studies of various forms of marijuana that show how it can increase the risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, sleep disorders and a host of other conditions. Yet, there are also studies of some of the benefits of cannabis for mental health, particularly if used in conjunction with prescribed medications. Research is ongoing, as well. The most promising evidence so far comes from tests that have been done on animals. Using marijuana, rats were trained to press a lever if they had ingested marijuana-infused water for a period of time. Afterward, researchers found that those who’d used cannabis experienced greater levels of anxiety and had a reduced stress response than those who didn’t. More studies in humans will be needed to prove the safety and effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating conditions such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress. In the meantime, it has shown promise in helping people deal with pain, insomnia, nausea, joint inflammation, appetite suppression, and appetite increase. But there are still many questions about the safety of medical marijuana, especially given the fact that not much is known about long-term, permanent effects. Studies of use among teens, as well as some adults, suggest that the drug has some potential benefits, but the long term risks of chronic use are unknown. For the moment, medical marijuana remains controversial. While there may be benefits from regular use, those effects need to be balanced against the potential dangers of addiction, impaired judgment and abuse. Some researchers believe that medical marijuana can be helpful in treating several medical conditions, although the health benefits of cannabis are still being researched. For example, the plant may help reduce pain caused by arthritis, and the active ingredient in marijuana has been shown to be helpful in reducing nausea brought on by chemotherapy or a major surgery. But there’s not enough evidence that cannabis can cure AIDS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy or cancer. However, scientists are looking at potential medical benefits of cannabis in treating nausea, muscle spasms, convulsions, and epilepsy. So, if you’re considering trying medical marijuana or want to try it as a natural alternative, be sure to do your research before using. Read and research the information provided by your doctor. Use caution, especially if you have a medical condition. Be aware of the possible side effects of the drug and be sure that you get advice from licensed medical experts. Medical marijuana is not for everyone. If you’ve never tried it before, it’s best to take your time. And remember to check with your doctor before taking it, particularly if you have any health problems. For those who are interested in using medical marijuana to treat chronic pain, one of the health benefits of cannabis comes from the fact that the drug can relieve symptoms such as arthritis and chronic muscle spasms. It also has been shown to reduce spasticity in patients suffering from diseases like MS and Crohn’s disease. A variety of other ailments have shown promising results as well, including arthritis, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis. Many cannabis users report a reduction in stress, anxiety and depression. The drug has even been shown to be an effective treatment for chronic pain. But even with the claims of medical marijuana, it is important to be cautious. Because the drug is considered a controlled substance, you cannot use it while you are pregnant, in your work shift, or on certain types of medication. Keep in mind that it is also illegal in many countries, including the United States.