Medical marijuana is consistently making the news as a potential treatment option for things like cancer, HIV/AIDS and epilepsy, but it is good for even more than that. Doctors are making discoveries every day, and many of them aren’t even being mentioned in mainstream news. What new and interesting uses for medical marijuana are currently in development?

Cannabis as a Treatment for Skin Conditions

The anti-inflammatory properties of marijuana have already been studied for its use as a treatment for chronic pain. These same properties could potentially be beneficial for the treatment of skin conditions, especially eczema, psoriasis and acne.

These skin conditions are often due to inflammations of the skin, so the anti-inflammatory properties of the cannabis in oils or skin lotions can help reduce itching, dryness and minimize the irritated appearance of the skin. Topical cannabis and sunscreen can even combine to protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays that can cause skin cancer, while continuing to treat the skin conditions.

There aren’t a lot of controlled studies yet, but the information that is coming to light is promising, and hopefully it will be studied more in depth in the future.

Cannabis for Pets

Giving cannabis to your pets might seem like a bad idea, but when it comes down to it, many of the medications used in veterinary medicine are the same ones that are effective for humans. Your family vet might prescribe Benadryl for a dog with an itchy coat, or Tramadol for a cat who was hit by a car.

Now, it’s important to note what isn’t good for your pets — while they may benefit from some of the components of cannabis, they’re not going to benefit from you blowing marijuana smoke in their faces. The goal here isn’t to get your pets high — in fact, please don’t.

The goal is to give them the same medicinal benefits you can experience from marijuana — more specifically, from the cannabinoids inside the drug. Many of the beneficial anti-inflammatory and calming properties of cannabis actually come from CBD rather than THC.

No states have official laws on the books regarding marijuana use for pets, and treatments for pets aren’t FDA-approved, so if you’re looking into helping your pet with a little bit of cannabis, make sure you discuss it with your family vet first.

Cannabis for Sexual Health

Female sexuality, specifically the female orgasm, hasn’t been studied nearly as comprehensively as it should be — conversely, when it comes to male sexual health, you can get just about anything you need delivered discreetly to your door, from enhancement products to prescription Viagra.

Improving women’s sexual functions is the goal of Sexxpot, a low-THC strain of marijuana specifically designed to help women orgasm. The strain isn’t meant to help create a high, but rather to help users improve their mood and reduce inhibitions, making it easier to achieve an orgasm.

It’s not the perfect solution — female sexuality and sexual dysfunction still deserve much more study and attention — but in the meantime, Sexxpot could be a great tool to help improve sexual interactions for women.

Medical Marijuana for Asthma

Using marijuana for a breathing disorder like asthma might seem a little counterintuitive, but studies have found marijuana encourages bronchodilation after an acute asthma attack, making it easier for the sufferer to breathe. This application is just in the first stages of testing — the study subjects were induced into an asthma attack by exercise, and then treated in a controlled environment — but the potential is nearly limitless. Marijuana-based asthma treatments could become an option for those who have asthma but are sensitive to traditional steroidal treatments.

Marijuana for Insulin Regulation

Diabetes is primarily caused by a deficiency of insulin — the hormone that causes the body to process sugars. Without insulin, the sugars build up in the bloodstream, where they can cause a variety of side effects, up to and including death.

Studies are underway to determine if marijuana users are at higher risk of developing diabetes simply because of the “munchies” the drug induces — stereotypically, people who smoke marijuana tend to load up on unhealthy junk food to feed their increased appetite. However, researchers found the exact opposite of what they were expecting. Study participants using cannabis had fewer instances of diabetes than non-cannabis users, as well as lower levels of both fasting insulin and insulin resistance.

Cannabis might not be a cure for someone who doesn’t exercise or eats poorly all the time, but it could potentially become a treatment for diabetes in the future.

There is so much more to marijuana than typically meets the eye. It’s a potentially lifesaving treatment for things like cancer and HIV/AIDS, but it’s also likely to be effective at treating smaller, less life-threatening conditions like asthma and diabetes. Marijuana legalization is becoming more and more accepted all over the country, and hopefully the longstanding war on marijuana will see its end soon. More comprehensive studies and clinical trials will be necessary in coming years to turn medical marijuana from something taboo into a mainstream treatment option.

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Hi, I'm Kate Harveston. I'm originally from Williamsport, PA. After pursuing my degree in Professional Writing, it seemed only natural to get out there and start blogging! I am currently pursuing a career as a journalist and freelance writer, covering everything from human rights and gender equality, to US government and international politics. My life goal is to be one of the best female political writers online, while having some fun along the way (because politics can be fun!).

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