As the medicinal use of cannabis gradually gains acceptance throughout the country, researchers are taking a hard look at the plant's many healing capabilities. While you may be aware of marijuana's ability to treat anxiety and relieve painful symptoms associated with chemotherapy, you may also be surprised to learn about the lesser known positive side effects associated with the plant's medicinal usage.

1. Marijuana Can Improve Lung Health

While comparisons to cigarettes and the tobacco industry are often used by those against marijuana use, one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that marijuana can actually improve lung health. Out of nearly 5,000 participants analyzed by the study, researchers discovered that the majority of tobacco smokers gradually lost lung function while the majority of marijuana smokers showed improved lung capacity over time.

2. Marijuana Use Can Decrease the Symptoms of Seizures

Particularly in the case of those suffering from a common disorder known as Dravet's Syndrome, marijuana was found to drastically reduce the occurrence of seizures. While being treated with a medical marijuana strain high in cannabidiol, one child's seizures even dropped from 300 a week to one every seven days.

3. Marijuana Can Slow the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease

In 2006, one study conducted by the Molecular Pharmaceutics Journal claimed that marijuana could decline and even prevent the progression of Alzheimer's Disease. The statement was made based on the finding that consistent marijuana use drastically slows the progression of amyloid plaques, the plaque responsible for killing brain cells that eventually results in the development of Alzheimer's.

4. Marijuana Can Eliminate the Symptoms of Glaucoma

Patients suffering from glaucoma can significantly reduce their risk of blindness as well as other symptoms associated with the disease through regular marijuana use. According to the National Eye Institute, studies dating back to the early 1970's discovered that the use of marijuana relieved pressure within the eyes, providing relief to those diagnosed with the disease.

5. Marijuana Can Protect the Brain from Trauma

Research has found in cases of both concussion and strokes marijuana holds the ability to heal the brain post trauma. Harvard studies analyzed the effects of marijuana on mice that had suffered from traumatic injury and discovered that the cerebral cortex showed significant signs of improvement and cognitive functioning.

The next time you hear anyone discussing the pros and cons of cannabis consumption, bring up one of these examples!