Medical marijuana is already used to treat nausea, pain, glaucoma and more. But now, scientists believe that the plant might be useful in treating a variety of other illnesses.

One study showed that medical marijuana can be used to treat cancer by slowing down the growth rate of tumors and possibly even causing them to shrink. Marijuana is also already known for its ability to help cancer patients struggling through chemotherapy deal with the associated pain and nausea.

Researchers made this discovery after injecting cancer-stricken mice with THC, the active chemical in marijuana. The researchers discovered that the tumors of the mice shrunk after receiving the THC. They believe the THC activated certain receptors within the brain that prevented additional tumor growth.

Another recent discovery is that marijuana might actually improve lung function. While cigarette smoke is known to damage the lungs, moderate smokers of marijuana have been shown to maintain larger lung capacities than people who don’t smoke marijuana at all. Some researchers believe that deeply inhaling when smoking marijuana acts as an exercise for increasing lung capacity.

Marijuana was also found to be good for the brain, as researchers from Great Britain have found that the verbal fluency of study participants increased after smoking marijuana. The scientists measured verbal fluency by having participants name as many words beginning with a certain letter as they could. However, these results were limited, as smoking marijuana did not offer improvements when it came to naming four-legged animals or fruit.

Finally, marijuana usage has been linked to lower rates of obesity and diabetes, as a recent study found that marijuana smokers have smaller waists than non-users on average.

It should be noted that none of these studies are conclusive, and more research needs to be done before anything can be confirmed. However, science is showing that marijuana might be better than we ever suspected.

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