Are There Even Health Benefits of Cannabis Use?
Cannabis products are known for their versatility and recreational benefits. As loved as it is by many for the euphoric experience it offers, the health benefits of cannabis are also worth knowing. Currently, the plant succeeds in proving its value in the medical field. For instance, some THC-based and CBD-based medications have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administrations (FDA).
Actually, the many formulations or variations of cannabis are either under clinical trials or already approved. Taking advantage of the wonders it does, here’s everything “weed,” “marijuana,” or anything cannabis-based can help with your body:
Health Benefits of Cannabis Products and The Head
Regardless of the cannabis variation, the head is actually one of the most affected areas of the human body after exposure. This is most likely the reason why people like cannabis. Its immediate effects can really be convenient at times when it’s needed the most. So, how is this possible? How can a plant directly affect the brain?
Experts explain that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for everything. This is the main psychoactive component known to arrive quickly inside the lungs to be absorbed by the blood. After the said absorption, it pretty much goes straight into the brain. When a person smokes cannabis or “weed,” we can expect the circulatory system to carry THC molecules to every bodily tissue. And since the brain is included, this is how it alters neural chemistry.
Getting that out of the way, here are the brain-related benefits of cannabis:
If there’s a condition that’s both extremely painful, annoying, and difficult to ease – it would be migraines. Despite being a common condition, migraines don’t have what’s called an “ultimate cure.” Well, this is where cannabis enters the conversation. A study spearheaded by Carrie Cutler revealed that the inhalation of cannabis resulted in the reduction of severe migraines by 49.6% and headaches by 47.3%.
The studies regarding the interconnection of migraines and weed use don’t end there. Although there are limitations in research due to legal circumstances, many accounts still point to the significant reduction of migraines. Other observations also present that cannabis addresses migraines and other extreme headaches with no concrete remedies.
Experts expound that cannabis possesses properties that ease the central nervous system. Since it’s known to relieve stress in general, it makes sense that it works the way it does. Another study has also theorized that migraines may be caused by lacking endocannabinoids in their bodies. This is needed to regulate bodily processes like the pain response, appetite, metabolism, etc.
Therefore, lacking this may cause imbalances and create negative tension inside the body. Since cannabis is made up of cannabinoids (i.e., THC or CBD), it could be the reason behind its effectiveness in treating migraines. Simulating the production of endocannabinoids can avoid this deficiency that has been theorized to cause migraines. Neurological conditions like migraines are unbearable.
So, reducing its throbbing and painful sensation is very helpful for many. It might be interesting to know that weed is one of the very few substances that can ease conditions like these successfully and consistently!
Every addiction starts in the brain. Drinking, smoking, and other similar addictions are a result of excessive stimuli. These repetitive habits begin when the brain is accustomed to a certain sense of emotion or reward. Thus, encouraging unhealthy and alarming habits.
As unusual as it may sound, there have been reports that hypothesize the successful suppression of these addictions through cannabis. These accounts say that the endocannabinoid system (the biological system responsible for signaling different areas of the body for stability and functionality) encourages the body to repeat addictive patterns.
Now, the cannabidiol (CBD) in cannabis plants can’t be produced by humans. So, taking cannabis products that have them could help suppress addiction. But, how? Well, CBD is a non-intoxicating and non-addictive substance. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) ‘s 2017 Pre-Review Report states how CBD isn’t associated with abuse. However, it can interact with CB1R (an ECS receptor) that aids in treating addictions. It helps mediate the responses and could act as a potential addiction or abuse remedy option.
In the American population, approximately 4% or 9 million have ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This neurodevelopmental disorder causes impulsive and hyperactive conditions that interfere with people’s daily lives. Although it is commonly seen in growing children, adults can also have ADHD.
Marijuana, on the other hand, is known to have great potential in treating the said disorder. Due to the research restrictions on cannabis, there is no concrete evidence of this claim. However, multiple studies and online communities showed confidence in using cannabis products to ease ADHD symptoms.
The advocates say that the substance has done excellently in reducing agitation and concentration problems. Although these are accounts from individuals using marijuana as self-treatment, there have been established studies that support this claim promisingly. This is also expected from marijuana being a focus-inducing substance.
Other Mental Disorders
Cannabis possesses substances that promote ease. This is common knowledge for anyone when talking about marijuana. In that case, this information is the building block that allows weed to be used for other mental disorders.
These include anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mentally destructive disorders. This is one of the most known health benefits of cannabis, and it’s quite expected considering the many studies that support it.
Again, there are restrictions on research confirming these claims. But multiple accounts have demonstrated the effectiveness of using marijuana to aid their mental conditions. This is also why some doctors openly prescribe marijuana. Since mental disorders target the limbic system, some experts point to cannabis’s potential reversing effects that result in short-term and long-term recovery.
Health Benefits of Cannabis Products and Bodily Ailments
The health benefits of cannabis don’t end with the brain. It affects many areas of the human body like the respiratory system, appetite, mood levels, and even sleep. Although many regions of the world restrict people from using cannabis, we can’t cross out the multiple possibilities it yields as a health-promoting substance.
Treatment for Chronic Pain
Chronic pain refers to pain that exceeds 12 weeks after an injury or an operation. This is proven when the excruciating sensation felt by the body doesn’t decrease despite medication. The American Academy of Neurology 2019 Annual Meeting has a rather interesting and insightful finding that could solve this – cannabis.
So, they handed out cannabis products to elderly patients with chronic pain and other severe diseases. The result came back positive, confirming that people aged 75 and older have improved their overall condition and reduced chronic pain. Actually, consuming cannabis products have been established through animal studies years ago.
In these studies, experts also noticed how marijuana could mediate chronic pain related to anxiety. Such diseases include neuropathy, spinal cord damage, Parkinson’s disease, and sleeping disorders. A possible explanation for such outcomes is found within the cannabinoids themselves.
The experimental animal studies highlight the properties in weed that can alter and suppress the severity of pain. These substances can block the peripheral nerve responsible for pain. Other studies also say that this isn’t the only explanation for its effectiveness. Instead, basic experiments add that cannabinoids have different mechanisms for different levels of pain.
With this, there’s a possibility that cannabinoids reduce side effects indirectly. Thus, encouraging the body’s ability to relieve or at least lessen the sensation of pain it interprets.
Inflammation is detrimental to the body. Experiencing it for prolonged periods can ignite multiple life-threatening diseases. These ailments include diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, back pains, severe headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, and cancer.
Cannabis products, both with CBD and THC, are found to be effective in reducing inflammation. Cannabis being an anti-inflammatory substance is a well-established medical claim. In an experiment centered on inflammatory bowel diseases (specifically Crohn’s disease), they noticed the powerful anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis products after combining different cannabinoids.
While the popular opinion hails CBD as the inflammatory-reducing substance, it turns out that adding THC in the mix does the job well. Additionally, the result found that 10 out of 11 patients had steroid-free benefits. The 8-week study confirmed that no side effects were found in the patients with ongoing Chron’s disease. Inflammation takes an enormous toll on the body’s overall health. It imposes many risks, so the promising findings of cannabis may save many from the myriad of health dangers inflammation inflicts.
Benefits for Cancer Patients
The American Cancer Society listed studies connecting the benefits of cannabis usage to helping cancer patients. Depending on what variation is being used, here are some of the findings they discovered: First, a small population study revealed that smoking marijuana effectively medicates nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy.
This health benefit of cannabis has been used in previous practices too. Additionally, the use of oral cannabinoids is also found to be effective in decreasing the symptoms that lead to discomfort amidst a cancer patient’s recovery period. This also applies to neuropathic pain or pain due to impaired nerves.
Consequently, this made the patients who got a hold of marijuana extracts needed less medicine for addressing pain. Recently, there have been pieces of evidence that suggest how cannabinoids can slow down or even kill some types of cancers. These claims are derived from animal studies with a noticeable reduction of cancer cells after exposure to cannabinoids.
Helps With Appetite
Loss in appetite is a common side effect of chronic illness, anxiety, stress, or the combination of all these. Prolonged appetite loss is detrimental and could end up worsening one’s current condition. Recently the experts at Washington State University discovered that cannabis could be a solution for this. Although this was already theorized long ago, it’s only now that this was somehow confirmed. In their experiment, they exposed lab rats to cannabis vapor.
Later on, they found out that the rats’ hunger hormones were induced. Not only that, they noticed that the subjects’ brain regions that indicate hunger was switched on after the exposure. This was presented to the public at the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior.
To further explain the connection between cannabis and appetite, we go to a cannabinoid variation. The delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) inflicts changes to the body at the psychological level. As a result, it can increase one’s appetite despite being sick. The latest findings regarding this matter debunk the myth that marijuana makes people “lose weight.” When basing on these studies, it’s quite the opposite.
Treatment for Diabetes
Diabetes is a metabolic ailment that pertains to the excessive increase in one’s blood sugar. With this sickness, a person can’t make enough insulin or fails to utilize the available insulin their body creates effectively. Like the other diseases stated in this list, diabetes is a complicated illness to give a solution to.
However, the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC) is convinced that marijuana is a good treatment for diabetes. In their report, they stated that weed could be used to stabilize blood sugars which is crucial for a diabetic person. It can also act as an anti-inflammatory alternative to help with the artery’s inflammation (which is common for diabetics.)
Cannabis can also serve as a neuroprotective substance that can activate the receptors in both the body and brain to reduce pain and lessen inflammation. They also suggested patients use smoked cannabis to help them sleep. This was because diabetic people have “restless leg syndrome.” RLS is a condition that urges people to move their legs uncontrollably. Most of the time, this is uncomfortable, inconvenient, and extremely hard to stop.
Medication for Glaucoma
Glaucoma is the leading reason of blindness for people reaching the age of 60. This eye condition occurs when the eye is damaged due to abnormal high pressures that harm the optic nerve. Now, there is what’s called intraocular pressure (IOP) that pertains to the pressure inside the eyes.
It’s the primary reason that influences glaucoma. One of the health benefits of cannabis products is their ability to treat this for those with or without it. Cannabis is found to reduce IOP in both patients with glaucoma and those without them.
Several studies were conducted and ended up with consistent results. The experts also add that intaking cannabis products through oral or inhalation are acceptable as long as it’s not applied directly to the eye’s surface. Their findings also showed that cannabis injections, pills, smoked marijuana, or edibles are consistent in reducing IOP levels. A single dose of marijuana was able to maintain this for 3 to 4 hours.
Is Cannabis Good for You?
With the listed health benefits of cannabis, what’s the boiling point? What is cannabis? Is cannabis good for the body? The answer really depends on the user. As presented above, it shows many health potentials useful for those with or without sickness. However, at the end of the day, there will be particular people who can’t or aren’t suggested to try cannabis. But if that’s not you, the pros in trying out weed may surprise you as long as it’s with moderation and mindfulness.